• Terence

    I agree, we tend to be our own worse enemy, especially when it comes to change. Even when we know life would be better. We can assist another with ease, much harder to assist self, lol.

  • Laura Broder


  • Danielle

    Sadly, yes, I am my own worse critic! If I can please myself, I can please anyone (:

  • Naomi Penner

    Totally agree! Realizing this now with a certain friendship and already it is improving.

  • Martha

    I agree completely, but would rephrase it a little. I think the hardest victory is really over the ego, rather than our true selves. I’ve just started a new blog that explores this at http://www.marthabrettschneider.com Thanks for your encouragement, Gretchen!

  • peninith

    Truer words were never spoken . . . it is probably more totally absorbing to fight for basic survival or to fight an oppressive situation, but that being done, the ‘victor’ would quickly find that the longer, harder, slipperier, more endless battle is the battle with self. I have always loved the story of the monk who was asked what they did in the monastery: “We fall,” he says “and we get up, and then we fall again, and we get up, and then we fall . . . “

  • vashelle nino

    I agree, absolutely. It’s getting better with age, but the early twenties were horrid. Glad to be in my thirties now. I’m more aware that I shouldn’t be so..er..self-aware (or, self-conscious I think would be the better term).

  • Franklin

    I agree. It’s harder to convince yourself, then it is in advising someone else.

  • I totally agree! It’s funny how you wander through life blaming others for your bad life! Then, you realize your worst enemy is looking at you in the mirror! I never was so aware of this until about one year ago! I have to watch my internal dialog, and the habits that I have followed. Feel much better now!

  • totally agree, it’s all about personal responsibility

  • Reinventingmyself

    Totally agree! This says it all!

  • Cheryl

    I totally agree! Every morning I set the intention to do better, and some days I actually have some success at this……but I have to say, this is the root of many things!

  • Linda

    An addendum to this: the harshest critic of my success/failure is also within. Not only is it difficult to sustain the changes I want to make in my lifestyle, etcetera, it’s doubly difficult to silence the voice within that shames me when my attempts fail.

  • Diny

    Yes, to gain victory over self would cure bad habits, promote good will toward all,, mellow tempers and allow us the self respect we would deserve. Afraid the human brain interferes no matter now hard we try.

  • This is so true. Those of us with any kind of addiction can tell you this. Even small one’s like biting your nails or other addictions that really does little harm and seems “stupid” to others is hard to overcome – not to mention the serious one’s. I am addicted to making people happy – can’t say “no” when people need help. Mostly this just impacts my work life and it gets me in trouble as I don’t always get my own work done.
    I sit here at 65 and realize that you can spend too much time “examing” you life and making plans and goals that never happen. This then adds to the failure rate andmakes us miserable. I am not sure all that stuff about “living an examined life” is as helpful as you woudl think. I mean you can’t go around oblivious to others and not paying any attention to the world around you but it is easy to go overboard with this. Balance is good and you have to take care fo yourself sometimes or you just burn out

    • BOB! Wow – I never would’ve compared “nail biting” to an “addiction” — you just helped me realize what my “real” issue is: IT IS AN ADDICTION. I wish I could underline that. I’M addicted to biting my nails. |||

      I’ll have to sit back & think about how I’m going to work with this new discovery. It’s certainly not new that I’m a biter; that’s visibly, painfully obvious (and quite shameful — my poor lil fingers look HORRIBLE.) It’s like I cannot help it and when I catch myself doing and KNOW I have to stop…but I give in & keep doing it anyway. Dude, it IS an addiction! (It’s “out of balance”) |||

      That’s actually quite comforting to me. It means that instead of just using “will-power” — which does NOT work for me, there are some tried & true “methods” and/or “tricks” and/or “steps” I can take to lick this thing, (pun intended.) |||

      NOT to make light of anyone with a more serious addiction — I just wanted to thank you, Bob, for helping me realize what’s really going on with me. Now I might be able to end this madness; “…the hardest victory is over myself!” It’s like a light-bulb moment! |||

      *** One more quick thought: As Bob alluded to, anything “out of balance” can be detrimental. So what? Ya’ bite your nails — big deal! For me, and others I’m sure, IT IS A BIG DEAL. |||

      I “hide” my hands from others every chance I get, I “sneak,” to do it, I “justify” the nail biting with stupid rationales like “my nail was rough — that dry cuticle has to go” and before you know it, I’m in bleeding pain.

      Worse part is I’m a professional! I’ve been to a business luncheon before where I thought I was going to choke to death (not literally, but that uncomfortable feeling when you need a sip with lunch) — I couldn’t drink my water because I didn’t want any other professional there to see my nails wrap around the goblet. Man…that’s messed up.

      SO, along the lines of “…the hardest victory is over myself,” I now have to sit back and figure our the WHY I’m doing this behaviour and what I can do in it’s place. *shaking my head* Cannot believe I never saw it as an addiction before this very day?

      Perhaps there WILL BE another someone “out there” who’ll read this blog, read these comments & perspectives & decide to make a change in their lives, too. Now that’s an awesome thought.

  • Hongwei Song

    I totally agree! I used to pay too much attention to how and what others would think of me, of what I say or what I do, and ended up wasting my time and living in too much useless contemplation and self-denial. I am happy to say that I realized this a couple of years ago, have stepped out of this dangerous trap, and am living a very happy life.

  • Michael

    The real struggle is the inner struggle, and it is never won and never lost — Kwai Chang Caine, fictional TV character

  • Peace Freedom

    I totally agree! We are always wanting to have change and believing that it is other people or things around us that needs to change. The reality is that you can only CHANGE YOURSELF, and once done, and gaining that VICTORY OVER SELF, then we will view things differently and hopefully in a better way! I appreciate this reinforcement you shared; thank you!

  • Careless but Caring guy

    Agreed, I used to do things recklessly and am always being careless.
    After all, no one plays the same situation as the another do, thus the hardest thing I found is to overcome myself.

  • Maryann

    The one and only tattoo I have is a Latin paraphrase of this: Vincit qui se vincit, or “He who conquers conquers himself.” Every time I happen to glance at my wrists I’m reminded of why I put it there, and it’s meaning to me has never lessened in the years since I got it.

  • Disagree. Sorry, I mean agree. See? It is the hardest victory 🙂

  • Milka

    I have been trying to become a better person in how I organise my every day life from waking up at 6:30 to being in the library at 8 and to being in bed by 11:30pm. All these and many other personal struggles are hard to keep and I really struggle at concentrating at the work at hand. Since I am also a last minute person, I have resolved to doing small amounts of the things that matter and remind myself that a journey of 1000 miles start with a single step. So, some days I win and sometimes I lose but never lose hope or the need to wake up and try again.

  • Cuysita

    Is this ever true! Beyond the usual internal struggles, when it appears that an external obstacle I’m faced with is insurmountable, it has usually been made that much more intimidating by my own assumptions and subjective perception of it.