We all do it to one extent or another. Becoming aware of the ways you act as your worst enemy will empower you to choose life, health and success over a lifetime of lack and defeat. Here are some common ways we get in our own way:
1. Making your bed in hell. When you refuse to recover from a fall by taking responsibility for your part in the mess, feeling the pain, forgiving all, and moving forward in the grace of love, you are forfeiting life and inviting the real enemy to jump in the ring for the winning knock out.
2. Avoiding exercise. Daily activity changes brain chemistry which improves confidence, mood, metabolism and energy levels. When you start a program beware of setting yourself up for failure (another sabotaging behavior), start slow with a ‘doable’ routine and add more when you’ve ‘proven yourself.’
3. Ignoring clutter. The bottom line with clutter is that it makes you feel weighted down and defeated before you even start. The thought of change becomes overwhelming and you end up buried under a lifetime of excuses. It leads to anxiety and depression and often, weight gain. If it’s unused or unappreciated, get rid of it. Someone else needs it!
4. Not sleeping enough. It leads to anxiety, depression, hormone imbalance and I’m sure a host of many ailments. Sleep, water and nutrients are vital to life!!! Say “No!” to deprivation.
5. Drinking too much or binging. Whether your binges are food, alcohol, or shopping, it can all be used to avoid dealing with the reality of a situation or some emotions you have difficulty expressing. Alcohol consumption in particular depresses the nervous system and disrupts sleep, stresses liver, dehydrates and compromises needed spiritual and emotional intimacy. Alternate drinks with water and drink in moderation if at all.
6. Comparing yourself to others. A huge trap and a great way to sabotage your success! Focus on what you have, and more will come, focus on what you lack, and more lack will come.
7. Over thinking or obsessing. Increases the hormone ‘cortisol’ in the body keeping it in a continual state of stress and wreaking havoc on your health. Breathe! Let it go. Strive to show up in the moment and be emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, as well as physically, present. Train yourself to avoid thought patterns that lead you to feelings of despair or frustration. Change your thinking and you’ll change your life.
8. Suppressing anger. It backfires! Emotion is energy that needs to move out of the body. Express it appropriately or you will hurt someone (and yourself) sooner or later.
9. Working too much. Living with imbalance causes many vital needs go unmet. This leaves you vulnerable to sick cycles of addiction, dysfunctional relationships, an inability to express emotion and communicate effectively.
10. Staying inside. It deprives the body of much needed vitamin D which soothes your soul and lifts your spirit as well as assisting in calcium absorption for bone, teeth, muscle and immune system health. Get outside and connect with nature or sit in front of a window for natural light.
11. Social isolation. “A man who isolates himself rages against all sound judgment.” (Proverbs 18:1) Loneliness leaves your mind receptive to the lies of the enemy.
12. Perfectionism. This one is linked to eating disorders, depression and anxiety and rooted in the low self worth that works to confirm the belief that “I’m not good enough, worthy enough, smart enough, able…” Strive for balance, health, joy, and the ability to be honest and vulnerable. Enjoy the journey and learn to celebrate your accomplishes.
13. Pessimism. Seeing lack instead of abundance is a set up for an unfulfilling and miserable life. Train yourself to see the good, the wise, the plenty, and the beauty all around you and feel the grace of God fill you up to places of overflow where you can give generously and enjoy the richest of your incorruptible inheritance.
14. Overplanning. Striving to accomplish more than what is reasonable is a sure-fire strategy to confirm the belief “I can’t do this.” My rule: No more than 3 action steps or goals, per week. UNLESS you are highly motivated. It’s better to set yourself up for success and prove to yourself you can do it, then vice versa. “Discipline your body, subject it, lest you be disqualified.” (1 Corinthians 9:27) Paul is referring to preaching the gospel in this verse but I see people disqualifying themselves from life, love, health, abundance, success and every good thing because of a lack of discipline. Start with small doable steps and remember that discipline is the fruit of devotion. “Delight yourself in Him and He’ll give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)
15. Picking fights. Have you done it? Feeling a bit irritable and deep down, unwilling to receive and honor the love that compels you in good and right directions and BAM! You start pushing buttons and before you know it, you’ve got someone to blame for your mess. Beware!
There are so many ways we move from progress to regress in life, stay alert and balanced, because your adversary roams about like a roaring lion seeking whom he MAY devour. (1 Peter 5:8) “May he devour you?” You get to decide.