The Art of Knowing and Defeating Your Enemies.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.” Sun Tzu


An Enemy is described as, “a person who feels hatred for, fosters harmful designs against, or engages in antagonistic activities against another; an adversary or opponent.”

An enemy can also be called an “adversary” which is described as:  “something harmful or prejudicial:”

We have many things in life that are enemies.  Anything or anyone that is harmful to your physical, spiritual, or mental well-being, can be seen an enemy.  The people you choose to associate with, the job you hate, the number on the scale that never seems to go down when you step on it, or that checking account that never seems to have enough money in it.  Depression, guilt over past mistakes, addiction, procrastination, peer-pressure, abusive relationships, any of these can be your enemy.   Some enemies are easy to overcome, others can require years or decades to master.  The first step to defeating your enemy is recognizing your enemy.

Knowing Your Enemy.

For men acknowledging that you have an issue which you need to deal with is often the hardest step. For years I was the person that jumped in and out of bad relationships.  I was so afraid of being alone and unloved that I would often jump into relationships with anyone that showed interest in me, even if I knew they weren’t right for me. I would start out with rose colored glasses on, become intensely infatuated, move at light speed into a sexual relationship, and a few months later after I got to know them a little more, things would start to fall apart.  Then, a month or so afterward, I would be with somebody else, repeating the same vicious cycle over and over again while trying to excuse my bad choices when it came to women.

It wasn’t till later that I realized that the problem wasn’t the women, it was me. Don’t get me wrong, several of these women were straight up ratchet.  But why did I feel like I needed to be loved by someone else before I could love myself?  Why was I so easy to “fall in love”?  Why did I constantly choose, or allowed myself to be chosen, by women that were bad for me?

Related Post: Save Yourself From Heartbreak. The 8 Warning Signs That You Are Dangerously Infatuated.

I recognized that the enemy was my own low self-esteem.  Knowing this, I decided to take the necessary steps to defeating it.  I read books and listened to seminars about the dangers of low self-esteem.  I studied and learned the difference between love and infatuation.  On my morning commute to work,  I would listen to personal development podcasts instead of music. I recognized my enemy and took the steps needed to finally defeat it.

 Defeating Your Enemy.

“Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.” George S. Patton


I have had other enemies besides my low self-esteem and inability to be in a positive relationship.  But just like the enemy of low self-esteem, I took action to defeat my enemies whenever I realize that one is present. I had a problem with not managing my money wisely, so I decided to take a financial management class that my church offered.  I knew I needed to get into better shape, so I joined a gym and talk to a personal trainer.  I knew that watching the news in the morning wasn’t good for my mood before going to work, so I stopped watching the morning news. We have to make an effort to deal with life’s enemies once we recognize them.

However, not all enemies are as easy to deal with.

Some Enemies You Can’t Defeat Alone.

Some enemies can’t be dealt with by listening to podcasts or turning off the news. Some enemies require a lot more effort to defeat, and often cannot be done alone.  Addictions may require you to talk to your family and friends.  Acknowledge that you need help defeating the enemy and then seek the help you need.  If that means going to rehab, then you go to rehab. You cannot allow the enemy to take control of your life.

If you cannot defeat your enemy alone, please seek help. Don’t let shame or pride (yes, these too can be enemies) stop you from getting the help you need.  If you have access to the resources you need to defeat your enemy, why not take advantage of those resources.  It may be uncomfortable, but so is allows your life to fall apart.  Get rid of your ego and get help.

“If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain to be in peril.” Sun Tzu


If you are suffering from depression you may need the help of a therapist. When I was going through a time of depression I talked to my pastor.  He helped to take me through that tough time in my life and I know I couldn’t have managed it alone.   Too many men reject help because they feel they have to “Man Up” and do it alone.  Things like depression and PTSD are often stigmatized and men feel that if they about what they are going through that they’ll be less than a man.  Why chose to suffer because of your ego. Stop being your own worst enemy.

We Can Be Our Own Worst Enemy.

“Man has no greater enemy than himself.” Petrarch


I mentioned above how I recognized that the problems I had with bad relationships started with me.  I came to the realization that low self-esteem was my enemy.  Sometimes we have fears that won’t allow us to take the necessary steps to defeat an enemy.  Often our fears are only in our heads. We fear the uncertainty of change and become comfortable with our misery.

A friend called me one day because she was unhappy in her relationship. “Terrell, we’ve been together four years. We have a house and a baby together, why won’t he propose”?  I told her “He hasn’t proposed because you’ve already given him everything he wanted. He’s comfortable with things the way they are.”  She was miserable, and to this day they aren’t married but still together.  I asked her why she was allowing him to be so mean to her.  “I don’t want to lose him.” She answered.  “I figure if he’s here, then maybe I can learn to live with it.”

Related Post: How Holding On To The Past Prevented Me From Having A Successful Future.

This is what many people often do.  They learn to live with bad situations because they are familiar, instead of attempting to change the situation because we are afraid of uncertainty.  So certain of failure that they will make excuses to remain in their misery, justifying it because taking they are too afraid to leave a comfortable mess.   We get in our heads and psych ourselves out.  We can often be our own worst enemy.

Will you do yourself a favor?  Take a leap of faith and start that business.  Get over your fear of rejection and talk to that woman you have been afraid to approach. Take those classes you’ve been thinking about taking to further your career. Accept the help when it is offered. Get out of your own way.

Defeating Your Enemy May Require Sacrifices.

I mentioned how I took a financial management class at my church. One of the things they mentioned was making sacrifices today, to live a better life tomorrow.  Building an emergency fund, paying off debt, starting a college fund for your children, may require you to live below your means.  This means no more keeping up with the Jones. You may need to turn off the cable, or not drive that nice car with the higher monthly payment. Those expensive shoes, think again.  You need to do whatever you need to do to build wealth and become debt free. Once you are debt free, enjoy life.

Starting a business will also require sacrifice.  Is the enemy of procrastination stopping you from achieving your dreams? Your favorite show, you’ll have to watch that later. Guys night out, sorry, but you have work to do.  Stop putting off your dreams till tomorrow because tomorrow never comes.

When I learned that my enemy was low self-esteem, I made a pledge to not get involved in another relationship until I defeated the enemy.  I would not continue with the pattern of bad relationships due to loneliness and infatuation.   There were times I wanted to find someone to date, but I knew I had to remain single and stay focused.   You may need to make tough decisions and make some sacrifices to defeat whatever enemy you face.

Conclusion.

Defeating your enemies comes down to you making the decision to do so.  No one is coming to save you and no one is going to do it for you.  You need to decide that enough is enough. Do you want to change your life or not?   No matter how large or small your enemy is, decide to not live a defeated life.


 

Terrell Cotton is a motivational blogger and a full-time single father of two boys who are his heart and soul.  His blog, Terrellcotton.com, is dedicated to helping men become better versions of themselves by building upon authentic manhood, fatherhood, and faith.


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