How to Overcome Your Greatest Obstacles
Every story has a hero and a villain. The villain is the one in the way, threatening to disrupt and ultimately destroy the hero’s plans. The villain is cunning and manipulative, and will often use deception to get past the hero’s defenses. It is the persistent hero, who picks herself up after each fall, who ultimately triumphs.
We are each the heroes of our own journeys, working hard to achieve our goals and make our dreams come true. However, we are also often our most formidable villains, standing in the way of our own success.
What is you inner villain like? Mine is terrified of failure, therefore she pushes herself really hard; checks and double-checks; tends to seek “perfection” and is afraid to try new things… in case she’s not good at them. She’s the one I have to confront when I want to get stuff done. She’ll moan:
“Will it work?”
“Are you sure?”
“Is there more you can do?”
“How about an extra hour on preparation?”
She means me no harm. In fact, she’s really trying to ensure that I stay safe. And I’m grateful to her for that. And some of her neuroses are even quite useful – I know it helps to plan, to prepare well and to be on top of my game.
But that’s about the full extent of her usefulness in my life. In order to move forward I’ve had to learn to stand up to her whenever she threatens to derail me.
“Yes, I’ve done enough. Now I’m stepping out.”
“No, it’s bedtime. I need to recharge.”
“I don’t need to re-read that document for the umpteenth time!”
Operating in this way has helped me to forge ahead with what’s really important to me.
Who is your inner villain? What is she like?
What makes her tick? When does she tend to show up most strongly in your life? What are the strategies she uses to try to scupper your plans?
How does she serve you? Not everything about your inner villain is destructive. How can you make the most of her more endearing qualities?
How does she hold you back? After all, this is her primary purpose, to keep you from venturing into uncharted territory; to stop you from risking yourself. You have it in you to respectfully tell her to back off!
Yes, every story has a hero and a villain. Your job is to ensure that the roles never get confused. Learn to get out of your own way by standing up to the villain within you.