How to fight the bully within

“I am a failure. I try to win but there are just too many barriers. It is better to not try as I always end up disappointed and heartbroken. Instead, I will live a small life, with small dreams, and I will blame the world around me for all my problems” 

People with this inner voice suffer from a victim mindset. They see the supposedly perfect lives of those that have got everything in life handed to them. These lucky people have a life so easy. Good looks, great cars, big bank accounts, travel to exotic destinations, amazing jobs, and more. 

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media resources have amplified the opportunities to get minute-by-minute reminders of how much your life sucks relative to what seems to be the lives of the rest of the world. 

Meanwhile, that same feed, along with your search suggestions, provides basket loads of evidence that the world is one messed up place with more doom on the way. This only serves to validate how you feel about your obvious failings. 

Instead of using these images to spark motivation, these feelings are turned to anger and efforts to tear down others. It can be very easy to join in a party of negativity. It is kind of fun to release this anger from the safety of your phone. See someone living their best life and being positive? Be sure and lash out at the person so that they too know that actually, they suck because the world sucks.  

Only by forcing the world around you to be smaller, can you in turn create a feeling of being taller. That is the classic mindset of the bully. 

I had a bully growing up. His name was Carlos and in elementary as well as middle school, he would torture me with taunts about my weight and lack of athletic ability. I became so fearful of gym class that there were a few times that I made up fake notes from my mother to get out of having to go. It was dreadful to always be the last picked for the team and the first to get hit in the head or balls with the dodgeball. 

Middle school me. Yep, I still have that poofy hair

I was joyful when I learned that joining the band would get me out of any future requirement to go to gym class. Whew, at least now the bullying would move to only lunch. The band turned out to be a terrific experience and I am very thankful as it saved me in a way. 

Carlos is long gone but that bully voice still speaks to me at times even though I am now in my mid-50s. The bully voice pops in with reminders of my inadequacies as I strive to reach big vision goals for my future. 

Time to lose some weight?  The bully in my head says you will always be fat!

Proud of my debt-free life? The bully says, so what, an economic crash is coming and you will never have enough. 

Signing up for a race? The bully says you are a to-be-picked last person, why bother. 

Writing a new blog post? There will be at least one typo or grammar error that you will find later. Post with errors and people will think you are stupid.

The voice goes on and on. 

Yes, I still hear it from time to time. The good news is that I have identified my voice and even though it speaks to me, I know it is not in control. I know that I actually live a life of great success that is just a glimpse of even better things to come. I am not in competition with others. I only compete with the me of today as I strive to be a better me tomorrow. 

Who is your bully? Do you have that secret voice inside of you that tries to pull you down?

Middle school playground kid that taunted you? A parent that put you down and said you were worthless? Former, or current, spouse that devalues your worth? Religious leader that filled you with guilt.

Who or whatever is your inner bully

Recognize it. Name it. Embrace it. Then resolve to bully it back. You are in control, not the world around you, and certainly not that meaningless negative voice(s) inside of you.

In Philippians 4:8-9 (MSG), Paul writes, “I’d say you’ll do your best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious–the best, not the worst, the beautiful, not the ugly, things to praise, not things to curse”. 

The best way to mute the bully is to take Paul’s advice. People on Facebook got you angry? Easy, get rid of Facebook. Tired of the pretty people on the Gram making you feel bad about not owning a Tesla, stop the scroll. 

You know this. You know that your life will go where your mind and spirit have their focus. It is a universal truth. Want a new life? Direct the mind differently and follow that with action. 

Perhaps it is time for you to shed everything around you that is trying to make you smaller. Call it the great purge if you will. Easy will be the redirecting of what you see on the phone and on the TV. Hard will be the choice to eliminate some people from your life. 

Voids are called to be filled. Create a rise in your life by filling that hole with goodness. Good media, good health, good friends, and good times. Know that you are a unique masterpiece with many positive things left to give the world. You can win. It starts with being willing to fight. Forget you bully! I am calling the shots around here!

Are you ready? Victim or Victor? The choice is yours to make.  Today!