Love the Life you Lead. Fall 2014.
Can You Quit Your Self-Bully?
1. A negative voice in your head that seems to exist to criticize, belittle, create self-doubt, and decrease self-worth. Gets louder and more creative as change, risk and growth are pursued. See also, negative or limiting self-talk, gremlin, inner critic/demon/judge.
I have found very few people who do not struggle at some time with a Self-Bully. A person’s level of success, wealth, education or spirituality, has little affect on dampening the self-bullies pokes and prods. So what is this little creature all about and what can we do to take control of the thoughts bouncing around in our heads?
What I have found is that many forms of Self-Bullying are variations on Not Enough. We live in an advertising and media driven society, the energy of “compare and despair” and the fear of missing out or not being ____ enough helps drive sales, public opinion and a lot of personal insecurity. The fear of not being: young enough, pretty enough, smart enough, tall enough, educated/experienced enough, wealthy enough, sexy enough, lovable enough—fill in the blanket with your personal favorite—draws out our Self-Bully who is being an over-active bodyguard trying to protect us from getting hurt.
If you don’t grow, or risk, or change you won’t expose yourself to the unknown and potentially fail, or get embarrassed, or succeed for that matter. Perfectionism plays in the Not Enough playground, as does Procrastination and his friends Overwhelmed and Imposter Syndrome.
Not Enough stops so many of us from even starting on the path of our dreams.
So, here is something else I believe. I believe that we are all here to thrive—not just exist, not merely survive, but to flourish, grow and prosper. I believe that every one of us has the power to change our thoughts and know that we are worthy of joy, love and abundance. So I am challenging you.
Take a 7-day Self-Bully Break.
Here is how it works:
1. Notice when you are knocking yourself down. When “I am” is followed by anything less than kind or loving. Stop, take a breath, and really hear what the Self-Bully is saying. No judgment, just notice. Bullies hate having the spotlight really shine on them.
2. Re-frame your thought. Example—Instead of I am fat and hopeless when the jeans didn’t fit, maybe it wasn’t really about me, but it was the wrong size or cut of jeans? Instead of I am stupid, try I didn’t know that. When I know better, I can do better. Even, That isn’t true for me can take the heat and power out of a Self-Bully’s attack.
3. Compliment yourself. At least twice a day, when waking up and going to sleep, acknowledge how fabulous you actually are. See if you can give yourself two different compliments everyday. Use “I am ______” as your format.
4. Gratitude diary. Everyday write down 5 things you are grateful for—5 new things every day. Shifting our focus to gratitude reminds us of all the blessings and good things we take for granted. Think about it—clean water, a hot shower, the ability to taste, electricity—so many miracles at our fingertips—just amazing.
What would be possible if the volume of your inner critic were turned down to a whisper? What if you could approach your goals and dreams with a Self-Cheerleader, championing you to be as big and joy-filled as possible?
I know that you are Enough, do you?
Carol Dacey-Charles, ACC, CPCC