Hands up who’s a self-confessed bully? You may not realise it but we bet you’re guilty of belittling, back-talking, hope-squashing and confidence-bruising. If you’re honest you’re probably not the nicest person in the world – when it comes to being nice to yourself that is. To everyone else, you’re a class act.
We spoke to Performance Psychology Consultant Dr Josephine Perry to find out how to beat our inner bully with some clever mind detox tricks that we could all use when our inner Mean Girl gets vocal.
Get ready to detox your mind, clear out the emotional clutter and blitz those bullying behaviors. We don’t know about you but we’re sure as hell ready to say goodbye to all that negative noise.
The brain drain: Feeling like you’re not good enough
We’re pretty sure Imposter Syndrome is the certificate everyone gets when they graduate to adulthood. From getting a promotion to managing a team to becoming a parent, there are plenty of times when it’s easy to feel like you don’t know what the hell you’re doing, and are about to be found out.
Dr. Perry says; “Set up a file in your inbox called ‘confidence boosters’. Every time someone sends you a thank you, or comments on a great piece of work, file it in here and you can read through them when you need to remind yourself that you have earned your role and deserve to be in your job,” be it director, mother or manager.
A brighter future
The brain drain: Making negative predictions about the future
Ever had that mascara-smudged conversation over cocktails where you basically tell your friends how you’re never gonna find a decent guy/get a decent job/have an orgasm? If your future predictions make an episode of Game Of Thrones look cheery, then you seriously need to think about how you can rewire the way you approach tomorrow.
Dr Perry says, “A lovely perspective I have seen used to stop people making negative predictions and limiting themselves, is to stop trying to get positive answers to everything and actively aim for rejections. One writer aimed for 100 rejections a year. Meaning she had to pitch at least 100 articles, far more than she otherwise would have and to journals far better than she thought her writing deserved to be in. She got lots of yeses and published far wider than ever before.” So think about that next time you expect to fail! You may just surprise yourself with the outcome.
The brain drain: Feeling judged
When we feel judged it’s usually a case of our insecurities rising to the surface. Dr Perry says, “You can’t control what is around you. You can only control how you respond to it. There is no way to control what other people think of you and trying to do so simply wastes your energy. If you decide not to worry about them and focus on what makes you happy life will be far less stressful.” Stop stressing so hard and you’ll soon see that your glass is half full.
The brain drain: Acting like your needs don’t matter
Yes woman? People pleaser? FOMO fiend? Helping other people and trying to make them see you in a good light often means putting yourself last but if you’re constantly saying no to your needs and yes to everyone else’s it’s time to switch the balance. Whether it’s putting your in-laws, partner’s or your employer’s out-of-hours requests first, Dr Perry says you’ve got to get tough.
“The key here is deciding on your own goals. When your goals are abstract with no deadline it is easy for them, and you, to get pushed to the bottom of the to-do list. Write goals which you are passionate about achieving and you are much more likely to remain on track to do the things which are important to you.”
Spiral of Doom
The brain drain: Always focusing on the negatives rather than seeing the whole picture.
Maybe you’ve done a great job at work but you can’t help but pick at the things you could have done better? Perhaps you’ve recently lost weight but can’t stop berating yourself for not losing more? Ignoring the positives is a fast pass to driving your friends away and yourself insane.
Dr Perry says, “It is hard to reframe your thoughts to be more positive but you have to be really deliberate to start with and just keep practising.”
One practical way forward is to write a long list of negative thoughts you often have and force yourself to find a positive in each one. “Do this every day until it becomes more natural. Over time you’ll find you can do it automatically.”
The brain drain: Taking everything personally
Are you the prickly pear of your friendship group? The one who can’t help but get ultra sensitive about every little detail? Whether your neighbor didn’t say hi when she crossed the road or your boss’s voicemail sounded a bit short, taking everything personally is one of the best ways to make life suck.
You’re gonna need an epiphany to kick this one, but it’s a reality check worth having.
If you’re always cut up about personal slights that you think are happening every day, remember these words; you are not that important.
If your neighbor didn’t wave back it’s probably because they hadn’t put their contacts in. If your boss sounded short, it’s because they’re stressing about their next meeting. Life is too short for this much drama. Sorry. Not sorry.
Whether you start using one of these tips or all of them, just remember to be kind to yourself. Self-care and all that.
Read more of MBS’s Tips & Tricks column over here.