Although I was very quiet at school, I was luckily enough not to be bullied. Occasionally the Cancerian in me did snap its claws, when I was pushed too far with my kindness and loyalty to others. I confess at aged 10 I did catch a friend’s fingers in my front gate once but in my defence she was chasing after me. We’re now good friends now.
Then came my first job. Leaving school at sixteen I was eager to please and ready to do no wrong. As I look back now this is where I experienced my first real taste of being bullied.
A year after I started, a new employee joined. He’d been made redundant from a higher position in his firm and thought rather a lot of himself. He took advantage of my rather naive line manager and on one occasion I reported this to a higher boss, as I was worried it may compromise the security within the office.
You can guess what happened next, my line manager had a go at me but very sneakily. He took me into another room away from other staff and told me that ‘he’d make my life hell and have me fired if I did it again’. So there I stayed in my shell for many years, figuring it was best to keep a low profile.
Ten years later and a slightly wiser self, I could see the same thing happening again. The difference being that this time I would not let them take control over me. I was being accused of not working my hours and being lazy. Anyone that knows me, knows I put my heart and soul into my work.
So I stepped up, faced the bullies and learnt that it’s ok to stand up for yourself. It was empowering.
In the past I’d had no confidence in me, so I would have believed that what they’d said might actually be true. Now I know I’m stronger than that.
I recently saw a young man who was bullied by his own thoughts, as many of us are. He would run through many ‘what if’ scenarios, forgetting he was as important as all around him. When he realised this, I watched him begin to soar both professionally and socially.
My top five tips to face your bullies.
In my next blog I’m going to talk about why it’s important to be unique. I’ll let you know some of the quirky activities I’ve been involved in because I can.
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How many times do you find yourself saying to someone, I used to be able to do this or that? I have in the past done exactly the same. What made me change? I learnt I had to accept myself for who I am right at this moment in time.
At the age of 18 I had my life mapped out I’d thought. Little did I know. I had been a Police Cadet in Sussex since the age of 14 and had passed all my entrance exams and was just waiting for the physical tests. To me I knew I’d pass that without an extra breath. I was a fit, County Level runner and loved extreme sports. Little was I to know what was around the corner.
At the time I was working for the Government and on my way to my office in Central London. I turned to look in a shop window and that’s when it happened.
I was frozen to the spot with pain. Being a rather introverted person, I stood there wondering what to do. Do I go and get back on the train or do I carry on to work?
I slowly made my way to work, a five minute walk, which took around forty five that day. When I arrived they suggested I went home as I was apparently fifty shades of pale. This was to be the end of my Police career. Ended before it had started.
I’d ruptured a disc in my lower back so badly that I’d have to have a metal plate put in a week later or risk losing more feeling in my left leg or even being paralysed below the waist.
I spent the following five years living the ‘if only’ life after the unfortunate event on that day. Until one day, driving home from work, I gave myself a metaphorical kick up the behind, as I released I’d lived the past years on a pause button.
For those five years I’d felt permanently tired, why? Because not only was I trying to get on with my daily life. I’d been tormenting myself with the ‘what could’ have been.
Once free of those shackles of the past, I found my energy levels soared. I started to learn to live for the moment. Baby steps. In fact my first step was to train as a personal trainer and sports massage therapist. I had found that zing in me by releasing those chains of steel that were holding me back.
How can you start to break those chains?
· Look at all the things you can do right now – It might be five minutes of gardening or walking today, then make it six minutes tomorrow. After two weeks you’re a third of the way to an hour. Baby steps, no looking back at the “what ifs”
· Write a letter to all those nemeses of the past. Write it a letter, with words or even a picture. Then “let it go’. You can burn it, shred and bury it. Or plant it under a tree.
· Be grateful for everything you have, your uniqueness is your best asset. As the saying goes ‘Be yourself, everyone else is taken’.
I learnt it was ok to be me again just as I am, not the ‘what was’ from the past. I’m even part bionic now!
In my next blog find out how I faced the bullies including the one who used to stare back at me in the mirror.
Becky lives in West Sussex, UK and is a Therapist using hypnosis, Psy-TaP, Kinetic Shift and Mindscaping. Please feel free to explore the website to learn more about her.