How To Fight Your Inner Bullies

Self-love is powerful but so is self-hate. You may have experienced trauma, neglect, abuse, poverty, body and fat-shaming, beauty shaming and colorism, hyper masculinity, racism, prejudice and discrimination; these are all products of white supremacy and have taught us that there is something about us that is not good enough. Your environment directly impacts how you love or do not love yourself.

Self-hate is the internal bullying that occurs within our minds that makes us feel like we are unworthy. In order to know how to stand up and combat self-hate, we must first understand these bullies. Here are the five Inner Bullies that we all experience and how you can stand up to them with self-love:

Bully 1: Fear

Everyone is afraid of something, and there are valid reasons for your fears. Fear can be a helpful defense mechanism that aids protection. It’s when fear becomes obsessive distorted that a healthy fear turns into an inner-bully.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

Marianne Williamson

The only way to face this bully is to face them. Whatever you are afraid of, you must face it and continue to move forward in your fear. Don’t run away from those things that you are afraid of, whether it is a fear of disappointing others, a fear of failing, a fear of being alone, or a fear of imperfection; the only way to stand up to this bully is to DO IT SCARED. Face your bully; face your fears.

Bully 2: Self-doubt

Self-doubt that we will consistently remind you of every time you have failed, and that failure causes you to believe that you are incapable of succeeding. Self-doubt is the type of bully who does not care that you successfully accomplished goals and that you overcame barriers. This bully will always focus on the negative and they really love a pity party. Self-doubt thy will try their hardest to tell you that you are not good enough.

In order to stand up to this bully, you must remind yourself of your abilities, successes, accomplishments and areas in your life that you have mastered a hardship. Self-doubt hates when you praise yourself, so do that. Praise and celebrate your strengths instead of focusing on those areas you struggle and whatever you are doubting about yourself, know that you can trust yourself to do what is helpful and what feels good for your life.

Bully 3: Insecurity

Your insecurities are not your own. You were born with confidence. Your environment (parents, family, friends, teachers, media/society, etc.) creates low self-esteem and the belief that you are less than. You are insecure because you have been listening to the echo of everyone who made you feel that you are not good enough. You have internalized the insecurities of others and you have the power to release yourself.

The bully of insecurity will tell you that you don’t measure up, that you are not good enough, and that you will never have or be like the person(s) you are comparing yourself too. Stand up to insecurity by knowing your strengths, talents, and gifts. Be mindful and know that it is amazing that there is NO ONE IS LIKE YOU. Choose to be confident in all you are. YOU ARE MORE THAN ENOUGH.

Bully 4: BLAME!

Some of your past choices may be hard to sit with. Maybe you made a choice that you still overthink and obsess about. Relatable! Feeling guilty about a choice or blaming yourself for a choice you made is something that most people have experienced. This bullying tag team can feel defeating and can shift when and how you trust yourself here and now.

Stand up to this bully by releasing yourself from blame you feel by being compassionate (patient, kind, gentle, understanding) with yourself. You were doing all you could with what you knew at that time. Replace the blame with compassion.

Bully 5: Guilt & Shame

What are you ashamed of? What are you feeling guilty about? Guilt and shame are on a mission to make you hide, shrink, and feel like that choice defines you. They will remind you of every time you humiliated yourself, let someone down, or made a choice that had painful consequences. They will try to make you feel like you are a bad person and that your family, friends, and even society will not accept you because of that choice.

Like the blaming bully, guilt and shame want you to beat yourself up for the rest of your life. No one is perfect and error is normal. You deserve the same grace and compassion that you extend to others every day. You can fight this bully by prioritizing self-acceptance and self-forgiveness and making choices that you are proud of yourself for. Accept the choice and do the Heart Work to forgive yourself. Remember, self-forgiveness begins with self-compassion.

The Heart Advocate is dedicated to the hearts of every individual and seeks to help you choose self-love as a coping skill for mental health and healing.

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