The definition of a bully or bullying is:
Seeking to harm, intimidate, or coerce someone who is perceived as vulnerable. An ongoing and deliberate misuse of power in relationships through repeated verbal, physical and/or social behavior that intends to cause harm.
If you see someone being bullied, what do you do?
Do you turn away? Do you try to help?
What if you’re the bully? What if the victim of that bullying is also you?
We’re warned to watch out for those bullying our children. We would get right in there and do something about it and put a stop to it as soon as possible. You’d do everything you could to help that child recover and be ok.
Have you ever paid enough attention to the thoughts going on in your own head to hear that someone is bullying YOU?
Self-bullying is the act of pushing, pressuring, judging, and criticizing yourself to do, feel and think in ways that hurt or sabotage you.
You know I’m all-over finding ways to show self-love, especially when it doesn’t include a trip to the spa or buying a new outfit.
I’m more into learning about the ways to show love to that inner you, the one that doesn’t care about new clothes or younger looking skin.
The purest act of self-love we can do for ourselves is in the way that we talk to ourselves.
Talking to ourselves in a negative and belittling way is the most constant and damaging thing we can do. It cancels out all of the other ways we try to do nice things for ourselves and it’s more powerful that anything nice other people say to us, even those we love the most.
You know what I’m talking about. Someone can tell you that you look really nice and in your head you’re thinking how awful you look and that they’re just saying that to be nice.
There are so many examples of this I could share.
But I know you know.
We’re all guilty of this one!
Imagine if you could change those thoughts!
Imagine if you recognized those thoughts and got rid of them instead of letting them take over and influence how you feel.
What a different life we would have.
There’s power there and that’s what we’re going to talk about today.
Mel Robbins said, “SILENCE, then EVICT that bully that lives in your head.”
I think it’s important to remember that it’s not your brain’s intent to harm you or to even be mean, it’s only goal is to try to protect you…to take the easy way and stay at where you’ve always been comfortable, what you have been used to for a long time… probably what you were modeled at an early age.
Self-bullying chips away at our self-esteem and it causes anxiety and depression to increase.
Did you know that we feed our self-bully without even realizing it?
I’ve put together a list of ways that we commonly do this.
Listen to my list and see if you recognize yourself doing any of these.
Criticism to motivate action
Saying YES to please others
Looking for what you do wrong
Pressuring yourself to do more/also known as overworking
Giving your Self-bully a stage to perform in your brain/ allowing yourself to overthink
Ignoring Your Self-Bully
Trusting other’s opinions before your own
Keeping your self-bullying a secret
Did you hear anything that sounds familiar?
Write it down.
Watch for it to show up.
Do you want to change this way of thinking?
How do you do it? Where do you start?
First… realize that it takes time. This isn’t something you’re going to change overnight or maybe even completely get over…ever.
But you can begin by simply becoming aware.
Recognizing that you’re bullying yourself is the first step.
You’ll start recognizing it as it happens and that’s when you can stop it.
When I say stop it, that has to be done in a kind way, or you’re still being the bully.
Don’t beat yourself up for doing it and bully yourself about bullying yourself.
Recognize the unkind words and replace them with something kind you know to be true about yourself.
Now, while you might not be able to stop your bully from showing up, you can try to be a friend to her, and help reform her so she starts supporting you instead of trying to constantly throw you under the bus.
As I’ve taught for a long time, you can start by become your own best friend.
It’s always a good rule to speak to yourself with kindness. Find a way to speak and motivate in kind ways. How does your best friend speak to you? How do you speak to your best friend? Use that as a guide.
What else can you do?
Give that inner bully a name and call her out when she tries to sabotage the good that you’re doing. Remember, it’s your brain trying to protect you from doing something that isn’t comfortable. So, reassure her, I’ve named mine Patrice, so I say, Patrice, it’s ok. I know that I can do this. It’s all going to be ok. I don’t need you to protect me. I got this.
It’s also very helpful to remember that just because you hear it in your head, it doesn’t make it true. Repeat that over and over so that when something pops into your head that makes you feel bad, remember…it’s not true!
How would it feel if you offered yourself unconditional love?
I’ve been learning about self-compassion. It’s fascinating!
Did you know that compassion, not criticism, is the best motivator?
Think about it like this:
When your child was first learning to walk, did you yell at them every time they fell down? No, you were there, helping them get back up and try again. No mean names were said. Remember that the next time you criticize yourself for not knowing how to do everything perfectly.
Here’s a few more tips I have for you to retrain your brain into more compassionate ways to talk to yourself:
-Write a list of 5 things you’re good at. 5 things you’ve accomplished recently, & 5 nice things you’ve done for someone else. It’s eye opening when you realize all the good you are doing. Changing your focus to the positive thing about you instead of everything you haven’t done will give less space for that bully to show up.
-Give yourself opportunities to show yourself that you can be trusted. Make a promise to yourself and keep it. Show yourself that you will always show up for you. Gaining trust in yourself makes you feel stronger when you get attacked in those weaker moments.
– Call that bully out to a friend or a loved one. Tell them what she keeps saying to you. Sometimes just saying it outloud takes all of the power away from it. You see how untrue it is and even if you can’t, your trusted friend can help you see what’s true and what’s not.
-Don’t bury your feelings. It’s ok to feel things, in fact, it’s very healthy. The problem comes when you start judging your feelings. Don’t judge them as bad or something to be ashamed of, just acknowledge them.
-Check the facts. Is what your bully saying a fact? I’m willing to bet that’s a no. Unless it can be proven in a court of law or by scientific study, it’s not a fact. It’s an opinion or a thought. Get rid of those.
And my closing thought about this…
Just take the next step. Don’t focus on the big picture and how hard it seems to stop this nasty habit, choose one thing I’ve talked about today and break it down into smaller steps and acknowledge that baby steps are still steps forward.
You got this! I’m here cheering you on!
Before I leave today, I’d like to remind you about the guide I made for you last week. It’s called the Overburdened No More Playbook and it’s filled with great ideas of how you can let go of a burden that is making you feel overburdened! Would you like to have it to print off so you can put it up on your mirror or put in your Travelers Notebook so you can read it whenever you need it? It’s totally free and you can grab it HERE. It’s full of great tips and I’m excited to share it with you.