Before we can understand who the BullySelf is, we must first understand who we are. We’re going to explore more of WHO we really are and how we can uncover our authentic selves in a coming post, however, for the purposes of this particular post, we will define WHO we are as unlimited, creative beings capable of accomplishments far beyond the limits of our own thinking.
The BullySelf is the thing that keeps us from doing just that – it holds us back. We have created this definition to help us better illustrate this concept:BullySelf – the inner voice that harasses and intimidates our core identity, causing feelings of inadequacy, shame and guilt, which unchecked, leads to inaction and self-defeat.
The BullySelf is the master manipulator inside you. It uses past feelings of inadequacy, shame and guilt to keep you from experiencing the pain or discomfort associated with positive change. It uses thoughts and words (expressed internally or externally) to foster feelings of hopelessness and doubt. In so doing, it believes that our actions will be curbed keeping us in the comfort zone of where we currently are, rather than experience the uneasiness that comes with a new situation or circumstance.
It has the most intimate knowledge about you
It may be easier to understand the BullySelf by taking a look at how it effects our actions… or in-actions. For each of us, this BullySelf will manifest itself in different ways, with varying intensity, depending on how great the change will affect the current comfort zone.
Inside your own mind lives the very reason that your dreams and goals are often thwarted, your desires are squashed or your plans are derailed. This entity lives as part of you, knows your deepest secrets, you darkest feelings and your most vulnerable moments.
It knows your entire memory; from all of your childhood and adolescence through every thought and feeling you’ve had up to this very moment. It stores everything it has accumulated in a private vault, for recall later. It can access these files at a moment’s notice if it feels like you are going to DO something of which it doesn’t approve.
It owns the key to unlocking your potential and has the most intimate knowledge from everything that makes you tick, to how to stop you in your tracks.
It knows when you are sad, scared, vulnerable, honest or dishonest, conniving, egotistical, superficial, deceitful, unfaithful, crude, intolerant, unscrupulous, hurtful, petty, or persnickety. In fact, this side of you has more knowledge (or dirt) on you than an entire team of private investigators could ever compile.
It judges you, it pesters you, it reminds you of past failures
You deal with this entity every waking hour, every time you use your brain. It’s there when you want to get creative. It’s standing by when you make commitments, set goals, learn new skills, meet new people, answer questions, or consider your alternatives. There is almost never a time that this thing isn’t right there in the middle of everything you are trying to do.
It judges you, it pesters you, it reminds you of past failures. It is so skillful in its input that it can even fabricate elaborate projections of the future, based on experiences you’ve had in the past. If necessary, it can go as far back as your earliest childhood memories for the information or feelings it needs in order to accomplish its own agendas for you. It doesn’t even care if the information it accesses is accurate or relevant.
At first blush, you may think of this thing as your “Devil’s Advocate”; that process that helps you look at both sides of an opportunity in order to weigh out the best course of action. Indeed, sometimes that is exactly how this entity incorporates itself into every aspect of your being. How it contaminates nearly every thought; and how it can wield so much unlawful power over you if it thinks you have failed to heed its warnings.
But far too often, this moral temperance gets completely out of hand. It takes on a more tyrannical personality and can make your life miserable. Reason and logic go out the door. Good intentions and promising pathways are demolished by thoughts and feelings that have no business weighing in on the opportunity or goal of the moment. Many times these thoughts and feelings are completely unrelated and even exaggerated in order for this thing to control you and ultimately stop your progress.
The BullySelf will stop at nothing
It happens to every single one of us at one time or another. For most of us, it affects us daily and for many of us the effects are crippling, often pushing us to self-defeat, self-loathing and self-denial.
When this happens, our internal watchdog makes the transition from being a precautionary safeguard into an unbridled Bully in every sense of the word. We have named it the BullySelf because it is a very real part of each of us and cannot be undone or erased.
This BullySelf entity will stop at nothing to keep us from doing anything that it deems too painful or embarrassing, something we could look silly or be laughed to scorn about.
Ultimately, it is trying to protect us, but in its misplaced and misguided zeal, it employs horrible, aggressive and harmful tactics to shut us down before we act “foolishly”.
We have all used the words, “I beat myself up all the time” or “I kick myself when I do things like that”, but did you ever notice that these are things that bullies do to their victims? Yet here we are using those same tactics on ourselves when we think we have done something, stupid, embarrassing or wrong.
The BullySelf is alive and real in each of us! It infiltrates every aspect of our lives to some degree or another. Sometimes it is harmful and damaging, subjecting us to unthinkable, unfounded punishments; things that we would never take from someone else or let anyone else do to us.
The BullySelf is a powerful enemy to change
In The Bully Self forum, we want to educate and help as many people as possible recognize the fact that they harbor, within themselves, a bully that pushes their buttons, awakens their shame and holds them back from accomplishing great things. We want to help guide them through the obstacles and barriers erected by this bully entity. Obstacles put in place for its own protection. It thinks it has the right to do anything to stop you, even to the point of harming you, in its quest to keep you safe (“safe” as defined by the BullySelf, whether or not YOU consider its definition to be right).
This is the BullySelf, an internal visage that is often so powerful against our intended change and progress that we sometimes can’t even muster the courage to begin.
Coming up next, understanding WHAT affects the BullySelf has on us…