She said it at least three times in 30 minutes: “I am my own worst enemy.”
It’s a common phrase, really, we hear it all the time. Perhaps you’ve said it yourself. You have probably thought so at some point. What does it really mean? Why would anyone say such a thing? I mean, have you ever really had a “worst enemy”? The terrorist network al-Qaeda comes to mind when I think of “worst enemy”. Deadly, hateful, elusive, destructive… So to think, “I am my own worst enemy” – Wow. Yet many of us really are “our own worst enemies”…because we think like we are.
This particular person is a relatively successful self-employed writer who dreams of having her byline read by thousands (millions?) in the finest magazines: the ones you typically find on coffee tables and in doctors’ reception lounges. She has the ability to pursue her dream. Does she have the capability? That was the question that inspired her to call me.
a·bil·i·ty (ə-bĭl‘ĭ-tē) : The quality of being able to do something, especially the physical, mental, financial, or legal power to accomplish something.
ca·pa·bil·i·ty (kā‘pə-bĭl‘ĭ-tē): The capacity to be used, treated, or developed for a specific purpose.
She had scheduled a “free consultative call” with me; something I promise anyone who wants one. She had attended one of my seminars a year ago, and was getting serious about hiring a coach. I am always honored when someone, a complete stranger really, trusts me enough to share his or her heart’s desires after a limited encounter with me…especially when it happens a year after we met!
In our email conversation about scheduling her free coaching call, I suggested she think about how she would want to use our time together.
And that’s how the call began…her saying something like, “I’m not sure how I want to use this time.” Second, she reminded me she was a professional writer. The third thing she said was, “I guess I am my own worst enemy in realizing my potential in the freelance market.”
Think carefully about the implications of those types of personal declarations:
- I know who I am, or at least how I identify myself.
- I’m not sure how I want to use my time.
- I feel like I am working against myself in realizing my potential.
My relatively successful writer went on to describe her self-doubts in more detail. “Was her dream worth the effort? If she could change anything she would change how she uses her time. She longs for more self-discipline. She wants to identify some concrete goals and have someone to help her be accountable to those goals over time. She recognizes the need to ‘reprogram’ her internal attitudes about herself. Her insecurities as a writer despite her proven success.”
The conversation continued, of course, and ultimately she decided she wanted to hire me as her coach.
How about you?
How do you identify yourself?
Are you completely satisfied with how you use your time?
How are you realizing your full potential? How do you know?
Are you your “own worst enemy”?
What are you doing about it? How is that working?
How would your life be different if each day was filled and focused with a keen sense of Purpose?