In this world it is no longer enough to face your demons, you have to face them, sit them down put chains round their necks and make them work for you, inner demons are not some mythical entity whispering to at night, or at least for me they weren’t ! they are the moments just before you do something and you stop because you feel silly or out of place or conspicuous.
Once you sit down and think about as I did these Demons are not entirely against you, in fact like me if you listen to them and take time to digest their message they will tell you so much about where you are and where you need to be, crucially they can sometimes be almost precognitive in nature, so thus simply facing them is not enough, to face something is to accept it’s existence to own it is to bend it to your will.
To attempt to be a superhuman without demons is to strive for the impossible, the two situations simply cannot co-exist, There are many but for me these were the main ones.
One of the main ones that manifests in a number of ways, usually when starting something new or when trying to perform something for the first time in front of others, a good example of this is my returning to the gym, see I trained religiously from when I was 14 to when I was 21, I achieved quite a lot in that time, I became quite strong and was in really quite good shape at the end, then due to allowing laziness to overcome me and through losing sight of my goal I stopped, I didn’t train down or adjust my diet accordingly I just stopped, and the results were devastating I went from 23 stone with a 34 inch waist to 25 stone with a 56 inch waist in a matter of a year and a half, I was a mess I could hardly move and I was unhappy, really unhappy, this went up and down for a while as I started diets and stopped them when I didn’t lose weight immediately and eventually it started to really affect my physical well being, fast forward a couple of years and what I really needed was a comeback I needed to get back into the gym or start some kind of physical activity to save myself, but I was embarrassed, I didn’t want to be out in public because of how I looked I din’t want to do anything that drew attention to myself because of how I felt, many times I faced that demon and started something but didn’t ever see it through because the message was not understood.
If you stub your toe it hurts, and you curse, then you sit down take some deep breaths and the pain subsides then you just carry on about your daily business until you stub your toe again, that is because the pain left it subsided and you calmed down, owning this particular demon means that when the pain is applied instead of stopping and having a minute you use the constant nagging doubting voice to propel you forward because that is the only way to chain and silence the demon for ever, and every minute on a treadmill or every weight I lift the demon fades and my embarrassment with it.
Already touched on previously this particular demon plays on our need to have instant gratification and has many helpers in the modern switched on social media savvy world, I suspect that this one is as old as time to be fair (as impatience appears to be part of the human conditon) this is the voice in the back of your head when you have eaten clean all week and the scale has not moved or the waistband on your pants is still as tight, with absolutely no exception change takes time and the further you are down the road the longer it takes to walk back, but we are bombarded every minute of every day with get rich quick schemes, fat loss programs that offer the body of your dreams in weeks instead of years, here is a real kick in the ass from reality there is no shortcut and it takes effort, and effort takes energy, so many times I listened to this demon and considered quitting what I was doing after all it was right wasn’t it I had tried and tried and got nowhere, but effort compounds and time creates change what this demon is actually saying is you haven’t been doing it long enough yet and you can either quit or keep going, I finally realised this and I kept going owning that taunting voice and making it work for me reminding me that I should not expect overnight results but rather baton down the hatch for the long haul, after all it took more than one night to get to where I was !
Fear of the unknown
This one is simple and I would imagine is a demon everybody is familiar with, trying something new is sometimes a hurdle in itself and usually you come up with a million and one different reasons why it won’t work, this is the shortest of my demons to discuss because it is so straightforward, the best example for me is yoga, I had never given it a second thought as something for me to do, after all I was a bodybuilder what did I want with yoga? , then later on I was massively overweight and completely inflexible so what did I want with yoga and how would I even start ?, of course what I should have been thinking by owning this demon and listening to what it was actually saying is “Everything I have done so far has made me what I am, so am I happy with what I am ? ” the answer predictably was no, you cannot expect to do the same thing every day and get a different outcome, somebody much more prophetic than me once said that and it is true, so instead of using this voice to stop me trying new exercises new nutrition and new experiences I used it as a marker that this was something I haven’t done before and so could not lead back to the same unhappy place I was currently in.
It is too easy to say that life is what you make it and you get out what you put in, but I can honestly say that for me that is pretty much the truth, hopefully the above will help as it helped me to use our inner voice of dissension to drive us forward rather than keep us down, you shouldn’t allow yourself to be manipulated by anybody, let alone yourself !
Additionally I have included the first pictures of me at the top of this post, taken five months apart and with 6 stone lost, I am quite proud to say that I have owned the above demons for a while now!