Do you have less happiness, energy, success or fulfilment than you would like in life? If so, there is a strong chance that your Achilles heel (psychologically speaking) is sabotaging you. There is an even stronger chance that while you might have a vague awareness of this, that you don’t have a notion how to stop it happening.
Take a moment to review your life. When you look back at it, what ONE recurring theme in the way you think about or view yourself, would make a huge positive difference if you could change it?
What ONE negative core belief keeps appearing in different guises, in different places, in different ways, across your life, holding you back, getting you in to trouble, keeping you small or knocking your confidence?
I believe we all have an Achilles heel. A unique character weakness or vulnerability that at its worst has the potential to bring us down but at lesser degrees can sap our happiness, energy, success or fulfilment. We don’t need an outside enemy to sabotage our happiness or prevent our success. Frequently we do that all by ourselves. We become our own internal nemesis.
An Achilles heel is a deeply ingrained defective belief system that tends to dominate the entire personality, overshadowing the events and course of the individual’s life. It forms in childhood and is a product of our early year experiences. It is of course negative. We may have many negative beliefs about ourselves, others and the world and hopefully we also have some positive ones but our Achilles heel is recognisable for its strength and pervasiveness. It feels fundamental to us.
Some common Achilles heels are thinking, feeling or believing that:
- You are not good enough
- You are defective or bad
- You are not lovable
- You must be perfect
- It is not ok to be you / yourself
- Something bad is going to happen
- Your needs are not important / too much / won’t be met
Take “I am not good enough” as an example. If this is your Achilles heel it will be likely that no matter how well you are doing in life, no matter how good your relationships are with family and friends, you will have difficulty really taking those in and enjoying them.
You will live on the edge waiting to be found out. Feeling like an imposter. Trying to be better. Judging yourself harshly. Afraid that when people really get to know you they will realise what you already know.
It may hold you back from success, stop you going for promotions, stop you attracting in the perfect partner. It will most certainly stop you shining in the way you could, if you just believed you were good enough.
It may create great stress in your life as you work harder, study hard, try harder, always trying to finally become good enough.
It drives you. It underlies your behaviour. It underscores the successes, happiness and fulfilment you do have, not letting you really soak them in and be nourished by them.
If you could change this negative core belief and completely believe you are good enough, a lot of tension, stress and self-doubt would immediately be dropped. You’d most likely be more authentic, braver and resilient in your life. You could try and fail and it wouldn’t matter so much. You could try and succeed and really enjoy the success. You wouldn’t care so much what other people might think because you’d have a deep seated belief in your own worth. Now wouldn’t that be nice!
See the thing is, the problem is NOT that “you are not good enough”. The problems IS that you have a pervasive and defective belief system which happens to be telling you that you are not good enough (or that you are not lovable, or that you need to be perfect, etc.). The belief system is not the truth but belief systems tend to become self-fulfilling prophesies, so while in truth they are defective and untrue, they can still begin to create a reality that matches them. Believe you are not good enough and you’ll start becoming it. Believe you are good enough and you’ll start becoming that.
Unfortunately there is no magic wand to change your Achilles heel. Changing a negative core belief takes, time, patience and work BUT it can be done. And while you are working on it, it can be managed so that its influence in your life is kept under wraps. The starting point is to become aware of it, so that it stops sneaking up on you and so that you can start to control its impact. You know the saying….keep your friends close but keep you enemies even closer. This is one enemy that you want to keep a strong eye on!
If you think it’s time to take control of your personal Achilles heel, consider contacting me. It’s always easier to see clearly when someone else walks the road with you and helps to illuminate the path. I’m a skilled and experienced professional who’s good at doing that. Check me out at www.ericamckinney.com