1 July 2016 | Writing

My own worst enemy

Woman in long dress with blindfold on eyes standing on pile of books

That phrase, ‘I’m my own worst enemy’ is often used in a pretty glib sort of way, a quick, shallow sort of comment to be tossed out and forgotten. Might be a conversation about exercise or food habits, maybe about a television show addiction or an inability to keep your desk tidy or go to bed early.

But I’ve been thinking a little more deeply about this because I think it’s true for so many different aspects of my life. Yesterday, I needed to be somewhere at a particular time, and I knew what I wanted to have completed before I left. I was on track – so on track in fact, that I allowed myself to do another task on the computer. And then I was not only not on track but so far behind the track that I was running late. My own worst enemy.

It’s this habit of unconsciously sabotaging what you most desire to do – whether it’s arriving somewhere on time, losing weight, doing further study, keeping a tidy house, writing a book – that makes us our own worst enemy. And sometimes I justify it by telling myself that I can’t possibly do everything I value – shower my kids and husband with love and kindness, cook everything from scratch, publish that book, find the perfect light fitting for over the stairs, attend every basketball match, make sure everyone has washed, dried, folded and put-away clothes, present a stimulating and informative workshop etc etc. But sometimes you just have to forge through all the excuses and the resistance, take off the blindfold and step into the unknown. And just write. Or whatever the number one value or priority is for you.

Going deep into writing again and again means facing that resistance and focusing with clarity on what’s really important. So that I can be my own supportive mentor and wise guru, rather than my own worst enemy.


Her sheer audacity



I’m guessing all of us are like you Karen. Everyday distractions pop up and off the track we all go. Life would be pretty rigid and boring if we always stuck to the script.
My own worst enemy to me was when I did something I really didn’t want to do. Either at work or for someone I knew was taking advantage of my good nature.

July 1, 2016 at 7:21 am


Great words Karen, I read somewhere that it is easier to be wise for other people than for ourselves. Here’s to you being able to be your own best friend, and to remember be kind to yourself. ( and I’ll try and take that advice for myself too ).

July 1, 2016 at 5:43 pm



Could the next instalment be “better the devil you know..” or the old management mantra “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”?

July 2, 2016 at 12:40 am


Or scrolling through the social media feeds pretending I’m looking for inspiration when I’m just passing the time/putting off doing! Yes, often I’m the only one stopping myself from doing what I want to do.

July 4, 2016 at 8:27 pm

A. Suiter Clarke

Absolutely. I love this! I feel like my own worst enemy right now with how badly I want to make the new house look perfect, finish writing this book, read four books at once, build up my social media presence, get ready to have a puppy…oh my goodness. I think the solution is, like you said, to focus on whatever you are doing at one particular time until it is finished (or at least as finished as you can make it in that sitting!) Thanks for sharing.

July 5, 2016 at 9:24 am

    Karen Comer

    Thanks, Amy. I am pleased to know I am not the only one and sorry to hear you are in a similar situation! Let’s muddle through it together.

    July 7, 2016 at 8:51 pm

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