Inner Bullying: What it Is and How You Can Beat It
There has been a lot of attention put onto bullying and its negative consequences on children’s self-esteem, self-worth and overall development. We tend to condemn bullying in all its forms – whether it is amongst children or when adults engage in this type of behavior. We acknowledge bullying as something we should prevent from happening and call it out when we witness it happening to others.
However, a related subject that tends to get much less attention is the inner bullying we subject ourselves to. This type of toxic behavior is self-afflicted – instead of someone else bullying us, we become our own bully. This can take the form of the negative self-talk we conduct with ourselves and the limiting beliefs we believe about ourselves (most often untrue) and the negative storylines we create that in turn begin to shape our reality. For many of us, the result of this is long-lasting damage to our self-esteem and self-confidence.
So how do we go about dealing with this inner bully? Is it even possible to get rid of those hurtful, damaging and loud voices that tell us we are not good enough, not smart enough, not beautiful enough? How are we supposed to lower those voices when we are constantly being bombarded with social media that reinforces those negative beliefs?
Fortunately, the latest neuroscience research has shown it is indeed possible to change the neural wiring of the brain where these beliefs reside. They are nothing more than synapses or neural networks that can be rewired to reflect new, more empowering beliefs. Just like going to the gym and exercising with repetitions to build muscle, we can work on building up new beliefs and storylines about ourselves through intentional practice. The trick is to tap into the parts of yourself that know that you are good enough, you are smart enough and you are beautiful enough – and to reinforce those thoughts and beliefs instead.
Of course, just like going to the gym, this takes time, dedication and patience. These negative beliefs have developed throughout your entire lifetime, so it will take some time to replace those beliefs with more positive, empowered beliefs. It is important for you to level set expectations on how soon you will see results once you embark on this journey to deal with your inner bully, but through concerted effort you will begin to lower the voice of your inner bully and turn up the volume on your inner cheerleader.
This inner cheerleader has access to your brilliance, resourcefulness and creativity. When we tap into this part of ourselves, it’s much easier to believe a new story where we can overcome those limiting beliefs. And from this place we can take actions, behaviors and make decisions that put us in the driver’s seat of our life. We can choose from a place of confidence instead of a place of victimhood. Once we do this, we can watch as our whole life unfolds in new and exciting ways where we begin to make choices from a more empowered place. Are you ready to beat your inner bully?