WHAT the BullySelf Does to Us

Discovering the WHAT in the 5W's of the BullySelf (1)

Now that we’ve had a chance to discuss The Bully Self and look at a few of its characteristics, let’s dig a little deeper and explore why we are so susceptible to the actions of this bully.  The Bully Self is, after all, one of our own creations, one of the tools we’ve put in place to help us grow and develop, without getting ourselves into too much trouble.

When we say “trouble” we mean things that diminish us somehow; hurt our career, damage our relationships, make us feel stupid, make us feel embarrassment, shame, inferiority or even shower us with guilt.  This is not the exhaustive list of things that we mean when we say “trouble”, but we think you can start get the picture.

We’d like to say, here, that when we talk about our BullySelf, we’re not simply identifying “negative self-talk”.

Sometimes, a little dose of reality can help focus our intention and keep us on the right path.  Unfortunately, the BullySelf does not deal in reality.  It communicates in harsh tones with unreasonable expectations.  It applies mental anguish and abuse; using tactics that could be called torture were they to have been conducted by someone else.

We discover that we could be more than we are.

Sometimes the line between the harmful accusations of The Bully Self and the reality checks of truthful reflection are very hard to discern.  It’s one thing to truthfully analyze one’s own capabilities and shortcomings when embarking on a new adventure; and another thing entirely; to relentlessly point out every detailed flaw, and recount every stinging failure as reminders of past efforts that didn’t work out.

Truthful reflection gives us the ability to assess our capabilities and seek additional help or further education when we find that there is something else we need.  This is a good thing and there is no harm in looking inside ourselves, even if we find room to improve.  But the Bully sometimes takes these moments of reflection as moments of doubt.

Finding the areas in which we need improvement is honorable.  It is the first step in making ourselves and our lives better.  We discover that we could be more than we are.  We feel hopeful that this new me will feel better, be happier and make a positive impact on the world; all are great things and good reasons to seek self-improvement.

But the Bully sees the need for improvement as a personal flaw or weakness, and flaws or weakness mean “inherent inability”.

The tone of this blog is not so much about Self-improvement Self-help or Self-empowerment in the traditional sense, but more in the idea of identifying, isolating and eliminating the roadblocks to meaningful self-change that pop up and plague our best laid plans.

The BullySelf can turn a minor blunder into an EPIC FAIL.

The BullySelf is one of the most crippling of these roadblocks because it magnifies and compounds every aspect of every other roadblock, setback, misstep, face plant, belly flop or foul ball that we will encounter along our path.

The BullySelf can turn a minor blunder into an EPIC FAIL that’s stored in our mental files and especially our own perception of what people think of us or what our public image is.  It makes us shrink from embarrassment and can shame us into inactivity and even hibernation in an effort to not be seen, so as not to appear a fool.

You are the product of your BullySelf.  People who live in fear of failure are the people that tend to get it.  While we are running our offensive plays in the game of life, we are fighting a defense of our own creation.  It knows not only the plays we like to run, but knows how much we have practiced and how proficient we have become at the execution.  It knows our commitment and our drive. It knows just how much effort it needs in order to halt our progress.

The BullySelf picks up on your desired accomplishment vibe and runs it through a quick possibility analysis to ensure that whatever it is you are about to embark upon does not interfere with the status quo.  Bully is making sure that you don’t embarrass yourself in a failure that affects your perceived appearance to the outside world.  Employers, colleagues, friends, acquaintances, people you attend church with, family, peers, the internet and people you don’t know or will probably never meet are all part of the scan it performs in order to keep you from playing the fool.  The Bully will do this to whatever degree it thinks is necessary to cover the exposure.

The voice of the BullySelf is as familiar as the voice of your own mother.

Once the BullySelf has made the assessment of your potential risk, it will begin to apply a certain amount of opposing force by way of specific thoughts, feelings and memories.  These are designed to conjure up the hurtful moments of past blunders to whatever degree necessary in order to make you reverse direction and limit your exposure so that you will still “fit in” with whatever group the BullySelf thought you were at risk of alienating at the time.

It doesn’t matter whether you have the skills necessary to perform the new task.  If the Bully considers it a problem, you will be shut down.  In your mind, you’ll hear things like “Who do you think you are?” “You’re not good enough” “You don’t deserve that” “You’ll never fit in” “Too fat” “No money” “Too old” “Uneducated”, the list is never ending.

The way we sometimes let the BullySelf treat us is shameful and at the extreme, even criminal.  “You’re SO stupid” “What a fricking LOSER!” “I can’t believe I just did that!” “Things NEVER work out for me!” “What’s the use” “You’re never going to get it, are you!?” “You can’t do ANYTHING right!”  These kinds of sayings go around and around and over and over in our heads, several times each day, as we judge our efforts and actions toward our goals, in our jobs, as human beings and especially in the presence of others.

The BullySelf will hit you below the belt, tell you the most cruel things, drag up the most horrific memories and expose and exaggerate the most painful feelings.  It will make you believe lies, sometimes monstrous lies, not only about yourself, but about people you love, people that surround you, and people with whom you do business.

Discover: How to neutralize it and reclaim your power.

Nothing is sacred when it comes to the bullying imposed on you by the BullySelf.  If you have ever felt a slight twinge of guilt, embarrassment or inadequacy in your everyday efforts, large or small, you have been effected by the pressures and stigmas of the BullySelf.

The Bully will escalate its demeaning ridicule as high as it thinks it needs to in order to keep you and you’re latest idea “in line”.

Of course, there is much more that we have to discover about what it does, but this should give you a pretty good idea of some tactics used on you regularly by the BullySelf.

You don’t have to listen to this Bully inside of you.  However, if you don’t have the tools to shut it down, you will default to internalizing the smorgasbord of self-defeating banter laid on by the BullySelf.

Everyone is at risk.  Nobody is safe from these tauntings.  Not even the most prominent, successful, notable, influential, achievers and believers among us.  We ALL have reason to fear its influence.  We ALL need the skills to fight it off.  The BullySelf is a world class magician.  We ALL have its DNA inside us and without a plan to control it; we will ALL come under its spell at some point… to one degree or another.

It’s ALL kind of scary when you really think about it…


Next post, we’ll be checking out WHEN the BullySelf is most likely to show up.  You may discover some things that you never considered, even though the voice of the BullySelf is as familiar as the voice of your own mother.  This “Shape Shifter” can take on any personality, don any attire, fake any attitude, press any advantage, and play any card in its effort to have its own way.

Once we have a handle on Who the BullySelf is, What it does, When it appears, Where it comes from and Why we listen to it; we’ll be more prepared to discover How to Neutralize it and reclaim our power.  So stick around if you want help to regain your self-control, we’re ALL in this together.


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