She may be a loud, mean bully or the quiet, insidious type. She often shows up when you want to try something new, create something big, make a “mistake”, or meet a new person or idea.
You may recognize her because she says things like:
- You can’t do that
- You are not good enough
- You don’t know anything about that
- You will never succeed
- Everyone else is better than you
- I am an idiot for doing …
- There’s not enough time
- They always say that
- Everyone will laugh at you
- No one will believe you
Once you recognize her, you can consider ways to deal with her, and free yourself from the bullying that holds you back, drains your energy, and makes you feel like less than you truly are.
- Be aware when she shows up, and don’t engage her mean side.
- Recognize her for who she is. She is not the real you.
- Notice what happens when you listen to versus ignore her.
- Bullies like to push for reactions. Do not resist her. What we resist, persists.
- If she will listen, talk to her, gently, without questioning her motives. Be curious about anything you can learn.
- Smile, and show your bully love and kindness – sometimes that’s all a bully needs.
- Choose activities you love, to create more confidence in your mind and heart.
- Talk with a friend about your bully. Sometimes, sharing your feelings helps release them.
- Find books – print or audio – to help support your understanding and state of mind. One of my favorites is Brene Brown’s, The Power of Vulnerability
- Surround yourself with a community of supportive women. Sometimes, it takes a village.
Get familiar with these practices before your bully shows up. Breathe and let out tension when you feel her approaching. When the bully shows up, take a breath and decide which practice works best in the moment. Practice until it becomes a natural part of you. Give a little smile. Laugh at yourself when you can. Remember we are human, not perfect – learning is part of our process and progress.
Create a no bully zone. That place inside where she cannot reach, or when she shows up she cannot bother you. Allow self-love to be louder, and drown out the voices of the bully. Kind of like the little kid who covers their ears and says, “I can’t hear you,” in that sing-song voice. Always, remember to breathe.
For now, I invite you to breathe in love and kindness.
These are just a few tips. If you have others we would love to hear. If you try any of these practices, I would love to hear that too. Please share in the comments below.
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