It is often said, "To be the man, you have to beat the man." Often this phrase is used to express a desire to be the strongest and most powerful person in a particular field, but one must wonder if this quote actually goes deeper.
What if "the man" that needs to be beat is actually one's own personal demons and addictions?
Too often in our society we are bombarded with identity issues and insecurities that leave us uncertain of who we are and what we are capable of. We allow our brokenness to become our identity. We carry our baggage into our jobs, our friendships, our relationships and even our lifestyles. Too often we are destroyed by our personal demons and we destroy the lives of the ones we love.
So, the question how do we beat "the man"?
How do we battle our personal demons and become victorious on the other side? How do we remain strong throughout the fight to insure the ultimate "one, two, three?"
1.) Identifying the problem: When it comes to fighting our personal demons, the first thing that is required is identifying the issues. For some the issues could be a variety of insecurities. For others, the issues could be broken relationships that seem impossible to mend.
When the insecurity is identified it allows the human brain to create a pathway to an appropriate solution. using the metaphor of a fight or a wrestling match, if you know who your opponent is you can study their attacks and their defenses for a better chance of victory.
As a large fan of professional wrestling, I often find myself watching episodes of WWE's flagship show Monday Night Raw, both new and old. As I watch these over the weeks I notice rivalries form and develop. As I watch over the years, I quickly learn the strengths and the weaknesses of the WWE Superstars. As the storylines develop, it is easy to see which performers truly know their opponents due to the fact that they have faced them time and time again.
Over a series of matches, one professional wrestler gets to know their opponent's in-ring offenses as well as their defenses. At the same time, the two Superstars even get to know the personality of their opponent. This knowledge is genuinely beneficial when looking for victory in the obstacle that the professional wrestler is facing.
In the reality of fighting our insecurities or our addictions, we must also get to know our opponent just as intently as the two WWE Superstars gets to know one another. By "getting to know our opponent" I am suggesting that we pay close attention to the big and little details that make up our insecurities.
For example, an insecurity that I feel like I am continuously tackling is my relationship with my family. On my Mother's side of the family I feel a level of closeness that seems to never diminish, yet, on my Father's side of the family I struggle to fit in or become part of the fold. In order to conquer this insecurity, I must first do some major soul searching to discover every detail of the insecurity and how it relates to my family members. I must pick apart the tiniest aspect and analyze it in order to better understand. In my case, I need to gain an understanding off my role in the insecurity as well as the role of the family members that I struggle to relate to.
2.) Strategize: Once we have identified our personal demons and we get to know "the man" better than we may know ourselves than we can then strategize on how to defeat our personal opponent. Now, the truth is, the strategy that we create will be different depending on what person demon or insecurity we are facing.
As warriors we need to know what our attacks are going to be in order to disorient our opponent. We can't only know know what our next move will be, but we must also know what our next few steps will be as well as the future attacks of our opponent. We must know how our insecurities or our personal demons will stack us throughout the battle. By knowing how our insecurities and personal demons will attack us throughout the battle, we can better strategize on how to defeat them when the time is right.
Looking further into my example of my own personal insecurity with my family, I must develop a strategy on to how to close in the gap of awkwardness that has formed between my family and myself. After spending long hours into figuring out the intricate details that make up the heavy insecurity, I now am expected to develop a strategy that will help defeat this existing insecurity. Some examples of strategic steps that I could take would be; cutting out time throughout the day/week to communicate with these family members in order allow them to better know me and it will allow me to better get to know them. I could also find activities that could better bond us together as a family.
Now, with any strategy there is the opportunity for setbacks and pitfalls. There is always an opportunity of failure, but we must never allow that to defeat us, we must actually have a strategy to compete with that failure and set us back on the track for victory. Within our strategy, we create ways to find victory even when we struggle and lose.
For example, while I try to build a better relationship with my father's side of the family, I understand that I may not achieve victory right away. To be honest, I can bet that I will be met with failure time and time again. yet, if I want to defeat this insecurity that was buried me, I must keep trying.
3.) Fight for victory: Here it is! The moment of truth! After identifying our personal demons and strategizing the battles. It is now time to fight. Now, this fight may seemingly have no end in sight, but the most important part of the fight is the beginning.
When we are fighting our personal demons and our insecurities it is important to realize why we are fighting. Every person's reason to fight is personal, therefore it is different for everybody. For some it could be for self-preservation, for others it may be for family members such as kids and spouses, and for others it may be a valued relationship. This reason is personal to every person.
Now, one of the most common misconceptions is that the fight will one day end. The truth is, when we are fighting our personal demons it is an ongoing battle that we must face daily. There may be times where we feel as if we are winning our battles, there may be times where we feel as if we are losing these battles, regardless we need to keep fighting.
So, look yourself in the mirror. Look your insecurities and your personal demons in the eye; don't blink. Don't break your gaze. Let your demons know that the fight of their lives is about to start.
You must ask yourself, "Do you want to be the man?"
Now, tell yourself, "Than you have to beat the man."
The man is yourself: every single one of your insecurities, every personal demon, every addiction. Stay strong and never stop fighting to be a better person.
Anthony K. Giesick
Actions are taken everyday that help make this world better and I just want to share them with you.