Over the years of listening to your Inner Bully, you’d realize that they are not a creative bunch. They usually have the same things to tell you, over and over again. No innovation, nothing different, just the same dry words.
What are these words they’re constantly throwing up then?
When I sat down and gave it a thought, I realized these were all my fears. They were carefully handpicked to hit me at the right spot. This confirms that our Inner Bullies are good at analysis. We’ve provided them with the initial data of fear (like the time before you went up on stage for an elocution competition in English class) and then reinforced it with embarrassment (maybe you didn’t do so well in your elocution or people made fun of you and that made you not want to go up on stage again). Our Inner Bully took this data, gauged the weak points and formulated the apt statements (almost like a catchy copy on a billboard) to use against us. Years later, we don’t know why we feel like this.
Well, let’s start by identifying what caused these fears. It could be something as small as a rude comment your classmates made in the 3rd grade to having some of your best work rejected. There is no big or small. I recently read somewhere – someone who drowns in 7 feet of water is as dead as someone who drowns in 20 feet of water. What that incident made you feel in that moment, gave your brain a signal that you never want to feel like that again, and so began the birth of your Inner Bully.
So here’s what we’re going to do. Take a sheet of paper and pull a straight line running through the center, from the head to the toe. Make two columns – one labelled ‘Inner Bully’ and put your name on the other one. Under the ‘Inner Bully’ section write down everything your Inner Bully says. Put them down in crisp bullet points. Don’t miss out on anything. Write down every fear – big, small, invalid, everything.
Now that you have that on paper, choose to accept the challenge. In rebuttal to every statement your Inner Bully said to you, scribble how you’ll prove them wrong. If your bully says you’re too weak to run a marathon, write “I will run a marathon this year” or like in my case my Inner Bully said I couldn’t write and even if I did, who would read it. I wrote “I will start my own blog” and you my dear person are reading it. Take that, Inner Bully.
You may think this is a childish exercise. Well, it may be but it really allows you to understand the frugal and baseless comments you allow your Inner Bully to tell you. More than anything, it lets you challenge these statements and put a plan into action for what you must do next.
As you go on to complete the challenges you set out for yourself, strike out the now invalid comment on the left-hand side column. Strike out all your fears one by one. It will definitely kick your Inner Bully on its backside and out of your mind.
Until next time.