The Bully on the Playground
As creatives who want to make a difference with our lives, we’re often confronted by a bully on the playground. It’s the voice that tells you you’re not worth anything and you’ll never make it. And it always shows up at the wrong time.
Bullies are the tough guys with all the attitude and put downs. Their strategy is to make you feel inadequate and look stupid in front of your peers. He knows if he can keep you intimidated, he’s safe to continue his heinous behavior without repercussion.
Bullying is a real problem in today’s culture. Hurtful words, name calling, and public humiliation cause depression and hopelessness. Hundreds of thousands of suicides in young people every year are a direct result, making suicide the second leading cause of death of individuals ages 15-24.
Overcoming bullying is difficult for two main reasons.
- The victim feels ashamed about being the target of other’s harassment and therefore doesn’t reach out for help or intervention.
- The victim starts to believe the accusations on their character are true because the constant barrage of negativity begins to influence their own thoughts about themselves.
The Creative Bully
So, what do you do when YOU are the bully on the playground of your MIND?
Creatives each have their own personal bully inside their head. It’s Fear.
Fear is a bully. Fear has a big mouth. Fear wants you to feel inadequate and make you think you look stupid. Fear says you have nothing to offer and you’re better off fading into the background of life. Fear says someone else is more qualified.
Fear gains control of our lives for the same reason bullying dominates the minds of susceptible young people. Shame and constant negativity.
You can do it!
The good news is that, just like bullying, fear can be overcome. Employing a few simple tactics can help you find the support you need to keep moving forward and equip you with enough confidence to stand tall.
- Surround yourself with supportive people. You know at least 2-3 people who are going to support you no matter what. When you start hearing the negative voices in your head, get on the phone with your support group. Your supporters will be happy to walk with you through the negativity and help you build your confidence.
- Learn from those who are succeeding. Someone out there is successfully doing what you want to do. Find out where they started from, what adversities they had to overcome, and what steps they took to achieve success. You’ll find out that they are just regular people who battled the bully daily but didn’t give up.
- DON’T GIVE UP! Too often people give up on their dream just before it’s about to become a reality. They feel uncomfortable and out of their comfort zone. They allow the negative voices to convince them that the discomfort is a result of not being good enough. When in reality, it’s normal to feel squeezed when things are about to bust wide open. Growing pains are a normal result of progress. Instead of giving in to the uneasy feelings and backing away, consider restructuring your approach to keep yourself aligned with your goals.
We all face negativity. We are always our own worst critic. Thankfully, the voice of fear is all bark and no bite. You can overcome fear by fighting negative thoughts with positive actions. Gather faithfully supportive people around you, learn from those who are succeeding, and keep moving forward.
Do these things and fear doesn’t stand a chance!