When someone mentions bullying you probably think of brats in the school playground, stealing the littler kids lunches, right? Maybe you even have a bully in the workplace who tries to pull everyone else down to feel important. Sure, those are bullies, alright. But there’s probably one other bully in your life who’s been quietly picking on you since you were a kid. They tend to be meanest in front of the mirror, but they might even rudely interrupt your daydreams, telling you to be realistic and settle for less. Yep, that bully is you. And we think it’s time they shut up!
Self-bullying (or negative self-talk) is something we’ve grown accustomed to. We accept it as a part of everyday life, and maybe even think those voices are here to help us achieve our goals. We hate to break it to you, but that inner bully is doing nothing but damage, distracting you from all of the good stuff you have going for you and drawing attention to your supposed “flaws”.
When you’ve been talking down to yourself in the mirror your whole life, it might feel like it’s impossible to ever break the habit. The good news is that research has shown that we’re all capable of changing our thought patterns - even the ones so deeply engrained in us they feel permanent! Sure, it won’t happen overnight, but it will happen if you’re committed to changing.
It’s pretty simple, really. If you want to achieve the life of your dreams, you need to believe it’s possible or you won’t do what it takes to get there. For instance, if you don’t truly believe you’ll ever fit your skinny jeans again, what kind of motivation is there for you to eat a clean diet and exercise regularly? You may as well sit on the couch all day watching Netflix and inhaling chips! Or if you think you’re not worthy of that promotion, why would you bother doing any overtime, studying in your free time, or asking your boss for a meeting?
As cliché as it sounds, you need to find a way to starting treating yourself with love and respect to become the person you’re meant to be. And just like daily self-bullying will lead to you believing that those mean thoughts are true, the same can be said for positive thoughts. Your mind is very similar to a muscle, so every time you give it a positive “workout”, you make that muscle stronger so it’s even easier to do next time. Make sense?
Anyway, enough about the theory - you’re probably wondering how to even start. The key to all of this is mindfulness; getting your mind to consciously focus on positive things again. There are all sorts of books, videos, podcasts and apps that can help with this. Here’s a list of some of our favourites:
Chaos to Calm By Shannah Kennedy and Lyndall Mitchell
These ladies have created a masterpiece that breaks down all of the things that contribute to a lack of confidence in 12 easy to read (and beautifully designed) chapters. You’ll want to keep this one handy and re-read it whenever you need a boost!
A beautifully designed app that helps you learn to meditate in just 10 minutes a day. It can help with anxiety, sleeping issues and even a lack of motivation.
Confidence on the Go Podcast by Trish Blackwell
Trish is a confidence coach and fitness professional who used to struggle with perfectionism, eating disorders, failed relationships and more. She was able to train her mind to learn from her experiences and come out stronger, and now shares her life lessons through her podcast.
“All it takes is 10 mindful minutes” - TED Talk by Andy Puddicombe
Andy’s a mindfulness expert who, in this short and relatable video, describes the power in experiencing the present moment (without intense or awkward yoga poses)!
Our list is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ways you can start working towards a happier relationship with yourself, but rather than getting overwhelmed with the choices, just choose one place to start and do it daily. Most importantly, enjoy the process! These activities are a chance to enjoy some “me” time and aren’t anything like homework or bootcamp. Make them a priority - as early as possible in your day - and you’ll soon notice the difference, even if it’s small to begin with.
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