My bully never lets anything go by without some comment, remark or evaluation. “Your not smart enough,” “You’re too old,” “Something is wrong with you,” “You can’t do it,” “You never finish anything,” “This is too hard,” “You’re stupid,” “You are hopeless.” “You can’t afford that.” “You’re not good enough.” And, if that is not enough, she plagues me with guilt about what I shoulda, coulda, woulda done.

What is your Bully saying to you? Our Bully is our Negative Self-Talk. Self-talk is a running internal dialog and commentary on everything you see and do. It is what we say to ourselves but would never dream of saying to our friends.

Negative self-talk can influence our self-esteem, outlook, energy level, performance, and relationships with others. It can even affect our health determining how we handle stressful events, or how easily we replace unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones. It creates our emotional states making us feel either calm or worried.

Negative self-talk is usually a mixture of half-truths, poor logic, and distortions of reality that perpetuate negative emotions, such as pessimism, guilt, fear, and anxiety.

In the beginning, you probably formed these negative ideas about yourself from things you heard from a parent, a teacher or some other authority figure. Now, as an adult, you have made them a part of your own personality. In effect you have let those people take up residence in your head and determine for you how you live your life.

Okay…knowing that, now what? Self-talk, both good and bad, is present in everyone all of the time. You can, however, learn to train your mind so that it is your servant and not your master.

First you must become aware of your self-talk. Begin to notice when it shows up. When you catch your negative self-talk, just take a deep breath, relax, and remove yourself from the situation. Get up and stretch, or take a walk, or get a drink of water in order to interrupt your train of thought and get out of the negative place in your mind.

Write down some of your negative thoughts and then ask yourself “Are the things I’m saying to myself really true? Or, are there other possibilities and meanings that I could get from this situation?”

Then replace your negative thoughts with realistic, positive thoughts by developing what are called positive affirmations. Positive affirmations are statements of what you want to be, do or have in the NOW. Here are some guidelines:

Personalize your affirmations with words like “I,” “me,” and “my.”

Make your affirmations state your own goals, wants, and values—not someone else’s.

State your affirmations in the present tense, “I am healthy and strong,” I have all the money I need right now,” “I live in peace and harmony.” If affirmations are in future tense (“I will…”), the future never comes.

Make your affirmations believable and realistic so that you can say them with sincerity. You can begin with small, believable and easily achievable statements and then work your way up to bigger accomplishments.

State affirmations for what you “do want” not what you “don’t want.” To say “I don’t eat junk food,” only focuses your attention on the  behavior you don’t want. Instead say, “I eat nutritious foods.”

Make affirmations short and easy to remember. Catchy slogans stay with us longer than essays.

    Maintain your positive self-talk by repeating your positive affirmations often. Fill your mind with uplifting ideas. Comfort yourself when things go wrong. Let your self-talk be like the soothing, supportive words of a counselor, friend, or mentor. Remember…

Just as gardeners cultivate their plots keeping them free from weeds, and growing the flowers and fruits they desire, so may you tend the garden of your mind, weeding out all the useless, and impure thoughts, and cultivating toward perfection the flowers and fruits of right, useful, and pure thoughts. By pursuing this process, you will sooner or later discover that you are the master gardener of your soul, the director of your life.

—James Allen

One Response to I LIVE WITH A BULLY!

  • Dori Thomas says:

    Yes, I’ve been fighting this bully myself for sooo long! As Don Miguel Ruiz states in The Four Agreements, “The word is pure magic – the most powerful gift we have as humans – and we use it against ourselves.”
    This is a sad and true statement. We as a society are constantly putting everyone down so that we can build ourselves up. As a parent this statement rings so true as we are able to help shape and define what that little voice is saying in the minds of our children as they grow and become functioning adults. Break the cycle today! Start sharing positive affirmations with yourself, your children and all those around you! Great blog Sally!