One topic that you hear me speaking about is the "inner bully." Some people refer to this as the negative voice inside your head, the monkey-mind, or just that self-critical voice. Whatever you call it – step on it and throw it out!
We are so hard on ourselves and we need to stop! Think of some of the mindless negative things you may say to yourself everyday. What are they? Do they sound something like: "I wish I had it all together like she does," or "I look fat in that," or "When will I catch a break?" or "She is better than me at everything," or "Why does my marriage struggle so much?" or "Man she is the best Christian ever!" or "I am too old, or too fat, or not good enough." STOP!
We all have an inner bully that pushes us down in life. The worst part is that we allow it! Why? If we said half the negative things we said to ourselves to someone else we definitely would not have many friends.
I am here to tell you to STOP bullying yourself. NO one, and I mean NO one, has it all together 100% of the time, so don't allow your inner bully to tell you otherwise. Our inner bully will cause us to be tense around others and decrease our ability to reason clearly. This usually leads to us taking our stress out on loved ones... like our spouse! I am guilty of that!
Just today I had to call up a neighbor (I have never done this before) and asked if she and her husband could watch our two kids for two hours. They agreed and I went out to dinner with my husband for the first time in months...MONTHS!!! I took an argument that sparked this morning, as an encouraging moment to make a plan to have one-on-one time, for what I called a "Save our marriage dinner." We let way too much time pass since we had quality husband and wife time. It was nice and I am thankful our neighbors helped us out. The thing is if I had not set this up I am 99% sure there would still be tension between us, and my inner bully would point out how I needed to work on my marriage and tell me I wasn't doing a good job as a wife. A positive mind followed by action is the antidote to defeating the inner bully. I stayed positive, I took action and set up a dinner where my spouse and I were able to talk things out. Communication is key! The less he communicates and the less I communicate the less enjoyable our marriage is. So, remember everyone has their problems, don't allow your inner bully to compare you to others.
The best thing we can start to do is reprogram our brains to look to the positive in every situation. Like this morning after the argument, I knew this was an opportunity to spend time together (just us). Instead of letting things fester I addressed what was going on with a positive alternative to staying home, watching TV, and ignoring each other... yes that has happened!
Reprogramming your mindset to shift to the positive takes time but let me give you some examples of how you could rethink things! Your boss yells at you for missing a deadline. You say to you: "I am sure glad, next time I will not let this happen. What a great learning opportunity!" Yes, you may not say this so chipper right away, but say it to yourself and once the pissed-off look on your boss's face wears off, you will digest the lesson and still have a smile on your face. Or let's say you forget to pay the credit card bill on time. You must say to yourself: "This is a good lesson. You worked hard for your money and now you are giving it a way for being late on a payment. I will not let this happen again." This is much better than crying and stressing over this late payment and you may even be able to get the late payment waived if you call the company and apologize that this one time you were late. If you are late more than once that is a whole other topic and blog post coming soon!
Here are some quick mind-shifts to reprogram your brain:
1. You failed again – shift to – You learned another new way not to do it!
2. That will never happen – shift to – How can I make this happen!
3. Dam that driver – shift to – Looks like they are in a hurry.
4. That will take too long – shift to – I am going to enjoy the process.
5. Your boss dislikes you – shift to – He/She is just getting to know me!
6. You have been gaining weight – shift to – I am starting to walk everyday on my break and I feel great.
7. A coworker is being rude – shift to – Maybe she is having a bad day; I am glad my day is looking up!
8. Your kids are driving you crazy – shift to – They are such a blessing and this time is going to fly by.
You will defeat the inner bully if you saturate your mind with positive thoughts! Find the good in all what seems bad. Go to the positive and enjoy the missteps of your day!