In this chapter, we'll talk about:
how to silence your inner bully.
200 positive words we can use to describe ourselves.
+3 journal prompts.
"How can I be authentic and honest as an anonymous blogger? I want to become that blanket friendly face and not have people make any assumptions based on who I am or what I look like. I don't want to talk myself out of the excitement of it all... Some of these journal entries could be anyone's, and depending on that entry, the thought of that can be saddening; we all feel things and want to reach out to those sharing our thoughts and emotions so we can help one another."
- From Girlboss.Guru's personal journal, April 2021
WE SPEND MORE TIME WITH OURSELVES THAN WE DO WITH any other human on the planet. We live internally because we think internally. Therefore, we silently criticise and bully ourselves into being something other than what we are in that moment. And when we fall short of those we see to have, want and do more (through our unnecessary yet automatic comparisons), there's a constant stream of ammunition we use against ourselves to punish the parts of us—our hearts and souls—that just want to be. We not only accept friendly fire, but we initiate and, sometimes, encourage it.
Oftentimes, our inner critic and the terrifying bully alongside him/her win, because our hearts and souls are too afraid to challenge their negativity; it's easier to cower and succumb to their torment than it is to risk putting our confidence in an awkward or dangerous position. It's easier to avoid a social gathering than to face how anxious large crowds make us feel, so we choose bullets labelled 'cowardly' and 'fearful' and 'disappointing' and pull the trigger until we bail and opt not to ask for help because we think we don't deserve it. Would words such as 'brave' and 'honest' and 'human' not be better suited?
Though we may not have been able to stand up to the big kid at school who always had it in for us, we should be able to stand up to ourselves—to self-inflicted mental injury, to our inner critic/bully. It can be more of a struggle facing parts of us we're uncomfortable or unhappy with than physically standing before someone's fists, and we must accept the difficulty as a challenge. Forcing our mistakes and regrets 'out of sight, out of mind' actually has the opposite effect—they fester as we ruminate, and form even nastier gangs against the parts of us we're proud of and happiest with.
We cannot control the actions of a third party, but we can control our own actions. When the inner bully and the inner critic join forces to bring us down, we already have the tools and teams necessary to form a decent blockade against the debris they haul. We own thick shields, solid defences and precise weapons we can use to protect us, then strike back...
The trick, at first, is to learn about the benefits of affirmations. These are 100% positive words and phrases we can recite internally or aloud when the bully is on our case. For example, "I made a mistake; I will never live this down" can be re-phrased in a kinder and calmer way. Instead, we should tell ourselves, "It's OK—I'm a human being. I'll learn from this and move on." By removing the words we associate with negativity and in this case failure and embarrassment, we replace the low mood it causes and instead, we can change our pre-programmed response.
Open Your Journal
Now you know a bit more about how to silence your inner bully and how to use positive affirmations, turn to a blank page in your notebook to answer the following questions:
How many times a day do you put yourself down?
Write down some of the negative things you have said about yourself recently, then re-write them using the positive affirmations technique as discussed above.
Time yourself - in 10 minutes, free write/list as many positive words as you can to describe yourself. Can you reach 200+?
Download your FREE 200 Positive Words Infographic.
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