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.
To those of you who are being bullied now. Although intense- even unbearable, your pain will only be temporary, and I do not say this lightly. I know what you must be thinking… “But she doesn’t understand! Nobody understands! She’s isn’t going through it, and she doesn’t understand the hell I go through every day at work or at school!”
I understand because once upon a time, I was stuck in the same spot that you are in today. I know what it is like to want to smile, laugh, sing, and dance and have it beaten out of you. I understand the pain of wanting to believe in yourself and see your own value, only to have others repeatedly and seemingly deliberately drum into your head that you are nothing.
To want to speak and have your voice heard, only to be silenced with the threat of either physical harm, further degradation and humiliation, suspension, the loss of your job and livelihood, or the threat of having opportunities for future employment ruined! I know all too well the feeling of wanting to move forward and go places, only to have bullies hold you back.
To want to escape the torment, only to be stuck in a toxic environment with toxic people, against your will! I know the horror of having your very existence cursed by others and to be bombarded with death threats.
To be forced to sacrifice your own needs and wants for the satisfaction of others! To see others getting gratification and entertainment- all at your expense. I know what it’s like to be marginalized, shut out, devalued as a person, even slapped, kicked, beaten, scorned, disregarded, walked on!
It is a feeling of being run over by a truck, whose driver then stops, throws it into reverse, and backs over you again. Then the driver shifts back into drive and mows over you- yet again. Then stops the truck, opens the door, sticks his head out, and asks, “Are you dead yet?”
And any signs of life- any whimper or movement only encourages the driver to close the door, shift into reverse again, and back over you again- just keep running and backing over you until you finally succumb to the trauma and die.
Yes. This is what being a target of bullying is like. Bullies want to destroy you, and it seems that they won’t relent until they are sure that they have done just that.
But know this. You will not have to deal with these people forever, and Karma does repay- in spades! If you keep believing in yourself, you will become successful and happy, and your bullies won’t even matter to you when you reach success.
You are beautiful! You are smart! You are awesome! And one day, you will cross paths with people who will see your worth and love you- unconditionally- just for being YOU! And you will find a teacher, school, supervisor, or employer who will see the good you bring to the table and view you as the asset you truly are!
I’ve always heard people make the statement, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”
The problem is that our attitudes shape our perspectives and perspectives shape what we see. Put another way, our perspectives can blind us to a lot of stuff, even to what’s right in front of our faces. Because, if you have the mindset that you’ll believe it when you see it, the chances are that you never will see it.
This is the reason many targets are bullied. It’s the reason why innocent people are convicted of crimes they didn’t commit. It’s also the reason why many bullies and criminals are promoted to high positions. Because of others’ attitudes!
We often base our judgments of others on our attitudes towards them, by what we’ve heard about them, or whether we like them. Many times, we judge others too harshly because we can’t see past our dislike or hatred of them.
We also do this with our own lives as well. If we’ve had a string of adversity throughout our lives, we usually come to expect more of the same. And sadly, we end up getting just that!
We come to see ourselves as unlucky, undesirable, unlovable, and incapable of success. As a result of our thinking, we get more and more adversity because our attitudes and perspectives about our lives will blind us to opportunities- opportunities that are, more than likely, right in front of us- opportunities that others may see and seize. Then, we’ve missed out once again and thus, the cycle begins, yet again.
Case in point, our attitudes and perspectives have ways of shaping and influencing our lives, the things that happen in our lives, and where our lives take us. They attract people and events.
This is why we must do the inner work to change our thought patterns. We must check our attitudes and work to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. The only way you will have a positive life is to have a positive attitude, then a positive perspective, which can only develop by having positive thoughts.
I know it’s hard to do when it seems that adversity is coming at you from every possible direction. Believe me, I understand because I’ve been there.
It won’t be easy, and it won’t happen overnight. But I promise you this. If you start now by catching each negative thought and replacing it with a thought that’s positive, you’ll be surprised at how much better your life will get!
“What if it doesn’t work out?” Oooooh! But “What if it does?”
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.
When I posted “My 12 Takeaways from Being Bullied” a while back, perhaps it should’ve been titled with a thirteen instead of a twelve.
Later, another takeaway came to mind that I hadn’t thought of and failed to mention. But before I tell you what it is, allow me to elaborate a little first.
Many of my bullies in school were the most irresponsible and incompetent people I’d ever met. They were spoiled, coddled and babied which caused them to be self-entitled, demanding, arrogant and ignorant. Many of them would get into trouble with the school, juvenile authorities, or the police. And they would do these things repeatedly.
Any time they got themselves in a jam, here come Mom and Dad to the rescue. Their parents would either pull a few strings or pay through the nose to pry little junior’s butt out of the crack he’d gotten it stuck in.
If they made a bad grade, the parents would come to the school and chew the teacher out for giving the grade. Or they would cheat their way to a passing grade.
Many of my female bullies would end up pregnant, some repeatedly, and their parents would swoop in to fund their abortions to keep her from bringing shame to the family. What’s even funnier is that some of these kids were those no one ever in a million years thought would end up in such predicaments.
This is not to say that I look down on anyone who goes to jail, who has gotten PG out of wedlock or has had an abortion because we all screw up- and screw up BIG- at some point in life. So, understand that I’m not judging anyone, nor am I expressing any views.
My point to this post is this: They never learned to take responsibility for their own lives. And why would they if they were never made to?
I look back now and realize that it’s no wonder most of these people had the attitudes they had.
With that said, here’s my 13th takeaway:
I learned early on that I was the only person responsible for my own safety, success, and future happiness and no one else! And I had to be willing to do whatever it took to bootstrap my way back up. And it was the same with my other siblings.
There were no freebies nor piggyback rides.
If I screwed up (and I did many times), my parents didn’t bail me out. They stood back, let me fall flat on my tookus, then pick myself up afterward- all by myself! And they did it to teach me responsibility for my actions.
And when you’re a kid, you don’t realize the tough love and good intentions behind it. You don’t see the eventual payoff. You don’t think about how this will mold you into a much better person and make life much easier for you in the future.
All you’re looking at is the here and now. All you see is what’s in front of your face, which is every other kid getting to do whatever wrong they want and getting a pat on the head and a proverbial get-out-of-jail-free card while you’re having the book thrown at you. And no, it’s not fun. In fact, it downright sucks!
But! Though it may not have felt good nor seemed fair at the time, through it all, I learned independence. I learn self-control. I discovered my own strength and that I was unstoppable!
And if I can go through six long years of brutal bullying and remain standing, then nothing is impossible, and there’s no limit to the heights I can achieve.
The majority of people who are bullied are those who come from families who’ve instilled morals, integrity and the importance of accountability in them. These people are often the brightest, most hard-working, decent, caring, and, most of all, bravest people around.
When you’re bullied, you learn to overcome so many obstacles and move on with life. And you learn by yourself. You learn to fight like the dickens for your safety, well-being, and your happiness. You also learn that if you want anything in life, it’s up to only you to put in the effort to get it.
In closing, I want to thank my bullies for showing me my own strength and for giving me the grit to stay in the fight, to adapt, to overcome, and to win!
1. Positive thoughts equal a positive mind, equals positive actions, which bring positive opportunities, which lead to positive results, which bolsters confidence, which gives you a positive and extraordinary life!
2. Tenacity equals positive change and eventual success.
3. Negative people will never see success, only hollow victories from time to time.
4. The reason most people find ways to discourage you and tell you that you CAN’T is because they’re very much afraid that you WILL.
5. Resting on your laurels equals stagnation and repels growth.
Therefore, with each major goal accomplished, I’ll raise the bar, continue to challenge myself and flex those mind-muscles even more.
Being a target of bullying can make it hard to see the blessings in other aspects of your life. It keeps you focused on the problem instead of seeing your life as a whole.
When I was in school, although I was bullied horribly, and yes, it was bad, my life as a whole wasn’t bad. I can honestly say that I still had a good home.
My mother and grandmother had good jobs and compared to many of my classmates, we lived quite well. Therefore, in family, home and finances, we were super-blessed.
I don’t remember a Christmas or birthday when my brother and I didn’t get exactly what we asked for. This is not to say we didn’t have our problems because we did. What family doesn’t? Our family problems consisted of myself and my siblings being children of divorced parents and a father who wasn’t present during those years. Although it hurt, we still functioned well as a family and those things were minor compared to most.
When I look back, I realize that we were blessed in that we didn’t have family members who were out committing crimes, nor were addicted to any hard drugs, other than an alcoholic or two. During those years, we didn’t have anyone who was dying of cancer, nor shot in the streets or killed in car accidents and plane crashes.
So, again, compared to many kids we knew, we had it pretty darned good.
At the time, I couldn’t see it. Understand that when you’re a bullied and tormented kid in school, you don’t see the beauty in other areas of your life. You lose sight of the blessings in the overall picture because bullying blinds you to it.
You can’t see the forest for the trees. That’s what bullying does to targets. It blinds them to their overall worth and clouds their perceptions of their own lives.
Bullies are constantly in your face, repeating the same lie over and over again:
“You’re worth nothing.”
“Your life is crap.”
“You don’t belong here.”
“You’re one of God’s mistakes.”
“Your mama should’ve aborted you while she had the chance.”
After so long, you finally believe the lies yourself.
Understand that kids’ brains are malleable, mushy, and moldable, which is why they’re so impressionable and easily influenced. Is it any wonder why religious cults and street gangs, target kids for recruitment?
They catch them young so they can mold their vulnerable minds and groom them for service. Bullies do the same thing. They look for targets who are vulnerable and who are more likely to fall for anything.
With that said, shouldn’t we also catch them young to teach them confidence and resilience? Shouldn’t we catch them young to instill them with strength, good self-esteem and the ability to protect themselves from such people?
Understand that bullies aren’t stupid. They’re often those who have learned all about Human Nature early on through abuse, through seeing some really bad things happen before they should have. Many bullies learn about the mere mechanisms of the human condition much earlier than other kids, then use it to exploit their targets.
Bullies may not be much good at anything else, but what they are good at is the subject of Human Nature and making predictions of how most people react to different things. They have ways of brainwashing you, convincing you that you’re a mistake and that your life means nothing.
Depression Concept with Word Cloud and a Humanbeing with broken Brain and Heavy Rain
And if you aren’t careful, bullies will ultimately blind you to any positives that flow into your life and trick you into believing that your life is worse than what it is. Understand this: Bullies LIE!
How you successfully overcome this is to be mindful and to count your blessings, however difficult it may be.
Focus on the good things in your life.
Point out your good qualities, talents, and gifts.
Make positive affirmations by countering the bullies’ lies and making “I AM” statements.
“I am beautiful”
“I am intelligent.”
“I am worth something.”
“I am one of God’s blessings.”
“I am worthy of being born and being alive.”
“I am worthy of a good life.”
This is how you keep your self-esteem intact and prevent bullies from wrecking your self-esteem and your life.