Use Your Enemies To Your Own Advantage
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Most everyone has some kind of enemy. It could be someone we really don't get along with, fight with on a regular basis or someone that just can't stand us and we don't know why. Whether it's someone at school, at work or at home, these enemies can wreak havoc on our self-esteem and peace of mind. Sometimes it's possible for us to get away from them, but often, it isn't. So, what can we do? Let them destroy our well-being? We might even get angry, anxious or depressed just being around them.
But once we have the right strategies, we can use our enemies for our own advantage.
Enemies offer great opportunities for personal growth and self-development. Try the strategies below to unlock new powers within that you never knew you had.
1. Practice unconditional love
Love? For them?! Showing love to people who treat us so badly feels so unnatural. We just want to get away from them, or even fight them, but definitely not love them! But unconditional love is the most powerful tool we can have in our spiritual journey to self-actualization. This tool facilitates our success because it allows us to choose our own actions through the power of our will, rather than have our actions dictated by what others do to us.
If we want to be extremely positive people who live successful lives, we must realize that we have to be more positive than other people around us. We can't depend on them to support us or be glad for us. The fact is that most people will disapprove of us and what we choose to do, especially if it is unusual. If we allow our actions to be dictated by the opinions of others, we will never reach our goals.
Practicing unconditional love for our enemies is a great opportunity to strengthen our wills in the face of provoking circumstances. Though others may make us want to lose our temper and hurt them back, we can take a view of compassion towards them and wish them nothing but the best. By doing so, we look at their behavior objectively because we've stopped taking it so personally. If we are always pleasant to them and their antagonistic behavior continues, our emotional distance will allow us to see through their actions to their hidden pain. The reason they attack us is only partially to do with us. Most of it is to do with their own inner struggles and emotional issues.
By showing this love to our enemies we will gain a greater understanding of human behavior and develop compassion for those who are very unlovable on the surface, as well as strengthen our will and improve our personal growth.
2. Build inner counteractions
Enemies are always feeding us negative messages about ourselves and our abilities. We often internalize these messages and repeat them to ourselves, making us feel even worse. A great strategy for using an enemy's actions to your advantage is to use their insults to build your inner counteractions. It can be difficult to pinpoint our thoughts that lead to self-esteem because of the powerful feelings that wash over us when we think negatively about ourselves, so working out how to counteract these thoughts can feel overwhelming.
But having an enemy speak these words for us lays them out plainly for us. It then becomes easy for us to build counteractions that we can use for our personal development. Anything they say to insult our character, we can reframe to accentuate the positive and contribute to our growth.
For example, if someone says, 'You never do anything right,' we can reframe it as, 'Everybody makes mistakes from time to time, but I do my best at everything I try.' Not only does this allow us to deactivate those insults in their tracks, it also provides us with positive thoughts ready for when we need to counteract our own negativity.
3. Hone our characters
Once we have taken the sting out of our enemies' insults by building up counteractions and unconditional love, we can start to look for the grain of truth in their arguments. Buried in their hostility and bad intentions, we might find that they might have a point. This doesn't mean that they're right or justified in their actions, but that we may be able to find something to make use of.
Maybe they tell us we're the most horrible person they've ever met. We could look at our actions and find that maybe we've acted harshly to them in the past.
Maybe they tell us we're lazy and will never amount to anything. We might look at our behavior and see that we've not worked as hard as perhaps we could, maybe due to lack of motivation. For our personal growth, we could try to work out why our motivation has been flagging so that we can do our best.
If we make sure we distance ourselves emotionally so we can look objectively, we can pick apart their insults, find the grains of truth, however small, and discard the rest.
Even if we invest a huge amount of time in self-development and try to be good people, we will still make enemies. Many people even find that the more positive they become and the better their lives become, the more people seem to dislike them or want to fight against their progress. But we need not fear. As long as we have strategies to use the negative things in our lives to create positive progress, anything that comes our way can be used for our success.
- Iman Mohiki