I wrote a journal entry called "My Own Worst Enemy" a few years back, but it was more about my outward behavior than my inward struggle, so I feel like this post is justified as it is more focused on that lying bastard inside my head.
A few minutes ago I was inspired to write this because I was filling up my coffee pot at the sink and myself said to myself, "Our band is just one of those bands that nobody cares about."
This statement is one of many that have been playing in my head for the past few weeks. My mind tells me almost daily that I'm not driven enough, talented enough, capable enough or faithful enough to create anything of timeless value. Sometimes I'll fight back and say, "Wait a minute, I'm pretty proud of this specific thing I created," and then the voice will come back and remind me of every criticism I ever heard about that piece, and convince me that these criticisms are mostly true... and I believe it. I believe that even my proudest moment was probably not very good. If I combat this voice even more and convince myself that "Hey, you know what? It WAS good, I don't care what they say." Then this voice will tell me, "That was then, this is now, you're probably all dried up."
This damned voice. What makes me believe it? I believe it because it is me. It sounds like me. It's the me who hates me. Some more religiously charismatic than I might say it's the voice of "evil" or "Satan," but I don't think so. I think it's me, my flesh, a manifestation of my dirty human depravity. Plus, I think I've heard the little demon on my shoulder before, and his sales pitch is much more eloquent than mine. I don't believe him at first because he doesn't sound like me so he needs a trickier approach. I am quick to believe this other voice because it is my own.
So what happens? Well, after awhile you start believing your own lies, which all essentially say the same thing: "I'm not good enough." Suddenly, and unknowingly, you defeat yourself. Has anything positive come from guilt and shame? Has any life flourished after believing that it was worthless? The only thing left after believing our own lies is our own defeat.
We humans are built to withstand so much, pressing on at the top of the food chain for thousands of years, so it's true that the only thing that can stop us is ourselves. Our complex brains coupled with our innate desire to self-destruct can prove a treacherous adversary in matters worth pursuing. Nothing worthwhile was ever done without this nagging, lying voice shouting the whole way that it is unattainable, that we will surely fail because we are not "good enough." I suppose the best defense is to hear this voice and to blindly believe the opposite, regardless of the facts it presents us with.
May the Truth inspire us beyond our own petty defenses.