We all have an inner voice. A voice that tells us how great we are and, all too often, tells us we are anything but great. It tells us we are not good enough, and that we are somehow less than those around us. This negative voice can destroy us. It can stomp on our spirit. This voice is our inner bully.
You can be a smart, talented, awesome kid, but your inner bully will make you think you are stupid, untalented and even a loser. If you’re a recent grad, the words of your inner bully can make your feel as if you have no skills and you don’t belong anywhere. It’s the inner bully that will make a new mom feel guilty because she chooses to work or make her feel unsuccessful if she chooses to stay home with her new baby. The words of the inner bully will take any spirit and try to step on it, slow you down, and stop you from reaching towards your passions and desires.
I know all about the inner bully. I had allowed my inner bully to control my happiness and success for years. In writing my book, "Stop Bullying Yourself!"you can take my experiences and utilize what I’ve learned to help you or someone you love. A great leader once asked me, “Why the heck would you wait and try to figure it all out on your own when you can pick up a book, and within a few hours learn what he or she took years to learn?” Great point right? (grab the book here)
Some of the things I have learned along the way, these last thirty-eight years, were not always easy. I’ve narrowed my most important life rules down to these, you may have heard some of them before. I hope so; after all, they are good rules to live by if your goal is to be a happy, healthy, whole person.
#1: The world is not fair, so move forward! We are all born in different families, in different circumstances, along with different abilities, genetics, and opportunities. It is what you do within your circumstances and with your abilities that can create your own opportunities and positively impact your life. Count your blessings every day, strive towards opportunity, and accept that you get what you get; don’t throw a fit. You must enjoy the unfairness of life and use it to fuel your desires. If life were “fair” we would all have the same things, the same opportunities, and similar lives. That would diminish much of the beauty in the diversity of our lives. Don’t wish for fairness work towards progress.
#2: Happiness is a choice! Every single day when you wake up, every morning, you have a choice. You can grumble, hit the alarm clock, and roll back over in bed, or you can swing your feet around, place your toes on the floor, stand up, stretch your hands over your head and smile. The choice is easy to make: get up or go back to bed. This is where your happy day starts. Choose to stand up and smile!
Even when you’re feeling down, the most important thing is to remind yourself of all that is good in your life. You can choose to see the positive or choose to dwell on the negative. Choose happiness, choose to have a positive attitude; you will be thankful that you chose optimism.
#3: Money is easy to make, but harder to keep! The key to financial success is not to win the lottery or get a high paying executive job, although you may think so. The first key to amassing wealth is to begin saving money from a young age. If you haven’t already begun saving then start now. The second key is stop wasting money on expensive lattes and monthly subscriptions that you don’t use, and any other expenses that do not add value to your life. Find the little ways your money slips away, and stop those leaks now. Start putting that money to good use that grows your future.
You’re not sure why you have no money to save? You can’t figure out where it all went? The only way you will know how you’re spending your money is to write down every single thing you purchase for a week. You may be shocked at what patterns you find yourself doing. Another way to save is to save your discounts. People confuse saving with discounting. I have friends who’ll tell me about how much money they saved on a shopping trip, and my response is, “did you put the money you saved in a savings account?” You know the answer to that; Nope! You go to the store and find a great deal on a sweater. It cost you $30 versus $50. You can only say you saved $20 if you took that $20 discount and put it in the bank or in a retirement account. I challenge you to keep more of your money by saving your discounts and writing down all the money you spend.
#4: You are surrounded by what you want, and you are what you surround yourself with! Some people call this the “law of attraction.” I call it the law of choice. You can choose who and what you surround yourself with. Do you choose to be around positive, productive people? Or do you choose to be around complainers? Do you choose to fill your grocery cart with healthy choices so when you open the fridge you are looking at colorful food and your fruit bowl is filled? Do the walls in your home close in on you and depress you or do you choose to paint your walls with clean, happy colors? Yes, I just suggested you change the colors in your home to improve your mood and success. Every single thing you surround yourself with says something about your choices and impacts your happiness
#5: Your limitations are set by you! If I asked you what your ultimate dream life is, what would you say? Now if I asked you that same question but this time I tell you that under no circumstance will you fail, would your dream be different? Would it be as big a dream? Perhaps, not. The truth is sometimes, when you try and think big, you allow your inner bully to hold you back. It plants thoughts in your mind, “That could never happen,” or “Be realistic!” or “You’ll never be able to do that!” The question is; Why do you allow your inner bully to limit your dreams? Don’t let it. Don’t let your inner bully limit you. Don’t limit yourself. The best way to break through limitations you stumble over is to remain determined, to reach towards your goals, keep working and stop listening to your inner bully. Instead of thinking, “I don’t think I can do that,” you must think, “I can totally do that!” Instead of thinking, “That’s impossible,” say, “That has so many possibilities! The bigger you allow your dreams to be followed by a positive optimistic attitude is when you become limitless.
#6: Your family is very important even if they drive you nuts! Yes, that’s what I said! Even though your sister or brother, or your parents seem intolerable at times, they are a part of you and have had a large part in molding the person you are, whether you want to admit it or not. The father who is always there or the father that missed everything; yup, both are equally significant in influencing your life today. The mom that loved every inch of you or the mother that critiqued every last bit of you; again both are equally important. The siblings that you never had or the siblings that nagged at, laughed with, picked on, and played with you; all play a huge part in your life. There is a lesson learned from each family member you have had or never met. Be thankful for the wisdom they afforded you.
#7: Sleep is extremely important to your overall health, success, and can never be “made up!” You need to sleep on a regular basis. The worst thing you can do is to skimp in this aspect of your life. Lack of sleep impacts your days in ways far beyond what you would guess. Your lack of energy at the office the day after a poor night’s sleep or impatience with your kids after a night of restlessness is just the tip of the iceberg. The careless mistake you make on a memo, the yawns in front of your coworkers or your boss, not to mention the biological increase of your stress hormone, cortisol. This kicks your butt and sabotages your success, little by little. A good night’s sleep beneficially impacts your bottom line as well as your waistline. I say you can’t “make up” a sleep deficit because you can never make up the hours and incidents of poor performance that comes with the lack of proper rejuvenating, restful sleep. Make your sleep environment a sanctuary!
#8: Eating healthfully will restore your body’s energy and minimize illness! It’s amazing how quickly we run to the doctor to be given for a pill for a headache, for acne, or to rid ourselves of some unwanted weight gain. We assume we’re ill because of stress caused by deadlines, or the neighbor's barking dog. Yet we forget to ask ourselves: What did I put in my body today? The human body has an amazing ability to heal itself if we just get out of the way and let it. Give every cell the opportunity to restore and rejuvenate by ingesting proper nutrition. Your success will only be as healthy as your health. How you treat your own body says a lot about how you treat many other aspects of your life. Don't be lazy with your health unless you want a lazy life.
My lessons keep expanding as I keep growing. I hope you too continue to grow, learn, and love!