If we’re honest with ourselves, we all have slept with the enemy at some point in our lives. It’s a natural part of our evolution to greatness. What is the enemy? It is anything or anyone that stands between you and your life’s purpose. The enemy is a dream killer, a dream destroyer and it could be a person such as a spouse, a relative or a friend or a thing such as fear, self doubt and lack of confidence.
The issue is never if (because we all do at some point) we will, but for how long. Some sleep with the enemy for a season, others for a lifetime and most of us somewhere in between. The key, however, to reaching greatness is to limit how long we lay down with the enemy. We sleep with the enemy because it makes us feel safe and comfortable and we never have to get out of our comfort zone. But like any destructive relationship, it eventually deflates us because it can only survive by holding us down or back. It’s not our friend. It’s not there to support us and certainly not to mentor us.
At times, we become engaged in a delicate tango with the enemy. To the extent we are, we need to make sure we’re using it to our advantage. By that I mean, if you’re going to sleep with the enemy then learn as much as you can about it. Learn about its habits and its modus operandi so that you prepare yourself on how to deal with its dream crushing ways. But whatever you do, the key is to limit the amount of time you do so because we know what happens if you don’t. We’ve all heard the saying if you lay down with dogs you will get up with fleas and you don’t want the enemy to get you before you get it.
So my approach is if you’re going to sleep with the enemy, do so but with these three things in mind:
1. Recognize it is the enemy. Too many times we try to convince ourselves that the person or thing that’s holding us back has our best interest at heart or that it’s protecting us. But anyone or thing that holds you back is your enemy so you need to be honest about it. One of my favorite lines from the movie Natural Born Killers starring Woody Harrelson where thye reiterated a story about a woman who nursed a sick snake back to life. Once the snake was well, it bit the woman and as she lay dying she asked why did you bite me after all I did for you. The snake replied you knew I was a snake! So true, many of us fail to understand this. Even when the dreamkillers come as itself or himself, we like to dress it up rather than recognizing it for what it is: something intending to stop us from reaching our greatness.
2. Understand the Triggers. Understand when the enemy appears in your life. Is it right when you’re on the cusp of greatness or does it appear at the beginning so that you never get started. The better you understand its appearance the better opportunity you have to limit its effectiveness.
3. Limit its influence. Like anything, keep the enemy in its place. A little fear or self doubt is ok if it makes you reassess and revise your strategy so that it’s better. But anything beyond that and the enemy is likely to have more control over you and prevent you from moving forward.
Do you plan to stop sleeping with the enemy in 2010 and pusruse your dreams? If so, sign up for these recommended webinars to get you moving toward accomplishing your dreams?
How To Set Up A Blog (January 7, 2010)
Defining Your Wealth Strategy (January 14, 2010)
Funding Your Dreams (January 21, 2010)