What To Do When Your Biggest Enemy Is You
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Student Life

If You're Your Own Worst Enemy, Don't Give Up Hope Just Yet

Pulling yourself out of this rut is possible, one step at a time!

42
Girl

We don't realize the damage we do to ourselves until life begins to spiral out of control. Before you know it, you're staring at the ceiling, no work done, laundry all around, asking yourself, how did this happen? These type of questions ignite the continuous cycle of self-loathing that's challenging to break. Although we desperately aim to get back on track, we struggle to find the routine we once had. Is it all our fault?

Nobody actively seeks self-sabotage. Let's start off there. We all want to succeed and achieve whatever personal goals we have for ourselves. Nevertheless, students tend to push back problems because they don't want to deal with situations in the present. I can attest to procrastinating on work or problems just for the simple fact that I'm too tired to deal with them. It's a temptation that's hard to resist. But, when we fall into that mental trap, it's hard to regain the motivation to complete what you need to do.

I don't have the exact answers to fix this issue. As I said, I also struggle with the problem. However, I can provide you with two tips that help me refocus and get back on track whenever I fall into one of these endless pits of procrastination.

This idea comes from David Allen's novel "Getting Things Done." Basically, this rule implies that if a task takes less than two minutes, just do it. There are so many small chores we blow off because it seems like a lot when it's all listed. You'd be surprised how much can get done in a short amount of time when you tackle the tiny stuff first. Chores like throwing clothes in the washing machine, or sending an email can easily be done, lessening your long to-do list.

Once you begin doing these small tasks, you'll continue to complete more. If you think about it, Newton's first law of physics "A body at rest will remain at rest, and a body in motion will remain in motion unless it is acted upon by an external force," applies to this concept. Who knew that Newton's law could be one of the answers to procrastination?

Change your inner voice.

When we're stuck in that dark hole, we treat ourselves horribly. The voice inside our head continually screams at us. It shouts vulgar words that discourage us to finish what we need to do. Failure becomes the word of the day, every day, in our personal dictionary. This negative mental state prevents us from completing what we need to do, which is why it's important to address this issue.

When you begin your day, keep tabs of all your small accomplishments. Tell yourself that you did great, and remind yourself that these small achievements will help you take on your larger goals. When you face an obstacle that signals the voice in your head to scream "failure," rephrase it to "one step towards potential success." Viewing problems as stepping stones makes the road to your goals less daunting. As you reflect on your day, try to pick positive vocabulary to describe how your day went and how you completed a task. Looking at your daily routine in a constructive manner will encourage you to do more the next day.

Disclaimer: this tip might require more than self-reflection. Sometimes, depending on the severity of your mental health, you'll need to check in with medical officials to help you. Serious cases with symptoms of depression and anxiety should be treated with proper care. If your a student who is still struggling with their mental-state, make sure to go to your university's counseling and psychological services.

Will I always be my own worst enemy?

No. When you face times where you feel that you are your own worst enemy, remind yourself that this is temporary. You have to be kind to yourself and allow yourself to receive support from other people. Hold yourself accountable, but don't let your conscious treat you harsh either. Completing simple tasks, rewording your phrases, and seeking out counseling services will lead you down a road where you will finally look at yourself as an ally, not an enemy.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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