This story was shared with me on Face book. I think it is a beautiful lesson and that it goes far beyond children and school.
A teacher in New York was teaching her class about bullying and gave them the following exercise to perform. She had the children take a piece of paper and told them to crumple it up, stamp on it and really mess it up but do not rip it. Then she had them unfold the paper, smooth it out and look at how scarred and dirty is was. She then told them to tell it they’re sorry. Now even though they said they were sorry and tried to fix the paper, she pointed out all the scars they left behind. And that those scars will never go away no matter how hard they tried to fix it. That is what happens when a child bully’s another child, they may say they’re sorry but the scars are there forever. The looks on the faces of the children in the classroom told her that the message hit home. ~Author Unknown
Dan Olweus, of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program shares:
I have no doubt that bullying leaves scars and has no place in school or anywhere else for that matter. But most people fail to realize the one place that bullying happens the most often… in the six inches between our ears.
There are three important components of bullying:
1. Bullying is aggressive behavior that involves unwanted, negative actions.
2. Bullying involves a pattern of behavior repeated over time.
3. Bullying involves an imbalance of power or strength.
I suggest that many people are bullied by their own subconscious. And the worst part is that it continues long after you stopped getting wedgies in Jr. High.
Has anyone ever told to you: “Stop beating yourself up over….”
How often have you heard the little voice inside you head tell you that you’re not good enough or that you will fail? How often have you heard that voice convince you that you are not attractive enough or interesting enough? Have you ever not begun a project or taken an action because you convinced yourself that it was beyond your ability or out of you scope of expertise? Perhaps your inner bully told you that you were too tall, too short, too skinny, too fat, too silly, too stern, or just too plain old dumb.
Those thoughts repeatedly assault you with negative and unwanted ides and beliefs. They come at you even though you would rather not have them. And over time the negative beliefs of your subconscious become the norm and begin to affect and overpower the intentions of the conscious mind.
And this is where it messes you up, because the thoughts that you think cause you to have certain feelings about yourself. And it’s these feelings that determine the types of actions you will take or not take. If your thoughts tell you that you “can” do something then you will most likely give it a shot.
On the other hand, if your bully tells you you’re a complete loser and a total doofus and that your just going to fail and embarrass yourself in the process, then you are much less like to ever take the chance of moving forward.
To make matters worse, your decision to not to act just reinforces that the bully was right and that you are a loser and a doofus and that your life will never change (because it never does.)
I have a solution for you.
It is time for you to kick your own ass! And the sooner the better!
Its time for you to stand up to the bully between your ears and maturely say: “You’re not the boss of me!”
Even though the bully of the subconscious mind has been pushing you around for years, it’s never too late to push back. You do that with the conscious mind. You intentionally choose thoughts that are more empowering, thoughts that move you forward, thought that reinforce your value.
Your thoughts are like muscles. The ones you work out the most become stronger. Bullies only pick on the weak. It’s time to start exercising your free will. It’s time to start exercising your positivity muscles. It’s time to intentionally decide that you are totally awesome and that you can do anything. It’s time to tell the subconscious that you’re not going to take any crap from it anymore.
Here are some ways to strengthen your positive mind muscles:
- Write a list of your positive traits and read that list to yourself out loud every day. This is your daily “mental-cise”.
- (*If you are having trouble coming up with a list in the beginning, then “imagine” what traits you would possess if you were a positive, successful, happy person and write those down. Like most bullies, your subconscious is pretty dumb. The subconscious doesn’t know the difference between real and imagined, so go for it. You have my permission to have some “Conan the Barbarian” sized positive thoughts)
- Look in the mirror and tell yourself that you are amazing and that you can do anything you set your mind too. Don’t forget to quote Billy Crystal from SNL and tell yourself that “You look MAAAAAARVELOUSSSS!!” (*WARNING* the bully will try to tell you that this is stupid and that nothing you say is true. It will try anything to keep you weak. Don’t let it. Stick with it. Your positivity muscles will take time to develop but they will.)
- Ask someone who cares about you to tell you one thing that they like or admire about you.
- (*It helps to hear from another person. This validates that you do in fact have value even when you may not feel it yourself.)
Once you start exercising this way, your intentional mind will grow stronger, and as it strengthens, the bully will start to disappear. And when that happens your life will start to move from terrible to terrific. And just think — won’t it feel great to finally stop giving yourself those mental wedgies?