While Sally Kempton may not be as well-known as Stephen Covey or Mark Twain, her quote about the “enemy in your head” certainly ranks high on my list of favorite quotes!
“It is hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head.” Sally Kempton
Whether I am working on changes I want to make in my own life, or coaching someone whose “self-talk” leads to self-defeating behaviors, this quote rings true for me on a daily basis!
How the Enemy in Your Head Can Get Imbedded
Our thought processes and beliefs about ourselves and others can hold us back. Here are some examples:
- We have had clients who believe that they “are not very intelligent” – but they really are! You can imagine how that belief puts the brakes on them pursuing academic majors or potential occupations!
- I was a bad stutterer from elementary school through high school. I believed psychologists who predicted that I “would always” be a stutterer. That belief held me back for quite a few years. Yet, I was finally able to overcome stuttering.
- Our female coaching clients sometimes believe that certain occupations are so dominated by men that “it is not worth going down that path.”
- People with addictions to alcohol and other substances often struggle to accept that they are addicted. As many addicts have said, “I have a disease that tries to convince me that I do NOT have that disease.”
In a previous article, entitled “The Road to Success is Always Under Construction,” we stated: “If the road to success is truly always under construction, then getting there is both an ‘inside job’ and an ‘outside job.’ The inside part is about whether a person feels that he or she is on the right path. It is also about having patience and resilience when obstacles slow down the pace – or bring things to a screeching halt.”
How Does the “Enemy in Your Head” Apply to You and Others You Know?
Think about the answers to these questions:
- What thoughts or beliefs serve as “an enemy in your head” and tend to prevent you from moving forward?
- How often do people who are close to you keep having setbacks due to self-limiting thoughts or beliefs?
- What strategies work best for you when the enemy in your head affects your self-confidence and willingness to take action?
We Invite Your Comments
Please send us your comments (below) about this article. We love to hear from our readers! If you’d like to talk with us about getting “unstuck,” please contact us.