TOOLS, RESOURCES, AND CONTENT
TO HELP YOU DO YOUR WORK
AND LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE
WHO IS THE REAL ENEMY IN YOUR LIFE?
Welcome back to The RS Blog after a short break between podcast seasons. Season Two of the Coming Out Gold podcast kicked off last week with a cheeky catch-up. Now, it’s time to dive back into the important work of being our best selves as we tackle the enemy within.
DID YOU KNOW?
Do you know that 1 in 3 women are afraid of spiders? Fear of flying, or Aerophobia, impacts an estimated 8 million. Acrophobia – fear of heights – affects over 20 MILLION people. On the heels of a pandemic, a host of other fears are presenting have increased in many around the world with nearly 60% of people polled saying fear of losing a loved one is their top fear. With all that said, I want to propose the idea that the biggest fears we face as women are not about external circumstances or situations.
I believe the biggest fears we have exist because of the enemies inside of us.
WHAT IS AN ENEMY?
You know I love to turn to my BFF Google to define things we chat about here. When I went looking for the definition of enemy, here’s what I found:
An enemy is a thing that harms or weakens something else; someone who is hostile to you and who you really do not like; one that is antagonistic to another, especially one seeking to injure, overthrow, or confound an opponent.
In Tammy terms, I say enemies are anything that keeps you from being your best self and living your dream life.
Raise your hand if you have experienced a moment where you knew the truth of a situation, and yet you turned a blind eye because you didn’t think you could handle it? Many of us have stayed in relationships or jobs far longer than we should have because we were buying the lies inside our heads. You know, the one who kept telling us of our not-enoughness.
Our real enemy is the internal oppressor…that bully on the inside we allow to push us around. This bully tells us to keep playing small, reminding us of our perceived flaws and shortcomings. This enemy is rooted in the sack of shoulds we are handed along with the expectations others have of us.
We have to quit permitting ourselves to live a less than life. It’s time to stop the false narratives and start breaking free.
THE ENEMY WITHIN
Though we each have enemies within that are specific to us, many of us also have common enemies. I think shame is one of the biggest enemies most all women face. It’s the silent oppressor designed to keep us small. Comparison is another enemy to our souls. Weighing and measuring ourselves against others or some ideal is crippling. This is hard to get away from in our social media-saturated world. Addictions, bad habits, false narratives, bitterness, self-pity, and hatred are more examples of internal enemies.
Again I am clear there are so many flesh-and-blood enemies in the world around us, but the ones we can control are the ones that live inside us – the ones we feed with our choices – by action or inaction.
It is wrong for us to use the precious resources of our time and energy playing a role we were never meant to play simply to fit a mold society says we must fit into.
PICTURE THIS WITH ME
May we do a quick visualization exercise around this? I want you to think of a younger person you love dearly. It could be your child, a niece or neighbor, or even the little girl inside of you. Now, imagine yourself telling her she must play small, fit a mold, and live out a laundry list of expectations. Next, tell her that to do so means she can’t ever stand in her full power, discover her true purpose, or show up in the world in a way that makes others uncomfortable. Tell her she has to accept that the voices inside her that tell her of all she lacks – the simultaneous not-enough and too-much stories she has been told – are hers to hold regardless of being false. Point to the mold she needs to press herself into, and tell her to get comfortable living there because as a woman in this world, it’s what she should do.
Imagine yourself looking into her beautiful face and saying these things. How does that make you feel?
Well, lovie, it is what you are doing to yourself every time you let the enemies within determine how you show up in this world.
Many of the women I worked with have found themselves mired in thoughts and patterns that serve to keep them small. They have detached themselves from their bodies and souls. It is like we are just entities floating about the world, too terrified to confront the truth that lives on the inside. Perhaps, it’s because it may require us to set fire to all we have known so we can build a better place where our souls and bodies are safe to come home. We have been sold a lie that we aren’t strong enough to handle the fullness of who we were created to be, but this was a lie used to keep us complacent.
It breaks my heart to know how many women have locked themselves in an internal prison to help others feel like they are enough. The truth is that when we deny our gifts, strengths, and skills, we betray ourselves which creates a pattern and pathology for other women to follow. It’s time we interrupt that pattern.
After my life imploded, I had nothing left to do but look at things. All I held dear had burned to the ground, leaving me with a choice to face it or give up. It was touch and go for a while on which I would choose. The grief that weighed my soul felt like an elephant on my chest, and there were many moments I wished it would stop.
I think that’s the way of things when you finally see what you had chosen to turn away from for so long. I was forty, and I had to accept the bulk of those 40 years was a lie. A lie I played along with.
“Human spotlights” I have heard this called. When our desire – or more accurately said our desperate ache – to be loved, chosen, and wanted has us selling our souls for crumbs from someone else’s table to make them look like the hero of everyone’s story. We hope they will allow us to continue standing in their shadow. But it’s cold in the shadow, and giving your light and power away for the sake of someone else and at the cost of your own soul is a sure-fire way to lose your way in life.
Lovie, if I can come through the complete collapse of everything I knew to be true and rise from the ashes to be the woman I am proud to be today, you can, too.
My goal is to help you identify the inner bullies in your life so you can break down those roadblocks and move forward in the direction of your dreams with ease. As with all of my coaching, this follows the process of awareness-alignment-integrity because it is the proven method for facing reality and writing a better story. Let’s dive into the process.
Step one: Close your eyes. Breathe. Take a big breath. Exhale slowly. Now ask yourself. What are you feeling in your body? Breathe. What are you feeling in your heart? Breathe. What are you feeling in your head? Breathe. Deep breath. Slow exhale. Breathe. Remind yourself you are strong enough to open your eyes and mind to see truths. This is how you come present in the moment so you can spot your inner enemies.
Step 2: Look. Really look. See what is true, not what you think is or what should be true. Refuse to pass judgment on yourself, this new understanding, or even how it came to be in your life.
Step 3: Be willing to tell the truth – YOUR truth – based on your values, hopes, and beliefs because once you know the truth, you can move toward it and align your choices.
The authors of The Art of Possibility put it this way: “Every problem, every dilemma, every dead end we find ourselves facing in life, only appears unsolvable inside a particular frame or point of view. Enlarge the box, or create another frame around the data, and problems vanish, while new opportunities appear.”
If you will follow this pattern of assessing areas of your life, you will be able to deconstruct what doesn’t serve you and begin making new choices for your life. You will build a life that leaves a legacy of light for the next generation to follow.
BE WILLING TO SEE
The willingness to pull back the curtain on our souls is crucial to us becoming the whole and healed people we are meant to become. It is vital for our world to find the healing it so desperately needs. I challenge you, if there is an area where your first response is to defend, let yourself see with fresh eyes without judgment or criticism.
Let’s build an awareness that teaches us to stop looking at others with accusations and pointing fingers as if all the world is an enemy to us. Instead, let’s be brave enough to stand in front of the mirror and tell the truth about the real enemies in our life…the false narratives we have continued to speak about our life, the sack of shoulds pressing our shoulders down. It’s time our lives reflect the truth of who we are and what we want instead of something someone told us it should be.
YOU WEREN'T MEANT TO LIVE SMALL
If you will step up to the plate and allow yourself to evaluate where enemies are lurking inside your one beautiful life, I have no doubt you will find freedom, clarity, and purpose. You will gain confidence and become sure of your power, and you will own your story and leave a legacy that lights the way for others.
You weren’t meant to live small, Lovie, even though the world may have told you otherwise. Breathe. Look. Tell the truth. You can handle it.
Until next time, remember, I am in it WITH you, always,