WELLNESS--Most of us have been bullied. It often happens during our adolescent and teenage years and can take form in both verbal and physical abuse. I was bullied from kindergarten all the way through high school, so I can certainly relate all too well.
The tormentor that I want to bring light to today is that of our inner bully. The voice of sabotage, put downs, and painful, recurring messages that we direct toward ourselves.
Ironically, we learn early on from other bullies, one of two things; To either accept their cruelty as truth, or if we have enough strength and self-respect from a young age, to repel their destructive messages. Unfortunately, many of us take these mean and degrading words to heart and we begin to use them as weapons against ourselves.
Constant abuse of any kind can eventually play with our minds and cause us to go into a downward spiral of negative, habitual self-talk. Even with plenty of positive tapes playing in the background, the frequent, underlying message is that “we are not enough.”
So how do we stop the influence of our bully, making way for more happiness, success, and self-esteem?
- Recognize the Voice– Become clear that there is, in fact, a voice that is getting in the way. Begin to see patterns in your thoughts, actions, and inner dialogue that makes you feel bad. Listen to those voices but don’t buy into them. Start to recognize how you bully yourself and put yourself down on an ongoing basis.
- Don’t Believe it– The next step is to STOP believing these messages. The routine we have fallen into is a toxic pattern of self-abuse and it must stop! Begin separating yourself from the negativity and understand that it isn’t the voice of truth or reason. It is simply negative programming.
- Befriend the Bully– Make friends with the bully. Hear what they have to say. Get sensible and send the tyrant gentleness. Like all bullies in our life, all they really need is recognition and love. What we resist, persists. What we love and forgive, dissipates.
- Practice Feeling– Pay close attention to how you feel. What thoughts and words empower and energize you? Which ones drain you and make you feel tired or sad? Eventually, with a little practice, you WILL be able to create a new pattern of positivity, self-love, and becoming your own best friend and support system.
- Spend Time Being Confident – Extend more energy doing those things that make you feel confident. If you constantly push yourself into areas that make you anxious and insecure, it’s fine to a point because it causes you to grow, but make sure that you are also doing many things that you’re great at! Somebody with low self-worth tends to continue patterns that emphasize their feelings of lack. Shift gears, you ARE amazing at many things! Start doing them more often.
- Re-Charge– Continually re-charge your emotional and spiritual batteries. Create a daily practice that keeps you plugged in. Pray, meditate, journal, do yoga, read uplifting books, sing, get creative, and do whatever it takes to keep you balanced and open-hearted. With consistency, you will keep your batteries from becoming dangerously low and therefore avoiding the fall back into old patterns.
From somebody who has lived most of my life feeling unworthy due to early programming, I can tell you that THERE IS HOPE! It will take some consistent effort on your part but if you keep on, keeping on, you will most definitely make positive strides in the direction of regaining your natural state…that of confidence, self-love, worthiness, and a knowing that you are enough just as you are!
(Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Coach Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com. He is the Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!)