Know Your Enemies

You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.
— Winston Churchil

The most basic aspect of any type of situation is to know your enemy, or in most cases, your opposition.  This theory dates far back, even to the Art of War written by Sun Tzu, an ancient Chinese warrior.  But the most important thing to know is that without an ample amount of knowledge about your enemy, you could enter situations completely unprepared and experience negative outcomes that you never knew existed.

Knowing More

Knowing is one of the most important things to take into consideration when you enter any type of situation.  Whether you are attending a business meeting or if you are having a small conversation with a potential partner, it is of the utmost importance to know more about your opposition than they know about you.  This is because once you have gathered this intel, you will be able to analyze your enemy and determine what the best cause of action is.  One of the largest benefits to having self-confidence is that you can take what you know and turn it into actionable intelligence.

Why are they an Enemy?

The first thing that you will want to consider when you begin to analyze your opposition is to determine why they are an enemy in the first place.  Determine what it is that makes you different from them or if there are significant things that you do not like about them.  Being able to realize their faults is one of the best ways to break them down.  As an example, is someone in your office disloyal?  Knowing why you don’t like them will give you the foundation to find out more about them.

Networking for Information

Generally our enemies find themselves to be rather well connected and confident, not to mention that they might be liked by everyone.  If this is the situation, you will have to do a little bit of leg work to find trusted network connections to find more information about your enemy.  The number one thing that you will want to avoid doing is assuming that you know everything about them, simply because no one knows everything.  Talk to trusted colleagues and dig for information that you may find useful.  This is when you should consider wining and dining.

Monitoring Behavior

One of the main methods of gathering information about an enemy, whether from a military standpoint or from a personal one is to monitor the behavior of your opposition.  It is imperative that you remain as stealthy as possible, otherwise you could find yourself being exposed as a stalker.  Be natural, monitor how they act with different people and how they act when they’re alone.  Keep in mind that if you see them as an enemy, they probably see you as one as well.

Digging into the Past

People don’t just decide to become worthy of being your enemy overnight, instead, they most likely have a history of compromising situations that they have been in.  Perhaps their self-confidence has put them in a difficult situation with other people like you before.  Look into the past of your enemy to see if they have any conflicts and how they handled them.  This could give you even more information about how you can approach them in the future and how you can use their weaknesses against them.  The past has a lot of information that you may not see right in front of your eyes.

Being Patient

Although you might assume that finding information about your enemy will happen in a few minutes like it does in the movies, it will take far longer than you may have anticipated.  With that being said, it is important that you find a variety of different ways to be patient and stay patient through the process.  You won’t want to react to your enemy too quickly or expose them before you have enough information behind you.  Know your timing, find an appropriate way to expose them and you will find that all of your hard work would have paid off.

Remember to Watch Your Back

As previously mentioned, if someone is your enemy there is a high probability that they are your enemy as well.  With that being said, it is important that you take care of yourself otherwise you could find your dirty secrets and difficulties exposed as well.  Take out your James Bond confidence and use it to your advantage as the more self-confidence that you have, the harder it will be for you to break.  Learning how to watch your back is also a remarkable achievement for someone who is looking to learn about self-improvement.  It will show you what your weaknesses are and provide you with the motivation that you need to better yourself and become indestructible in the eyes of your enemy.

Remember, “It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.”