A state of being.
That amazing combination of being yourself and being beautiful.
A state of being.
That amazing combination of being yourself and being beautiful.
When you walk into a room, you shouldn’t wonder if the people there will like you; you should wonder whether you’ll like them. Whenever you get nervous upon meeting new people, the root of the nervousness is that you’re afraid they won’t like you. Don’t do that! Understand that when you worry about how others will perceive you, you’re taking value away from yourself and giving them too much of it! Not good!
Stop giving people you don’t know the worth they haven’t earned!
That’s right! When you meet new people, they (and you) are starting with a clean slate, and as far as you’re concerned, it’s up to them whether they fill that slate with negatives or positives. They must prove to you whether they’re people that you want in your life, not the other way around.
When you worry needlessly whether other people will like you, you give them all your power and leave none for yourself. And you’ll likely go out of your way to prove to them that you’re worthy of their time. Bullies will sniff that out, and they’ll take advantage of it.
Stop! It’s too much work, and it’s beneath you!
When I was a young teenager, I did the same because I didn’t know any better. And it cost me! Today, I’m the opposite. When I meet a new person, I wonder if I’m going to like them. If a person wants my friendship, trust, and my time, they have to earn them.
Be picky about who you allow in your life because you don’t want to let just anyone in! And you don’t want to let them in right away. Observe them first. Note their demeanor and how they carry themselves because it will tell you a lot.
Realize that when you make friends and associates, it’s because you chose them out of a vast number of people you’ve met.
Selectiveness adds value to a person. So, always value yourself.
With knowledge comes empowerment!
When I stopped caring what others thought of me, I stopped apologizing for being me. Instead of hiding my flaws, I started embracing them. Instead of judging myself, I began loving and accepting myself- all aspects, the good and the not-so-good. I started living up to my own standards and experiencing life on my terms.
When I stopped worrying needlessly about what people thought, I set myself free from the chains of fear and anxiety and was no longer a slave to others’ opinions and approval. I no longer felt the need to walk on eggshells and hide my natural humanness. I stopped feeling like I wasn’t good enough and comparing myself to others. I no longer allowed anyone else to dictate what I should say, do, think, or feel.
I began permitting myself to make mistakes because we all make them whether or not some of us admit it. Even better, I started learning from those mistakes and seeing them as life lessons, rather than defects or screw-ups. I finally accepted that I’m not and never will be perfect. Who is?
I learned that like, and dislike is subjective, never personal. I accepted that not everybody was going to like me and was not only okay with it but embraced it! Because if you don’t have people who don’t like you, you’re not doing something right- in one area or another, you’re not your true, authentic self.
I permitted myself to follow my heart, sing, dance, speak my piece, and yes! Even be a little weird. In all this, I took back control of my life and found freedom I’d never known.
The day I stopped caring what people think was the day I got my life back, and slowly but surely, my bullies began to disappear. I began to feel beautiful, smart, and, best of all, equal.
Positive things started coming my way magically and seemingly without effort. I began attracting the right people into my life- genuine people who were loving, caring, uplifting, and inspiring. Existing relationships drastically improved. An abundance of opportunities and blessings flowed into my life. I began seeing wins and successes that were very rewarding and fulfilling, which only encouraged me to stretch my imagination, take more risks, and try new things.
Today, I look back and ask myself why. Why did I even give a crap what my bullies and others- people who meant absolutely jack to me and could do nothing for me, thought of me?
They weren’t my family or friends.
They didn’t pay my bills.
They didn’t sign my paycheck every week.
They didn’t hold my life in their hands.
And they most certainly weren’t people I cared anything about.
I wasted a lot of time and energy, which I can never get back, worrying needlessly about what people thought of me. The truth of it is that most of those people nor their opinions were never even worth my consideration.
The only opinions that matter are those of my God, my family, my husband, and my closest and most trusted friends. And the only things that matter are my faith in God, my dreams, my morals, taking care of the people I love, my ability to be the best me I can be, and my desire to extend kindness and reach out and help those who need me. Anyone or anything outside of that is irrelevant.
There are many people in the world who are broken children and never realized their true potential or their value. Perhaps they were abused at home or bullied in school. Maybe some jealous bully in their lives made it their mission to bring these people down because their confidence was a threat to the bully’s overinflated ego. Whatever the case may be, other people attacked their confidence and goodness at some point during their childhoods and gave them an evil gag gift of insecurity. And they carried this heavy gag gift into adulthood.
These people were wounded so deeply that they were never again the same. Many became bullies because they felt that the only way they could feel good about themselves was to make someone else feel inferior. Sadly, feeling good by these types of means is only temporary and it wears off quickly.
And once it wears off, these people must deliver another put down to get back that ego boost. Because their spirits were crushed, they now have an insatiable need to crush the spirits of others to feel whole again.
It takes a miserable and broken person to go through life putting others down to feel good about themselves. It takes a person who lacks confidence and doesn’t realize their own potential to attack the confidence, goals, and dreams of another. Instead of working toward their goals, practicing self-care, and using their intelligence and merit to achieve confidence and self-actualization, they take the easy way out and achieve it through such superficial means as tearing some poor soul down.
Again, understand that these superficial means are only a temporary fix. But legitimate means, such as working on and cultivating your dreams can last a lifetime.
With that said, I have to wonder just how many people have wasted their entire lives taking this toxic path. How many people have died while weighed down with a mountain of insecurity? How many people have carried their anger, bitterness, and hatred to their graves? And how many people have gone to their graves without realizing confidence and their true potential?
Honestly, this is something that I don’t want to know because the answer just might be that it’s a vast majority of the people who are lying in the cemeteries around the world. There are millions upon millions of tombstones engraved with the names of people who had great ideas and dreams but never worked toward them because they allowed another person to cause them to underestimate and undervalue themselves. And sadly, their ideas and dreams, which could’ve made a positive difference not only in their lives, but in the lives of others and in the world, died on the deathbeds with them.
Any sane person should shutter at the thought that this could be them one day. It certainly scares me to death just knowing that I could’ve died never knowing my worth nor potential. It would have been a complete waste!
Understand that life is only a one-shot deal. There are no do-overs. If you are a bully who must use superficial means to feel whole or a target of bullying who feels useless, you must realize that as long as you’re still breathing, you still have a chance to change your ways and to realize the value you bring to this world. You still have a chance to find confidence and reach your potential. You still have a chance at reaching your higher self.
It won’t happen overnight and neither will it come easy. Nothing positive ever does. In fact, it may take years or decades and there will be forces in this life that will fight against you in the forms of toxic people and adverse circumstances- the devil doesn’t like positive change. But better late than never. And better hard-won than never. Don’t wait until it’s too late. And don’t put it off until tomorrow because tomorrow may never come for you.
Find a way to turn your pain into power- legitimate power- the type of power that isn’t harmful to another person. Find the will to turn your trauma into triumph. Began doing the inner work needed to better your spirit. Most importantly, do it while you still can. Make the rest of your life the best of your life.
The time is now.
With knowledge come empowerment!
Many people get the two confused. Why? Because they’ve been conditioned to believe that even the smallest shred of confidence is arrogance and that it’s bad.
Sadly, many people are taught by bullies, abusers, or well-meaning people who, themselves were also taught such things and didn’t know better; that confidence, self-respect, self-love, and self-compassion are arrogance and they’re bad people for having those treasures. They are also manipulated into believing that they don’t deserve them.
If you were taught this, understand that you were fed lies. Confidence, basic self-respect, self-love, and self-compassion are not arrogant, and they aren’t selfish. What they are is essential– essential for good mental health and a good life. They’re crucial for happiness and fulfillment.
Realize that when someone attacks your confidence by accusing you of being arrogant or self-centered, it’s not about you. It’s really about them and always has been. Because they only do it to keep you down by making you feel less than them.
They do it because, deep down, they feel small. So, they feel they must push you down into the pits of low self-esteem so they can feel superior. These people, who are bullies, believe they must break your spirit to uplift theirs.
Oh, but wait! Here’s something else to think about here: maybe bullies and abusers drum this garbage into your head because they’re afraid. That’s right!
They’re frightened that if you manage to attain or to keep that precious confidence that you were born with, then you just might grow a pair of coconuts! You’re more likely to develop the spinal column to tell them where they can stick it and drop them like a bad habit!
Realize that this is about power. Moreover, it’s about making sure they keep you in your place, so they don’t risk losing their power over you.
So, what is the difference between confidence and arrogance? Here are your answers:
1. Confidence is healthy. It’s never shy nor boastful. It’s that happy and healthy middle between low self-esteem and smugness. When a person is confident, they don’t have to trumpet their own importance and they don’t have to show off. Confidence isn’t loud or obnoxious, it’s quiet. A confident person doesn’t boast or brag because they don’t have to. They know their value and all the good they bring to this world. They already know their own importance. Confidence is seen and not heard because it’s there.
Confident people believe they’re equal to everyone else. They believe they’re no better than anyone but just as good. They are kind to others and allow them to be themselves and do their own thing. However, a confident person is assertive. They aren’t afraid to set firm boundaries and lay down the law if another person sticks so much as a toe over their boundaries.
2. Arrogance is unhealthy- in fact, it’s toxic! Arrogance is extreme. It’s loud and obnoxious. When a person is arrogant, they’re full of themselves. An arrogant person makes sure that everyone around them knows how important they are because they announce it to the world.
Arrogance is like a peacock; it shows all it’s pretty colors and expects people to notice and give it recognition. Arrogance is boastful because it is insecure, and it craves attention, admiration, and adoration.
An arrogant person believes he’s superior. They treat people they deem inferior like dirt and will go out of their way to bully them and let them know who the king of the mountain is.
An arrogant person either doesn’t recognize boundaries, or he resents them. He believes that he should have carte blanche to violate another person’s boundaries and gets highly pissed if the person he bullies has the gall to stand up to him.
An arrogant person is a self-entitled, egotistical, self-satisfied turd who uses flamboyance to compensate for insecurity, cowardice, and weakness.
A confident person, on the other hand, doesn’t let his confidence effect the way he treats people because he believes that everyone has a right to respect and dignity.
I want you to know that it’s okay to be confident and to be comfortable in your own skin. It’s okay to have respect for yourself and to love yourself. And it’s okay to indulge in self-care and to tell some creep to go to hell if they get abusive with you. So, be confident! Know that you can have confidence without being a pompous stuffed shirt. Know your worth and that you deserve to be treated well and with love and respect.
With knowledge comes empowerment!
A state of being.
That amazing combination of being yourself and being beautiful.
There are things you can do to take the sting out of being bullied. These steps can serve as a buffer to the effects of bullying on self-esteem and the psyche.
1. Watch and Listen– Because bullies get talked about too. Believe me when I tell you. Bullies have enemies and lots of them. And why not?
They’ve been walking over people for a long time. So, you can bet they’ve left a long trail of foes behind them, adversaries who are more than happy to dish out the tea.
2. Know that you aren’t the only one these people have bullied– seasoned bullies have had plenty of practice over the years. I guarantee it! There have been others before you, and there will be more after you. Why do you think these people are so good at making you feel bad about yourself and doubt your worth? How do you think they got that good at it? They certainly didn’t get that way overnight. It came from so many years of trial and error, and they figured out what worked and what didn’t. And they had to have had guinea pigs (previous victims/targets) as practice. They’re doing what for so long has worked for them.
3. Collect info on your bullies– find out about their personal and family lives. You can bet that bullies have problems too. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be going out of their way to prove something to an audience at your expense. As I stated earlier, they have enemies. Find these enemies, cozy up to them, and have them tell you what they know about your bullies. I have done it many times, and I can tell you that you’d be surprised at the tidbits you found out! I’ll give you more details on the next step.
4. Ingratiate yourself with others your bullies have bullied– You and these people have something in common, so this should be a cinch! Align yourself with these other victims. Bullies run in packs, so why can’t targets? Understand that strength always comes in numbers. If you ban together, I guarantee that your bullies will think twice before accosting you. Remember that bullies are cowards and would prefer to catch you when you’re alone rather than confront you while you’re in a group.
5. Keep company only with people who love you, want the best for you, and make you feel good about yourself– A good sign of a true friend is someone who uplifts you and helps your confidence soar. They uplift you, encourage you, have your back when you’re in trouble, and cheer for you when you reach success. All too often, victims end up with fake friends- frenemies who only tolerate and are passive-aggressive toward them. These frenemies will subtly humiliate victims in public and throw them under the bus when they’re in trouble or danger.
Victims often latch on to frenemies because they’re desperate for friends and companionship. They’d rather have sorry excuses for friends who treat them poorly than to have no friends at all. These victims are under the false belief that anything is better than being by yourself. I made that mistake myself when I suffered bullying in school.
Trust me when I tell you, anyone who belittles you even a little bit is not your friend! They’re only there because they know that you’re lonely. You are vulnerable to them, and they only hang around because anytime you have a weak spot, you’re accessible for them to use and take advantage of you. That is the only reason they come around!
Do you want friends like that? I hope not! I hope that you will do what I finally did the last year of school, ditch those creeps, and find friends who respect you, who genuinely like you and want to be with you!
6. Show off your talents and gifts– If you can sign, enter talent shows! If you can write, enter writing contests! If you know you’re good at something, find ways to show it off! You’d be surprised at what it will do for your self-esteem. I promise you!
When my classmates bullied me, it was so bad that I was scared to show what I could do. I knew that I could sing but was too afraid to belt it out and show off my best voice. If there were do-overs, I would have sung as best I could, came out of my shell, and took every opportunity to showcase that talent! Who knows where it might have taken me?
Anytime people are bullying you, you must take care of yourself. We exercise and eat well to take good care of our bodies, but we forget. We must also take care of our psyches! It is imperative that we also take care of our minds. And we do this by taking steps to buffer our self-esteem from the onslaught of bullying.
7. Do things you enjoy doing, and that fills your soul– whether you love to swim, hike, camp, find opportunities to do these things if they truly make you happy! The more happy moments you have, the less of an effect bullying will have on you!
Doing these things will help to buffer your self-esteem against your bullies attacks. In other words, it will lesson the pain of the attacks because you’ll know you have friends, allies, talents, and positive moments in life- solid proof that counters anything the bullies try to tell you. And you’ll feel much better about yourself.
It will also help correct the imbalance between adversity and success. Many targets of bullying often have a ton of social failures and only a tiny few successes. If you do all these things, you’ll soon achieve a healthy balance between the two.
No one enjoys the thought of getting older, I’m no exception. However, if we’re lucky to live long enough, it is an unavoidable reality we’ll all face eventually. And it sure as hell beats the alternative.
The reasons we fear the advancement of age is the loss of our youthful good looks, decline of physical strength and endurance and the rising possibility of illness and death…all very legitimate concerns.
I have often heard Judge Judy tell young litigants whom stood before her, “Beauty fades but dumb is forever”.
She’s right. And I believe her definition of “dumb” is not level of intelligence per se, but the refusal to learn anything new and hold on to beliefs and values which may never benefit us. If we aren’t learning, we aren’t growing and being from a small town, I’ve met countless people my age whom haven’t learned much and continue to hold prejudices which should have long been done away with, while lamenting about and dreading getting older.
But getting older is certain. Why not be grateful for each day given you? And continue to learn and grow? As the old saying goes, “There’s no fool like an old fool.”.
Intelligence and the wisdom we’ve gained over the years always trumps beauty, strength, health, or anything physical because once we’ve lost all the physical blessings we once had, smarts and a good heart are the only things we’ll have left before we finally leave this world.
There are many positives to getting older. Here are my takeaways:
1. I feel very blessed to have lived this long. A lot of people never make it to be this age.
2. Being older has made me confident and comfy in my own skin, giving me the freedom to be myself without fear.
3. I have become choosy of the people I keep in my life, preferring family and a few of my closest friends. I prioritize the people I love, who love me and who mean the most.
4. I don’t waste time with people who are fake or who don’t have my back. I love myself enough to walk away from toxic people who would otherwise bring me down and I can do it free of guilt.
5. It’s much easier to say, “NO”.
6. I have gained a truckload of knowledge and wisdom!
I wouldn’t trade any of these benefits for all the beauty or money in the world, which is why I don’t toil over my age nor do I hide it because I consider it an asset and a testament to how far I’ve come.
Mary Kay Ashe once said, “A woman who tells her age will tell anything.”
Because, a woman who tells her weight? Now there’s a woman who will tell anything!
To become comfortable in your own skin, it takes several years and plenty of life lessons and experiences. It takes being knocked down enough times by enough people before you can finally say, enough is enough and choose to be happy.
And when we choose to be happy, despite our imperfections and what others think or say of us, we choose to be truly free! Free from the constraints of longing to fit in- free from the constraints of conformity!
To be comfortable in your own skin means loving and accepting all parts of you- the good, the bad, and the downright ugly.
It means doing what fulfills you and makes you happy.
It means living life on your own terms.
It means refusing to apologize for who you are.
It means allowing yourself to make mistakes and learn from them.
It means refusing to live up to standards and expectations other than your own.
It means making time for hobbies and interests.
It means making time for your family and closest friends.
It means not being afraid to say no or to set boundaries.
It means not being afraid to ask for what you want.
It means following your dreams.
It means working toward your goals.
It means celebrating your successes and accomplishments.
It means not being afraid to ask for help when you need it.
It means being selective of friends and who you spend time with.
It means accepting and embracing differences in people.
It means having empathy and compassion for others.
It means putting yourself and your health first.
It means being realistic with goals and patient with the time it takes to reach them.
It means being present in the moment.
It means knowing your limitations.
It means knowing what you want in life and going after it.
It means being clear on what you will and will not tolerate.
It means loving yourself enough to know when it’s time to walk away.
It means knowing that you’re worthy of respect, love, compassion, friendship, and peace.
Most of all, it means the freedom to be.
When a person is a target of bullies, it’s too easy for that person to stop caring- about everything, including his appearance.
The reason for this is that when someone gets bullied for so long- once enough people have told them so many times over that they are nothing, that they aren’t good enough, that they have no value as a human being, and that they’re a waste of time, space and breathable air, they begin to believe it subconsciously.
They won’t even know it’s happening until it’s too late, and the contrary belief of themselves has already taken a foothold on their psyche. And when they believe something of themselves, whether it be a complete lie or truth, they will unwittingly live up to it.
Understand that this change in a target happens ever so slowly. And before the person realizes it, they begin to neglect themselves. They neglect their appearance, their housework, even their health!
1. Targets will often isolate themselves and become shut-ins.
2. They fail to make themselves presentable.
3. They stop exercising and forego physical check-ups.
4. They withdraw from people and social gatherings.
5. They don’t get adequate sleep and nutrition.
6. Some overeat for comfort and gain weight.
7. Some stop eating and lose too much weight.
8. Some even begin using alcohol and drugs.
In short, they let themselves go!
These are the reasons why, if you’re a target of bullying, it’s even more important that you take care of yourself.
When I was a target of bullying, I stopped believing in myself too, for a while, only I didn’t neglect my appearance. Instead, I got mad. Damn mad! And in my anger, I grew more determined to take care of myself. The more I was bullied, the better (and more flashy) I dressed. I also exercised to keep myself fit.
It was my way of thumbing my nose at the bullies- a poke in the eye to them, or a proverbial middle finger.
I became as a peacock fanning out her tail to show her beautiful colors. It was also a means for me to maintain what control I did have, which was control over my body and appearance. Also, I wanted to keep my self-esteem from completely bottoming out.
It was only one of the ways I fought like hell to hang on to my dignity and to maintain what I could of myself. And today, I believe it saved me in so many ways.
I may not have had control over how others viewed me. No one has that kind of control.
I may not have had control over how others treated me.
I may not have had control over my reputation.
And I may not have had control over my physical well being as I got the snot beat out of me a few times.
But, what I did have was control over my hygiene and how I looked!
That was the one thing those creeps couldn’t have control of!
However, I knew so many other bullied people who give up on themselves, and it breaks my heart for them!
So, please! Please, don’t give up. Hang on to what power you do have with everything in you! You’ll thank yourself for it later. I promise!