We are each our own greatest friend and strongest enemy. Our minds are capable of such great achievements and such amazing feats, and yet they are also the reason that we think that we can’t do something or overcome an obstacle. Sure, there are actual obstacles and obstructions that stop our physical body from getting where we need to go, but the biggest block we encounter happens within ourselves.
Getting to Week 11 of the P90X program made me realize just how much my mind was stopping me from hitting my goals. My brain was saying that I couldn’t do anymore reps, but more and more I’ve been able to turn that part of my mind off and push through those extra couple of movements. That’s not to say that I ignore my body when it tells me that pushing any further could hurt something. If you’re listening close enough, you can tell when it’s your mind telling you it’s too painful and when it’s your body trying to protect itself from strain or injury. Remember, it’s never worth it to push your body to the brink of injury. It’s a gradual process when it comes to working out and rushing it will just set you back when you get injured because of it.
But it doesn’t just apply to working out. You can be your biggest enemy, preventing yourself from reaching your goals other than the physical fitness objectives you may have. Maybe you’re just trying to get your house organized and it seems overwhelming. Your mind tells you that you can’t do it. You don’t have enough time. There’s too much to get done and you should just give up because there are easier things that are more fun to do. Ironically, your mind also becomes your biggest ally when you realize that breaking up a seemingly impossible and large task into smaller, more manageable pieces makes the goal completely reasonable and very possible to accomplish. I’ve written about being a friend to yourself more often, but there are a lot of times when you need to be more than friend and to be a champion to yourself.
You are simultaneously a superhero, an arch-nemesis, and someone in need of rescuing. Rescue yourself rather than battle yourself, and you’ll find a completely new universe of achievement, learning, and growth in front of you. Tell yourself that you can do it. Get a little aggressive with yourself and push a little harder toward your goals than you normally would. Make it a point to do that one extra rep, that extra 10 seconds, that one extra goal that you were saving for tomorrow instead. Do it today. Again, it’s a process. It’s gradual. It’s incremental. But that’s okay, because some of the most effective, long-lasting changes that we can instil in ourselves are the ones that happen over time. Endurance is something you build and it in turn helps you to build more of it.
You’re going to battle yourself, just like everyone else does. What’s important is to remember that your greatest ally against yourself is yourself. Get on your own positive side and grow. You are your own champion. Don’t forget it.