5 WAYS TO STAND UP TO YOUR INNER BULLY
As women, many of us have adopted a dialect that keeps us small in a variety of ways.
Her words influence your emotions, thoughts and then your actions. Although She is with you all the time, you may not be aware of the tone of Her voice, or conscious of the unhealthy decisions you made as a result of Her guidance.
For many of us, our Inner Bully has been around since we can remember. She began as a voice within you that wanted to protect you. But when you no longer needed Her safekeeping, She didn’t go away. She morphed into your Inner Bully.
When I was eight years old, I kissed my father gently on the cheek knowing I would never see him again. As my protector exited my life, I quickly had to become my own protector. At that age I had already survived war and sexual abuse. Now, I had to acclimate to the abandonment of my father.
I built a fortress around me; no one was allowed in. I visualized brick walls going up around my heart and told myself silently that no one would ever hurt me again. This allowed me to preserve any childhood I had left. It allowed me moments of being carefree and an opportunity to daydream of a better existence.
As an adult, this bodyguard turned into my Inner Bully. I never expressed my real emotions, troubles, or even day-to-day activity to anyone. I insisted on being the giver, and would not accept affection, love, or support. No one knew the real me, including me. This became a struggle for me well into my thirties. A struggle that pushed away my family and the love of my life.
What I have learned is that you can’t push your Inner Bully away. You have to stand up to Her. Remember that your inner bully has OPINIONS, but you do NOT have to adopt them as your truths. By learning to listen to Her, you can bring Her out of your unconscious so you don’t have to follow her blindly.
Here are 5 tips to help you discredit the voice of your Inner Bully, and start creating the life you crave!
- Gain self-awareness: There is a benefit to taking time to know your Inner Bully. This allows you to hear Her without interacting with Her. Try to remember a life experience when you were hard on yourself. Take a moment to re-experience the emotions from that time. Hold onto them until you have a really good sense of them. Then reflect upon how life events influenced you to be so hard on yourself. When did you first start to do this? What purpose did it serve at the time? What purpose does it serve now?
- Question your Inner Bully so She can lose credibility:
- Who cares? What is your inner bullies judgement really about? Are you trying to please someone? Is this self-imposed pressure worth it?
- Really?? Are the sentiments of your Inner Bully true for who you are TODAY? If this reflection brings you back to a certain experience, this is a direct sign that you need to process and let go of this experience. Remember: regret, failure, and even procrastination feeds your wisdom of today. Make the most of it.
- List evidence for and against Her judgements: It’s time to discredit the voice of your Inner Bully by listing evidence that challenges her beliefs. She may bring up truths from the past, but remind yourself that you have LEARNED from that experience. It’s time to live in the present so make sure that you list the resources, capabilities, and details of who you are today. Plus, you can’t trust anyone who hasn’t failed. Failure = Wisdom
- Breathe 3 times: Your breath is a resource that you have with you at all times, and it can be used for your benefit without anyone knowing. When your Inner Bully begins to get really loud, breathe!!! Take 4-5 seconds to slowly send your inhale into the corners of your lower back. Do the same for the exhale. (If you are pregnant please do not hold your breath).
- Healthy Distraction – get out of your head: Your inner bully exists in your head. It’s time to feel life below the shoulders. Move that body! Get physical and move your energy and mental focus into your body. Do 10-15 minutes of walking, yoga, biking, playing with your children or your dogs and you will find that it may quiet the voice of your Inner Bully almost immediately.