I was faced with this question in 2015 when my life fell apart. To try and save myself, I approached a coach to work with me and through the coaching journey, I discovered that I was my own worst enemy. Understanding and accepting that allowed me to transform my life by addressing:
I grew up believing perfectionism is a positive trait. It allowed me to make sure that I do everything exceptionally well and that I expected that from others. But this led to me placing unrealistic expectations on myself and others, and if I (or others) did not live up to it, it would cause me a great deal of stress and unhappiness. Through my coaching journey, I have learnt and accepted that doing my best is good enough; and that perfectionism is not necessarily an ideal to strive for.
The article below provides more useful tips on moving out of this negative mindset:
“It’s much easier to be your own enemy than your truest friend, and it often seems like a better idea. It’s safe, it prepares us for other peoples’ opinions and ideas, it’s “realistic,” it’s obvious, it’s… effortless. Something that tends to slip past a lot of people is that your thoughts and your ideas and your beliefs and your perceptions are creating your life, even if you’re not conscious of it. The car is on autopilot, the point is to realize that you’re the one pressing the gas, and at any point, you can choose to steer.
Loving yourself is being your own best friend, your own caretaker, your own confidante and your own source of fulfilment. It’s a heavy task to get there, and it’s something we’re usually discouraged from: people want us to buy into the idea that external happiness yields genuine fulfilment. It keeps the consumerist market and their own insecurities alive. But it’s often not practical. We all eventually realize that our lives aren’t going the way we want (in whatever way) and that it’s up to us to change them.
In reality, being your own worst enemy is just another way of shouting at the Universe: “I didn’t make this, so I shouldn’t have to control or change it. I didn’t choose this, so I shouldn’t have to undo it.” We can shout all we want, but at the end of the day, it’s nobody’s job or responsibility to love or take care of us, and relying on that is basically guaranteeing that at some point or another, someone else will deny us love, and we’ll be sh*t out of luck.
Becoming your own best friend (and recognizing how you’re your own worst enemy) is the work every one of us has to do, it just is a matter of when we decide to do it. Here, a few tips to get you started, on how to know if you really are being too hard on yourself (and how to turn it around):
You Bully Yourself So Nobody Else Can Surprise You With Something You Don’t Already “Know”
You can’t beat fear to the finish line. Diving into every possible comment, opinion or negative emotion someone has toward you is like diving into a bucket of crap that has no bottom. It doesn’t shield you from those opinions, it doesn’t guarantee other people won’t have them because you did first, it only makes you more susceptible to believing those opinions and accepting them as your permeating, singular truth.
A better way to approach it is to try to see any given “negative” trait you think you have in the context of who you are as a whole. Sure, you may get jealous sometimes, but you’re also smart or funny or nice, or you at least don’t want to be jealous anymore. Be realistic, be honest, work on becoming comfortable with the ways you experience discomfort within yourself. Decide if it’s a matter of resisting your truth or adopting someone else’s.”