It can creep up on you. Sneak up from behind and whisper in your ear.
You take a step forward and it will grab at your ankles urging you to step back.
You won't succeed. You won't be understood. Why work so hard? Take a break. Take a longer rest.
It will never push you to push yourself. It will never tell you to suck it up and keep going. That you only get a shot at this thing called life and this will be one more regret at the end of it. It will not remind you of all the positives you have gotten from moving forward. It will subtly question your achievements. It will minimize your accomplishments while pointing out how much your old self is missed.
By old self it means the person that was lost. When I filled my life with artificial fun and ignored how unhappy and empty the shell I had made truly was. That had no idea how to push or grow in this limbo that I had created through the years.
It will tell me to take today off and reconnect with that girl. It will not know how those words will be interpreted. It will not understand how I'm now able to see myself for what I am. How the good and bad are in front of me.
Imagine the present me looking at my own reflection. I see both what I am trying to achieve and what is stopping me getting there. I am aware of my own flaws and that I am still stumbling in some habitual traps. I see it but I'm patient. It took years for me to see this reflection and it will not be an overnight change. I will slowly grow. I'll begin by controlling my natural habits and being actively vigilant against the creeper.
A personal side note that many feel guilty acknowledging. Not all good intentioned advice is created equal. Subconsciously some givers may project their own fears, envy or regrets. Fears of change. They may want to keep the past me within reach to guarantee the past joys. I believe that the more confident and happy I become, the more I can impact others in a similar way. If I'm happy I reflect that subconsciously through words and actions. This can leave a trail of positivity that can in turn change someone's negative mood. Envy and regrets are just an extension of fear. Fear that it may be too late or that I've managed to achieve something that they have not. These are nothing more than emotional blocks that cloud reasoning and stop both them and I from progressing.
Change is available to all. Personal growth will never happen by refusing to face what needs improving in ourselves. You cannot avoid change even if you try. You are not the same person now that you were five or ten years ago. Is it not better to be aware of this and steer those choices in the right direction?
I focus on how much I have grown and where I need to improve in the future. I need to remember that no one knows me better. Without meaning to people may connect by throwing destabilizing phrases or try and tempt me by appealing to my past wants, but if I pay attention to my core self and my true present needs and wants I'll find my own answers.
Trust in yourself to help you progress . People can keep you company but they have their own journeys to take.