The Inner Bully, by Ersilia Tarantino
Do you know that voice in your head that criticizes you and keeps you from taking action?
I used to call this my inner critic, but I realize now that it’s really a bully.
When we decide we want to make a change in our habits, transform a life situation, an attitude, a way of being, it is the inner bully that rears its head to try and stop us.
This little inner voice has been used to you being a certain way. It doesn’t want to make change easy for you. It believes the people around you won’t accept the change or love you anymore if you do.
Make friends with your inner bully, express empathy for it. After all, what is a bully? Someone that is scared, finds they have to threaten people to be recognised and get the attention they crave because they are not as confident as you are.
Your inner bully needs consideration, love and compassion.
How My Inner Bully Deals With My Adventures
I had been living in France after moving from the UK for a change of life, to find the freedom I wanted and live by the sea, feel exotic and enjoy myself more. I made a change to go and find my spirit and my passion and try to be successful at that. Let the inner joyful spirit come out.
It was not an easy journey, and my own journey with my inner bully has also been difficult. I believe mine is more like a dictator! It never seems to want to let up.
I took another leap to transition again to move to Australia, the place I was born, to make a success of my business in another country.
Some of the biggest challenges I have had have been my age and how to be alright with my changing body and changing style as I grow older, go through pre-menopause whilst meeting a new man and making new friends.
My inner bully has not made any of this easy.
My inner bully tells me things like:
“Look at all that fat, why would someone be attracted to you?”
”You can’t dress that way, that’s too young!”
”You are too old, look at those wrinkles!”
I have always been a very sporty and active person. I’m a surfer and that has kept me fit, although I wouldn’t say I’m slim. Motion and lifestyle and bones that are beginning to creak and moan have not helped. I have had to slow down. The bully took this opportunity to come back really strong.
How I Handle My Inner Bully
I developed a few tools during my first move that I was reminded to reuse again with this move to Australia:
– to begin to accept the changes in myself that I couldn’t really control
– to find the changes that I could control and tell the voice to F….. off
– to stop focusing on what was wrong
– to instead tell myself what was right and what I was doing well
How We Make It Happen
- Write down all the things your voice has been telling you, (it may be a long list) and keep going until you have exhausted it.
- Ask yourself: “Whose voice is this?” Is it your parents, yours, other people’s, society? Most of the time it comes from other people’s ‘shoulds.’ . “You should look like xxx”, “You should do xxx”, etc. (My Dad, for example, was Italian and very critical about how I looked.)
- Speak to those things. Tell your inner bully why you are all right as you are. Have a conversation with it and get it on your side. What skills are you learning from those negative things that would help in this situation? Where have you had a similar experience that could help you confirm and affirm yourself? Deal with the emotions that come up. I began to realise that I could also be trying to win a losing battle. For example, with menopause some of the effects are putting on weight. I began to realise that I actually was not doing so badly…and my inner bully began to agree!
- Begin to focus on what you love about yourself. What is good about you? As you do, as you love your body as it is and the way it looks, you begin to be inspired with solutions and ideas that will help you to feel better. For example, as you rub cream on after a bath, tell each body part how much they do for you and how you love them. As I began to love my new body and my new bulging stomach, I came across recipes that helped me to deal with my inflammation, and began to walk 30 mins every day instead of surfing. Also, I met a man who loves me and does not care so much about my image and what I look like. When I began to take more care of myself, my inner bully actually began to change and help me out.
My advice for you is to begin to observe all the things your inner bully is telling you about yourself and begin to affirm all the great things, talents, gifts, skills you have. Be gentle. I love the saying, “Where your focus goes your energy flows.” Let it flow to the right places!!!
About Ersilia Tarantino
Ersilia is an Excellence & Intuitive Coach, facilitator and writer for Take Joy Seriously. She supports people in their relationships, business and daily life to discover what brings them joy and regain the confidence and mindset to go for what they really want creating inspired living. From a background as a tour guide, trained intuitive coach and previous business owner she has bought all her tools together to develop a method to retrain your brain for more positive attitudes and bring more fun and light-heartedness back to life. Making feeling good a path to success. Growing up in the UK with an Italian father she knows what “la dolce vita” is all about. Having spent many years working in France she brings a dynamic new way of looking at life as a game and understanding how to win it on your terms with your rules!!! She is also the founder of Inspiring Breaks, wellness weekends to take time out to retreat & learn, re-boosting and re-motivating you back to joy & well-being.