A few years ago, a thought occurred to me that even the most confident people have moments and days when they don’t feel so confident. I most certainly have them. I know where my talents are, I know all of my good qualities and bad, and I know who I am and what I want. However, I also know my limitations- it pays to know those too because confidence doesn’t mean arrogance.
If I don’t like something, I take steps to change it, and if it cannot be changed, I find ways to embrace it.
For the past decade, I have felt peace I never before knew. Yet, there are still days when I don’t feel as confident as I should.
There are times when I feel a tad insecure and nervous. There are times when I feel my old shyness trying to creep back in. After all it’s only human.
Only I refuse to give in to it. I give myself psychological pep talks to make the insecurity go away, then face the fear head-on.
Everyone has those days. So, when this happens to you, don’t toil over it. Accept it as a part of being human, and when insecurity does rear its ugly head, either use your mind to lessen the feelings or make them go away.
Even if you are a happy and confident person, there will be days when things go wrong, and there’ll be days when you just aren’t feeling it.
So, I hope you remember that just because you are having a day when you don’t feel so good, it does not mean that you are not a strong, resilient, and confident person. It just means that you are human, and just like everyone else, you will have downtimes and bad times. Just keep the faith because those times never last.
Fear will enslave you if you let it. It’s like a prison without walls because a fearful person is a controlled person. The good thing is that you don’t have to let fear imprison you.
So, how do you break out of that jail?
You face your fears. You do the thing you fear anyway- and you do it scared!
Many people have the wrong idea of the word “fearless.” Fearless doesn’t mean you don’t feel the fear. What it means is that, although you may be scared to death, you do it anyway. A perfect example of this would be jumping out of an airplane with a parachute on your back.
I’ve actually skydived before. It was during the summer of 2004, and let me tell you! The fear is the worst right before you go out the door. But if I’d let my fright stop me, I never would have known that awesome rush I got during the 75 second free-fall before my chute opened. I never would have seen the beauty of the world below me as I floated downward, and would never have known the thrill of skydiving. Even worse, I would’ve been kicking myself later, because skydiving was something I’d always wanted to try.
I consider myself blessed to have gotten the chance to parachute and I’d love to do it again sometime. And when I do, I plan to do a solo jump instead of tandem. So, if there’s anything you want to do, anything at all. Don’t be afraid to do it scared! After all, you only live once.
Go ahead. Take the plunge. Do it while you can and before it’s too late.
Don’t apologize for being who you are. You’re just the way God made you.
Don’t be sorry for being a woman, a man, your race, nor having brown hair, blonde hair, blue or brown eyes. For those are the things that make you you. Be happy and secure with it.
Don’t apologize for being a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, nor for holding certain values- for valuing your god and family. For those are the things you hold dear.
Refuse to be sorry for wrongdoings committed by others. You cannot control others’ actions, nor should you be expected to pay for their sins. That is between them and God, and they’ll be judged for it one day.
You’re not responsible for any sins other than your own.
Too many people self-loathe and feel guilty for things they haven’t done, which only strips away their happiness and peace of mind. And if you allow others to heap false guilt on your head unjustly, what do you think they will do next?
Take charge of your happiness and your life. And know that anyone who tries to force you to feel something you shouldn’t feel or do something that is either degrading to you or that you don’t want to do, you should have no more to do with them.
Continue to love yourself. Apologize only for what you’re guilty of and to the person you transgressed against. And if that person doesn’t accept your apology, that’s on them, and you should love yourself enough to get on with it.
Your boundaries and standards are the invisible fortresses surrounding you with protection. They keep you safe from harm. When you set boundaries, it means that you don’t allow others to take advantage of you. It also means that you refuse to be a pushover and won’t let other people make you do things that aren’t in line with your goals, values, morals, or convictions. In short, you don’t allow yourself to be manipulated.
And it requires that you call out anyone who tries to stick so much as one knee, one foot, or one toe over those boundaries. You’re assertive but not overly aggressive. You’re strong but not overbearing. When you say no, you mean it, and you say it without feeling guilty over not saying yes. And when you do say yes to others, you can do it without saying no to yourself.
Sadly, it can be hard to set boundaries and standards, especially when dealing with overly-aggressive bullies who have anger issues. Our first instinct is to protect ourselves any way we can- even if it means we must appease these people to ensure our safety.
Many targets have zero boundaries and feel that to keep from being bullied worse than they already do, they must always bend over backward to make sure the people around them feel comfortable and at ease, which is wrong and a horrible way to live!
And sadly, that only works temporarily because bullies and abusers always come back for more.
Many targets don’t feel strong enough to keep invaders out of their bubble. And it’s because of this that they feel guilty and like failures when they’re unable to enforce their boundaries and standards. Targets also feel as if they’ve let themselves down, and, let me tell ya! It’s the worst feeling in the world.
I want you to understand that, no matter what others may tell you or how they may act, it’s okay to refuse their mistreatment and disrespect. It’s okay to say no to bullying by those who insist they have the right to cross your boundaries and invade your space physically, socially, psychologically, or spiritually. Know that you deserve a seat at the table of life, not one in the corner.
Setting boundaries and standards is not having an“attitude.” It’s your right! It would be best if you accepted that any limitations you put in place will get a ton of resistance. So, take this as a given! And again, look at it this way. The resistance you will get will be a sign of who your real friends aren’t.
Resistance is soooo telling! It can help you find out who’s really for your good and who isn’t.
It’s never good to be a yes-person, nor is it smart. Caring about others is great but caring too much is unhealthy. Boundaries and standards are needed because, without them, you subject yourself to living your life on autopilot- you’re a car without a steering wheel- a ship without a rudder!
But with them, you have a rudder, and you can chart your life’s course. The winds and currents may change, and the waters get rough, and you may indeed go off course, but you’ll still have some degree of direction. In setting boundaries and standards, you’re not completely powerless over what happens to you. You have some say over your destiny.
That’s why it’s so crucial that you stand in your power and speak your truth. Never dumb yourself down and make yourself less than the awesome person you are. Never settle for less than you want and deserve.
Put yourself first instead of everyone else before you. Stop being a people pleaser. Stop putting your wants and needs on the back burner to keep others satisfied. It would be best if you practice self-love and self-care.
Accept that people won’t handle it well and be willing to let them go because they don’t deserve a seat at your table. And once you do, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much better life gets and how many people of integrity and sound quality come into your life. And I can say this from experience.
Girl sitting on the ground and drawing personal space. Selective focus
Many times, when we set boundaries and refuse to lower our standards, we’re accused of having “an attitude.” Lord only knows how many times I got that response when I either said no to something I didn’t like or refused to be manipulated or to take abuse. Therefore, it’s better to accept, even embrace, the reality that others will see you as doing just that- having an attitude when you stand on your principles.
Toxic teachers will assume that you’re insubordinate. Abusive managers and supervisors will think you’re not a team player, and bullying peers will see you as a ‘difficult’ person to be around, and that’s only a very mild version of what they may call you.
Understand that anytime we enforce our boundaries and standards, we become threats to abusers. We expose the manipulative people in our lives through the limits we set and see them more clearly. Why? Because we force them to tell off on themselves through their very reactions toward us.
Personal boundary. Prohibiting palm, psychotherapy icon vector illustration
Through having boundaries and standards, we can better tell the difference between real friends and fake ones. We can better see which people are truly for us and value our friendship and which ones are only in our lives because they want something from us.
Like all abusers, bullies feel entitled to devalue you and expect you to “just go with the flow” and not object to it. With these types of people, your healthy boundaries and standards are an insult to them. Why? Because they don’t recognize limits.
In their minds, anything goes, and the world and everything in it is one big free-for-all. In other words, any rules, laws, or limits don’t apply to them.
Bullies and frenemies believe they should have carte blanche to treat you any way they choose. They get super offended when you get enough of their abuse and finally have the courage to put your foot down. Accept that you will lose people you think are friends when you establish boundaries and standards. And they will often be the people you’d never expect.
Defending their rights concept. Silhouette of hands pointing, denouncing the hand that defends their rights.
But realize that these peoples’ condescension and dismissal are only proof of their discomfort and their only recourse. Bullies can’t handle an assertive person of incredible strength because they can never meet them on their level.
Also, understand that you cannot grow, be safe, or be free if you don’t set boundaries, and in many cases, people go out of their way to prevent targets of bullying and abuse from imposing any limits. It seems that boundaries and standards are okay for anyone else but strictly prohibited for targets.
But realize that you cannot continue to live your life as a doormat. Therefore, you must dig deep and pull out the courage to establish your boundaries, which include,
You are a flesh-and-blood human being who has rights! And sometimes, you must “cop an attitude” to defend those rights and enforce your boundaries from relentless bullies and other fakers who won’t take no from an answer and continue to violate them.
When you set firm boundaries and standards, you protect your physical well-being, emotional health, self-esteem, and identity from anyone who seeks to destroy them. You make yourself an individual human being who asserts your right to make your own choices and decisions.
Also, the fact that no one cared about the truth nor even asked is only further proof that you all bullied and mobbed me out of pure spite, ignorance, and stupidity. And the same three afflictions is why a few teachers, who followed your lead, also bullied me to the point of considering a lawsuit. A few even escalated the vitriol because they saw me as a threat.
Those few so-called teachers were afraid that I would file citing discrimination based on a perceived disability. Why? Because they found out about the daily journals, I kept each school day, documenting everything! And I’ll never forget their reactions (and those of some of you) each time they saw me writing.
It’s hilarious when I look back now because some of you seemed pretty desperate and afraid!
And the few spineless, undeserving losers I was such a fool to call friends? (Scoff)
The word Frenemy defined by a venn diagram of intersecting circles between Friend and Enemy
They didn’t have the stones to have my back, which means it’s safe to say that I didn’t have any friends at OHS. So, should it matter to any of you if I speak up or stay silent? I can be honest about it now because the whooping majority of you aren’t anyone I need to impress, and I surely don’t owe any of you anything- not even respect because you did nothing to earn it. I’ll say again. You get no respect from me.
As for the few rotten apples who called themselves teachers, I realize they only fell for your lies and smear campaigns. These teachers, who were supposed to be adults, but only regressed into children by joining you in your evil, and spiteful attacks weren’t smart at all, only educated idiots. Or it could’ve been that they were lazy, but I’ll put my money on the first option.
Far be it from me to put their names out there, because I won’t go that low. But I already suspect you know to which teachers I’m referring. So, I’ll leave it there.
With you, the excuse was always, “I’m afraid of her!” or “She’s crazy!” But the reality was that I was much more afraid of all of you and you ever were of me. But deep down, most of you were already aware of it.
Oh yeah. I already know, and you know it too. I knew it back then; only I was too afraid to voice it because I knew what most of you would do if I opened my mouth. Oh, yes. You got that one for free. I was afraid of you all back then.
But the difference between then and now is that I’m not anymore. Now that I’m a grown woman, I’m not afraid of any of you.
I don’t have to see any of you. You can’t touch me now. So I can say pretty much anything I want. And I say it loud and proud. Even better, I make speaking out about people like you, my livelihood, my bread and butter, and my niche!
Therefore, in bullying me, you were only paving my path for me. In trying to instill fear, you only encouraged me. In trying to keep me down, you only uplifted me! And in turning others against me back then, you ultimately made me more friends now than I ever could have imagined back then.
Now, you must ask yourselves what good all that meanness did in the long run, and where did it get you? It certainly didn’t help you reach the top! It didn’t get you fame or fortune because none of you ever went anywhere.
It amazes me when I hear of targets of bullying, especially kids, being told to “toughen up.” Because anyone who endures long, miserable years of being bullied by everyone for everything and still finds it in them to get up and get on with it? These individuals are already tough.
I remember swallowing hard every morning at the bus stop. For any bullied kid, it takes a mountain of courage to step onto that school bus every day, knowing all too well what’s in store for them as soon as they get on and even worse once they grace the entrance to the school. For me, it was like walking into a mine field!
The daily ritual of being name-called, tripped in the hallways, having books knocked out of my hands, my long hair pulled, my head slammed into lockers, slapped, punched, kicked, shoved to the floor and a barrage of death threats…it was never-ending! But through it all, I never gave up!
I look at these kids today- the ones who endure the same as I years ago, and they have more heart and soul than all their classmates combined! They’re the strongest because they have no other choice but to be!
• The finding a reason to get up and go to school every day
• The holding on to your dignity with everything you have in you!
• The daily facing of your worst fear
• The countless insults and beatings
• The choking back of a river of tears that beg to pour forth
• The constant thievery of your pride and personhood
• The never-ending violations of your rights to safety and to learn in peace
To face all this, day by day and STILL find a reason to keep going??? That takes grit! It takes guts! Moreover, it takes balls of steel!
So, if you’ve never experienced what these kids endure, before you tell some poor, bullied soul to “toughen up,” ask yourself this question. Would you have the fortitude to hold up under that kind of pressure?
And if you’re a kid in school, who faces that kind of pressure every day, know that I understand, I hear you, and I have your back. Also know that you’re so much stronger and have more courage than you know! You have the heart of a lion!
Here’s to not only my bullies from the past, but all bullies in the world today:
If only you had a clue. If only you knew what sniveling cowards you were and still are. If only you realized that some of us are smarter than you think and see right through your veils.
If only you could see what we see behind your pathetic attempts to look bigger, better, and brighter than what you really are. Because if you saw what we see when we look at you, you’d want to crawl in a hole somewhere and hide.
If only you knew that in your feeble attempts to instill fear in and control others through your yelling, screaming, and cursing tirades, you don’t look all-powerful. You only look desperate.
If only you could see that your relentless jockeying for power and control only gives you the appearance of weakness and desperation, not strength and ambition.
Your attacks and threats toward anyone smaller or weaker only expose your own fear and timidity. We know you’d never risk going toe to toe with someone of your equal without being buried where you’d fall. And the sad truth is that you know it too.
You hide from the truth of your inadequacies behind empathetic, ethical, and good-hearted people like us as a baby would hide behind the skirt of its mother from the boogeyman.
Your pitiful attempts to use others as a shield to conceal your flaws and imperfections make you look exactly like what you are- fakes, frauds, and imposters.
Your incessant fakery and false bravado only mean that you’re not to be taken seriously and only evidences your pathetic self-loathing.
Just knowing that you must work so hard and expend so much energy to hide your true selves and keep others down only makes us scoff at you and laugh among ourselves behind your backs because we don’t have to work as you do.
We are quite comfortable at being ourselves, and we can save our energy for use to create our own happiness and success. It’s so sad that you can’t.
Bullies, you truly are pitiful because your hatred for people like us burns you up inside, eats away at your souls, and blocks you from any peace and happiness you might otherwise attain.
So, even as you unleash your vitriol on us, we don’t hate you. You’re simply not worth the energy it takes to hate.
We only pity you– feel sorry for you because we know that at your very core- you’re so miserable with your own existences, hopeless to achieve growth and become wiser and better people, and helpless to better your lives.
We’ve already figured out that behind your made-up faces and fancy clothes and hairdos, there’s no substance. There’s no authenticity or anything solid. The only thing behind your weak and shaky facades is only hot air- nothingness- dead space!
You paint yourselves as most valuable, yet you bring no value to the table, only fake humanness, euphemisms and double-speak. You may glitter and sparkle, but not all that glitters is gold, only fool’s gold.
You tear people down, undermine their creativity, and take credit for their ideas. But only because you aren’t smart enough to be original. I’ll bet you’ve never had an original thought in your entire lives!
You surround yourselves with people who are just like you- coattail hitchhikers who are unable to think for themselves, who’ll jump through a thousand hoops to make “the right people” like and favor them, and who are nothing but followers, drones, lackeys, and patsies. In a nutshell, you’re only losers disguised as winners.
You talk so much garbage, but instead of making us feel bad, you only give us free entertainment- because we know now that talk is cheap- and it’s all you can do.
But you’re right about one thing. We are different from you- absolutely we are. We’re nothing like any of you. And you know what else? We’re proud of it.
People like us don’t need lackeys and followers. We can improvise, adapt to, and overcome anything. And the best part is, we have you to thank for that.
You taught us how to be inventive. We’re creative because we had to be. You taught us how to get around any roadblock or barrier placed in our paths.How? You ask? You gave us plenty of practice!
You gave us grit– the strength to weather the storms in life, to stay the course, and to gather the wherewithal to live a better and more rewarding life.
You made us more determined to have what we want out of life. In trying to break us down, you only set some of us on our paths to success – and without meaning to!
And now, while you stay in your comfort zones and live mediocre lives, we’re willing to endure a little discomfort to expand our horizons and live extraordinary lives. And it’s finally paying off.
While you followed the latest fads and trends, we were developing those of the future.
In a nutshell, you may have brought us down, but you couldn’t keep us there. In the end, some of us rose higher than any of you ever could’ve imagined we would. So, here’s another reason for you to hate on us.
And the fun part is, we welcome, even embrace your hatred of us.
And we haven’t even begun yet, we’re only getting started. There’s a lot more to come.
In a nutshell, you may have brought us down, but you couldn’t keep us there. In the end, some of us rose higher than any of you ever could’ve imagined we would. And the best part is, we’re still rising!
I won’t kid you. Being alone can sometimes make a person vulnerable. However, being surrounded by negative people makes you just as vulnerable if not more so. Therefore, being alone can be much better than keeping company with spiteful people who only bring you down.
As difficult as it may be, sometimes you must weed out all these ungrateful souls who don’t see your worth to make room for more positive, caring and loving people to come in.
Get rid of anyone who makes you feel bad about yourself and only keep company with those who love and respect you. Keep the people in your life who value your opinions, even when those opinions are strong.
If someone is not treating you like you deserve to be treated, never be afraid to let them go, even if it seems that they’re your only options at the moment.
Remember that we must do things that don’t feel comfortable and that are downright scary for any positive change to happen.