Self-combat of the mind grows out of the turmoil of self-misunderstanding. Self-combat of the mind is anything that originates inside someone’s head and that inhibits one’s ability to be themselves (live through their heart) and be confident in that stance. To illustrate this with some examples from my own life, I will share some experiences across the spectrum of inhibition.
An example of a daily-doubt in my life is the following: Faolan wakes up in the morning and feels inspired to go to the gym. Faolan realizes that he has no idea how to use half of the equipment in the gym, and feels like he will look stupid if he goes and does the same workout as every other day. Faolan stays in bed.”
While this is not a real tangible excuse, it is enough of an inhibitor to action, I lost my inspiration. Small things like these are the cause of our daily falterings.
An example of a monthly-doubt is the following: “Faolan thinks Person A is really cool and would like to spend more time with person A. Faolan digs deep into himself for the courage to talk to person A, only to lose this courage with the nagging doubt that this interest is a one-way street. Faolan has been here before and remembers the pain of rejection by people, whether romantic or simply platonic. Faolan stops himself before he can feel this pain and decides to give up without trying.”
In this example, I have convinced myself that others will not like me. This is a fabrication of my brain and is most likely not true at all. And yet, it has stopped me in my tracks before I have even begun the race.
These are the doubts or self-inhibitions that last over many months and sometimes years and to even be able to understand these about one’s self, one must really begin to start introspecting. For me, these are more real and cause me more pain in my life. An example of a yearly-doubt is the following: Faolan is constantly torn between different goals in life. Faolan wants so badly to go see the world and is reminded of its tantalizing, alluring beauty every day when he looks at all of the amazing photographers he follows on Instagram. Faolan is also a full-time college student who is in college for reasons he is honestly mostly unsure about. He feels like he is always busy and working towards goals that have been fabricated for him by society and by his family. And yet, he simply cannot be sure enough in himself to understand either his own feelings or the world well enough to simply break away from where he is. He understands that he has an amazing opportunity in life where he is at right now, and does not want to give it up on a whim, and yet…
Here the turmoil of life has overcome my intentions and I am suffocating in a societally-fabricated way of living. This example extends into the ways that I act, throughout a day, making me unhappy consistently with what I have (even though the key to life is to be grateful, but hey, I’m still figuring things out too).
These are so big that they will cause us to struggle with them every day in small ways that will inhibit our own progress in life. An example of a life-doubt for me is the following: Faolan doesn’t understand himself in relation to love. He knows that he comes from a weird family situation, where his parents split up before he was one year old, and where the main form of relationship-level interaction originated in fear and anger. He has recently begun to understand that because of this, he has distanced himself from love. He has started to uncover his own misunderstanding of love and is slowly feeling his way through the emotion in order to grow his capacity to feel it, direct it, and be intentional with it. Love is powerful, both for Faolan and for the people he chooses to focus it on.
What it All Means
You should have started to understand me a little deeper each time I moved up on the spectrum of inhibitions. This is because, the bigger the inhibition, the more deeply rooted it is in our lives. For me, my struggles with love are tangible on a daily basis, but not just some days, it’s every day of every week, etc.
To bring these examples together with the idea of self-combat of the mind, all of these many inhibitions are in constant battle with my dreams in life. Everything I think that I want is hindered by this range of doubts I have in who I am. The key is not to ignore these things as I did throughout high school, it is rather to embrace them as a part of me, and then move through them at a healthy rate, with intention and purpose. To set goals to remove inhibitions is to make more room for aspirations and dreams of a better future.
When I think of the ideal human, I think of a person who has such a magnificent understanding of themselves that they can be wholeheartedly confident in who they are and thus act without reservation. This state takes self-reflection, it takes courage, and more than anything else, it takes an unwavering dedication to existing in a state of self-fulfillment.