Are you a Bully… to Yourself?
I am willing to bet big bucks you are not a bully to other people.
I suspect you may be a bully to yourself.
Perhaps occasionally. Perhaps a lot of the time.
Bullying yourself will cripple your creativity, your health, your productivity, your joy, your work in the world and your peace of mind.
It will keep you from bringing your best gifts to the world and prevent you from growing into the fullness and glory of who you really are.
Good news: The bully within can be reformed!
I’ve reformed my own inner bully. Now when she does show up we mostly laugh and tease and even have some hugs. Every week I support clients in liberating themselves from the bully trap. Whew! What a relief!
What is a bully?
My online search for definition of a bully brings up “…a persecutor, oppressor, tyrant, tormentor, intimidator,” and “…one who is habitually cruel, insulting, or threatening..."
You wouldn’t dream of being cruel or insulting to your family members, friends, employees or even to the people who are annoying or troublesome to you, right?
And yet, I wonder, do you say mean things to yourself, berate yourself for mistakes, insult your image in the mirror, make cruel jokes at your own expense, expect yourself to be perfect, put yourself down, devalue your worth, or belittle your accomplishments?
If so, you are not alone. I regularly bullied myself for years and it is one of the first things I work on transforming with most of my private clients.
Self- bullying is heartbreakingly common in our culture and it can be changed in a very short time.
Change your self- bullying to self kindness and you will dramatically increase your health, your creativity, your productivity your joy and your inner sense of peace, joy and wellbeing.
Ready to start? Here are six easy tips you can use today.
1. Begin cultivating kindness toward yourself. Feel the kindness that naturally rises when you think of the ones you love. Notice the sensations and feelings in your body. Know that you can extend those same feelings to yourself.
2. Notice with kind curiosity when you are mean or cruel to yourself. Kindly say to yourself, “ Hmmm there’s that critical voice.” Practice simply noticing it kindly, without fighting it and without letting it take over.
4. Begin looking for the goodness in yourself. Sometimes clients tell me they fear this may make them conceited or too full of themselves. Nope. I’ve seem this change in hundreds of people. When we become more truly kind and appreciative toward ourselves we actually become more loving and appreciative of other people.
4. Write down the goodness. Begin a daily practice of writing down- either as a list or a journal - things you have done that you feel good about or that you like about yourself. If you have trouble with this at first, just write things you love about your life.
5. Encourage yourself. As you look in the mirror - in the bathroom or in the car- say encouraging things to yourself, “Good job.” “You can do it.” “Well done.” “I’m proud of you for trying.” “Good morning, Gorgeous!” What words would you would like to hear? Say those to yourself.
6. Breathe Kindness. Breathe in: Kindness easily flows in and all through your body, your heart and your beingness. Breathe out: Kindness easily flows out into this precious world.
Do you suspect that inner bullying or self - criticism may be affecting your life? Think it might be blocking your creativity, productivity and happiness or holding you back from creating the life and the success you really want?
Let’s talk! Helping people break free from self- bullying is one of my super powers.Send me an email with the subject: Let’s Talk and I’ll get back to you right away.
Check out these two related interviews:
We Are More Radio: Monday April 30 at 10 am pst Listen to my interview with Bruce Langford, Mindfulness Life Coach as he talks about his years of work with bullying prevention, the power of mindfulness and meditation to improve your life and how mindfulness can combat bullying- in our world and in ourselves. Click here to go to the page and once there click the On Air button.
Mindfulness Mode Podcast: Bruce Langford, Mindfulness Life Coach interviews me! I tell a story I have never told in public about a situation where I was publicly harassed by a colleague and about how mean and harsh I used to be with myself and my daily mindfulness practices.
What in your life do you want to create or experience?
In 1972 Barbara Ann Cochran won the gold medal for women’s slalom. Today she coaches other skiers on the mental side of the sport. I loved reading her advice this week because it so closely matches the advice I give myself and my clients on going for the dreams and goals that are calling to us.
Cochran tells skiers:
1. “It’s all about putting in your best effort. Don’t worry about results.”
2. “Build up your confidence by reminding yourself that ‘I can do this’”.
3. “Get what I call the inner climate into a good place emotionally. That is when you start thinking, This is so much fun, I just love — and then you fill in the blank.”
And then, Cochran tells the skiers to smile when they get to the beginning of the race. Smiling she says, “…helps to relieve that tension and it gets you in a really good place to start competing.”
There you go.
Great advice for your next big slalom race… or whatever big leap or little step is calling you.
Are you wanting to book your exhibit, submit your poem, apply for a grant, start a blog, start a business, quit a job, say no to a request, say yes to a crazy idea, start marriage counseling, run your first 5 K or…?
Imagine yourself, going for it like it’s your next Gold medal.
1. Put in your best effort. Focus on the process, on learning, on getting better and better and not on being perfect or achieving perfect outcome.
2. Say to yourself: “I can do this.” Say it when you are looking in the mirror, when you are exercising and whenever you find yourself beginning to worry about the outcome.
3. Pump up your enthusiasm by telling yourself, “This is fun! I love …”
These simple practices will help focus your attention, empower your nervous system and re-wire your brain for success.
And, unlike the brave athletes going for their Olympic goals so valiantly, you and I won’t have to wait another 4 years. Each day gives us many chances to play the game of life with courage, joy, grace and grit.
I'd love to hear from you. What is a goal or dream (big or little) that is calling you now? What happens for you when you try these tips?
1. “ Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
2. “With an eye made quiet by the power of harmony, and the deep power of joy, we see into the life of things.” ~ William Wordsworth
3. “It is only in sorrow bad weather masters us; in joy we face the storm and defy it.” ~ Amelia Barr
4. “Every breath we take, every step we make, can be filled with peace, joy and serenity.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
5. “A leaf fluttered in through the window this morning, as if supported by the rays of the sun, a bird settled on the fire escape, joy in the task of coffee, joy accompanied me as I walked.” ~ Anais Nin
6. “Let your joy be in your journey - not in some distant goal.” ~ Tim Cook
7. “Friendship improves happiness and abates misery, by the doubling of our joy and the dividing of our grief.” ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero
8. ”Joy must be developed from the inside. If we cannot find happiness within ourselves we will not be able to find happiness anywhere." ~ Allan Lokos
9. “Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough.” ~ Emily Dickinson
10. “I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.” ~ Rabindranath Tagore
11. “There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward.” ~ Khalil Gibran
12. “To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.” ~ Mark Twain
13. “We have to embrace obstacles to reach the next stage of joy.” ~ Goldie Hawn
14. “Joy is the serious business of Heaven.” ~ C. S. Lewis
15. “Joy lies in the fight, in the attempt, in the suffering involved, not in the victory itself.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
16. “Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God.” ~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
17. ”Perhaps most important, being in a state of joy is a learned skill, not an innate ability." ~ Donald Altman
18. ”A joyful heart is the normal result of a heart burning with love." ~ Mother Teresa
19. ”People in developing countries have a depth of joy, a richness to which those of us consumed with material things are often blind." ~ Pam Grout
20. “The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci
21. “Somewhere deep inside each of us is the child who was innocent and free and knew that the gift of life was the gift of joy.” ~ Alexander Lowen
A few months ago I started collecting joy quotes in preparation for our yearly RhythmAsana weekend retreat and have been inspired and delighted to find so many that shiver my soul and align my intention. Click here for 15 more perspectives on joy from mystics, scientists, philosophers, business moguls and entertainers.
1. “To know yourself as the Being underneath the thinker, the stillness underneath the mental noise, the love and joy underneath the pain, is freedom, salvation, enlightenment.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
2. ”Think joy, talk joy, practice joy, share joy, saturate your mind with joy, and you will have the time of your life today and every day all your life."
~ Norman Vincent Peale
3. “Joy in looking and comprehending is nature's most beautiful gift.” ~ Albert Einstein
4. “We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.” ~ Buddha
5. “Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” ~ William Arthur Ward
6. “Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let's not be afraid to receive each day's surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy it will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.” ~ Henri Nouwen
7. “If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive.” ~ Eleonora Duse
8. “Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.” ~ Leo Buscaglia
9. “If you are a chef, no matter how good a chef you are, it's not good cooking for yourself; the joy is in cooking for others - it's the same with music.” ~ will.i.am
10. “Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant nor the served. But all other pleasures and possessions pale into nothingness before service which is rendered in a spirit of joy.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
11. “We will be more successful in all our endeavors if we can let go of the habit of running all the time, and take little pauses to relax and re-center ourselves. And we'll also have a lot more joy in living.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
12. “I have drunken deep of joy, and I will taste no other wine tonight.” ~ Percy Bysshe Shelley
13. “True happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done, the zest of creating things new.” ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery
14. “When I wake up every morning, I smile and say, 'Thank you' Because out of my window I can see the mountains, then go hiking with my dog and share her bounding joy in the world.” ~ Carole King
15. “Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.”
~ Joseph Campbell
Cultivating joy can an act of courage, a spiritual practice and a powerful way to become a force of healing in the world.
Cultivating joy does not mean ignoring pain and suffering but choosing- again and again, even in your toughest times - to align with your inner core of joy.
Cultivating joy rewires your brain to help you become more compassionate, resilient, energized and purposeful.
My Favorite Joy Quotes: Part 1
“We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy.” ~ Joseph Campbell
"Consciousness in its primacy is joy. Once we have a taste of this primal joy, we can never forget it.” ~ Dr. Amit Goswami PhD
“If you carry joy in your heart, you can heal any moment.” ~ Carlos Santana
“A thing of beauty is a joy forever: its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness.” ~ John Keats
“If we're destroying our trees and destroying our environment and hurting animals and hurting one another and all that stuff, there's got to be a very powerful energy to fight that. I think we need more love in the world. We need more kindness, more compassion, more joy, more laughter. I definitely want to contribute to that.”
~ Ellen DeGeneres
“The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind that gloom, yet within our reach is joy. Take joy.” ~ Fra Angelico
“True happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done, the zest of creating things new.” ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery
“For happiness one needs security, but joy can spring like a flower even from the cliffs of despair.” ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh
“The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy.” ~ Henri Nouwen
“The walls we build around us to keep sadness out also keep out the joy.” ~ Jim Rohn
“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.” ~ Rumi
“Joy is the holy fire that keeps our purpose warm and our intelligence aglow.”
~ Helen Keller
"Go forth into the busy world and love it. Interest yourself in its life; mingle kindly with its joys and sorrows." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.”
~ Franklin D. Roosevelt
“When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living.” ~ Tecumseh
I'd love to hear from you! Please leave your comment below:
Which of these quotes speak to you?
How do you cultivate joy?
NOTE: Cultivating Joy is not about labeling some emotions (like sadness, grief, anger) wrong. That is a prescription for shame, misery and being stuck. Check out this great Ted Talk about Emotional Courage and False Positivity by Susan David.
Do you ever start to do something you are really excited about and then find that you get in your own way and create delays and stumbling block?
That’s how I’ve been feeling this week about making an exciting announcement.
(I am fascinated by how so often fear and resistance are intertwined with the things we most long for. Do you ever notice that in your life?)
So breathing kindness, befriending resistance and imagining a drumroll:
On Monday February 5 at 10 am I’m launching the We Are More Radio Show: Expanding into the Fullness of Who We Really are.
I invite you to tune in each week for inspiring conversations with visionaries, change makers and everyday heroes. My guests and I are passionate about unleashing extraordinary potential- individually and collectively. You will gain inspiration, support and practical strategies for expanding into your fullness with wonder, joy, grace and grit.
On Feb 5 for the first episode I’ll be interviewed on FBLive by Raven Blair Glover, executive director of the Women of Power Radio Network about my new show. What inspired me to start it? Why do I think it is needed today? What early experiences woke me up to a reality beyond “ordinary reality”? What are Wonder Stories and why do they matter? How is the world calling us to wake up?
My guests in February:
Feb 12 Award-winning educator, singer/songwriter, international speaker, author, courage coach and founder of the Radical Kindness movement. Although she has been legally blind for years, Vicki Hannah Lein travels around the world presenting her message through humorous, musical, interactive presentations.
Feb 19 Biologist and environmental scientist turned animal communicator who has written four books. Marta Williams believes learning to talk and listen to our pets - and to nature - can help us create a world that is more sustainable, healthier and better for all beings.
Feb 26 Former US Government Special Agent who is now the Executive Director of Super Power Experts®. Tonya Dawn Recla spends her days convincing people Super Powers are real and believes everyone has the power to create a multidimensional existence and master the human experience.
And that’s just the beginning!
I am having a great time connecting with fascinating guests and think you will love hearing their stories and perspectives.
Check out (and bookmark!) the We Are More page on my website to read about upcoming episodes and to read show notes and listen to past episodes when you can’t catch us live. (Some of the links on this page may not be active until early Monday.)
Do you have suggestions for guests you would like to see on the show? (Maybe you?) Drop me a note.