Bullies physically and emotionally hurt others with their fists and their words. They tell others they are stupid, ugly and worthless. We know bullies are bad, but how often do we say those same hurtful words to ourselves?
Doesn't that make us, in a sense, bullies, too?
Here are 7 ways we bully ourselves without even realizing it. See if they sound familiar.
1. "I am ew!"
Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and thought, "Ew"? When we take a mental tally of the things we have that we don't like, we take away from all the good we have and are. We feed negativity, self-doubt or even disgust. We also feed ingratitude for what we do have. You have the body God gave you. It is precious. You should take care of it, and a large part of taking care of your body is loving it-no matter what you see in the mirror.
Next time you look in that mirror, replace the "ew" with a smile. Look for all the good things you have and are, and compliment yourself. Feed the good. Your body believes what your mind says. What are you going to say to your body today?
Remember, you are not "ew." You are beautiful.
2. "I can't do that."
Fear is one of the main reasons we tell ourselves we can't do something. We are afraid of trying and failing. Perhaps we're even afraid of succeeding or change. We tell ourselves it's too hard. We are not capable.
When we say we can't do it, we tell ourselves we are not strong enough, talented enough, capable enough. Not good enough.
If what you want is right and good and worth pursuing, then stop telling yourself you can't do it. You can do it because God knows how powerful you are, and He will make up the rest. And with Him, all things are possible.
3. "I should be more like her/him."
All too often we see another's attributes we admire; but, rather than simply admiring them, we put ourselves down because we feel we don't measure up.
You should be you You are unique and special. Yes, yes, we all are. But, every color of the rainbow is different; does that take away from the beauty and necessity of blue? Or red? Or yellow? No. They are brilliant colors, each unique and so needed. And when they work together, they create millions of shades of themselves, each beautiful in their own way.
Be you. That is who you should be. Not her. Not him. Not them. Be the you God intended you to be. And that starts by looking to Him, not to the person next to you.
4. "I don't think he/she likes me."
When you tell yourself someone doesn't like you, you are investing energy and thought into something that might not be real. Often, this line of thinking takes us down the path of thinking negative thoughts about that other person; and, before you know it, you don't like him/her either.
Don't talk yourself out of liking and loving yourself or other people because you tell yourself people don't like you. If they really don't like you, that's okay. You can't take away their rights to feel what they feel. But their feelings do not define reality. Don't give them the power to decide how you feel. Love yourself. Love others. And let it go.
5. "I'm so stupid."
Intelligence is within us all. We all have different capacities, talents and gifts. We should not stifle our potential by labeling ourselves as stupid. Yes, there are things we don't know. We can't know it all.
But, don't discount yourself. Don't belittle your capacity because you don't understand a certain subject or principle right now. There is a time and a season for all things, including learning. You are intelligent, with a godly potential to learn and grow. You're not stupid. You have a capacity to learn and to change. Embrace it. Don't stunt it by telling yourself you're stupid.
6. "I am a failure."
Life is full of failures. We are going to mess up, make mistakes and miss our goals. But, WE are not failures.
Don't give up.
Don't give up the joy, courage and optimism that come from trying again. Failure is an outcome, not an indictment of your worth and capability. It's okay to say, "I have failed," because we all have at some point. But, be sure to follow that up with, "But I'll keep on keeping on."
Another thing to remember is that what might seem a failure in our eyes is an opportunity in God's eyes.
The only true failure is giving up. So, don't give up. You're not a failure.
7. "I am worthless."
We all make mistakes. We might even inadvertently hurt ourselves or others with those mistakes. Life can be hard, and we may feel tattered and torn, but that does not mean we have no worth.
A crumpled twenty-dollar bill is still worth twenty dollars.
When you tell yourself you are worthless, you are telling yourself you can do no good, that you can have no influence in the world and that you have no value.
But you do have value.
You are worth more that you know. You are worth everything.
Tell yourself that until you believe it.
Stop bullying yourself.
You are beautiful. You can do so much. You are stronger than you realize. Get up when you fall. Like yourself. Love yourself. And believe you are worth everything. Because you are.
This article was originally published on Michelle Wilson. It has been republished here with permission.