Changing Thoughts

The effects of bullying can last a lifetime, long after the bullying incident has occurred. Often the things we say to ourselves and think about ourselves become tainted by the bully’s words and actions. Over time we start to believe the bully’s words to be true and take them on board in our own life even as we move away from the situation.

This was definitely the case for me. As a result of the bullying I experienced I internalised what was said to me into negative self- talk that I was not good enough. This became a mantra that I lived my life by and this negative self-talk appeared in all areas of my life.

Self-talk is the internal dialogue that we have in our minds. They are conscious and subconscious thoughts. Often our self-talk goes on auto- matic pilot, and we don’t even realise what we are saying to ourselves. These thoughts will play over, and over, and over again in our mind. Our self-talk can be quite negative, as we tend to be most critical towards ourselves. These internal thoughts are often things that no one knows about us. We put on a brave exterior to mask our internal thoughts.

It might not seem like much but self-talk is an important part of our self-esteem and self-confidence. Our self-talk is influenced by the experiences we have in our lives, how people treat us and ulti- mately what we think of ourselves. The bully’s words and actions will ring inside the victim’s head in the form of negative self-talk for many years to come.

When we first become aware of our self-talk we sometimes don’t even understand what we are saying and why we think negative things about ourselves. The first step is to acknowledge what our self-talk is (remembering that we cannot change what we don’t acknowledge). Then we need to understand the underlying reasons why it is negative.

Once we have been able to acknowledge and understand our negative self-talk, it is important to consciously change it to be positive, which will help boost our self-esteem and confidence. This change allows us to treat ourselves kindly, and be more compassionate and loving to ourselves – like a best friend. By engaging in positive self-talk, we’re more likely to get things done, and feel more confident in our lives.

I challenge you today to look at what your thoughts are saying? How are they influencing your life?

This is an excerpt from my book, Beyond The Schoolyard. You can order your copy today by clicking here.

Until my next blog, enjoy your children.

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