Continuing with Admiral William McRaven’s book, “Make Your Bed”, we go onto his #7 life lesson. He titles his lesson #7, as “Stand up to Bullies”. Admiral McRaven goes on to write about the courage needed to face the bullies in life, be they bosses, coworkers, people generally who are more than willing to wheel power over you if they can. Even as an adult, verbally abusive parents, living or dead, can exert control over you if you let them.
Bullies, real or imagined, can be paralyzing, emotionally and physically. Bullies, regardless of how they manifest themselves, probe for weaknesses and once they sense it, they will attempt to instill fear and intimidation. In order to overcome the bullies and achieve your goals in life, you need to dig deep and tap into the courage that is lying dormant within you.
Bullies need not be people. Bullies can also be dysfunctional thoughts that many people have about the world around them and their place in it. To them, the world is a scary place. Their thoughts are like gremlins that wait for opportunities to prey upon people when they are feeling most faint of heart.
It takes courage to deal effectively with bullies out in the environment and within one’s own mind. Many people may think they lack the courage and resiliency to face down the bullies in their lives. However, in order to tap into that courage they need in life, they need to dig deep within themselves .
That means taking personal responsibility for your own well being. The “bullies” within people or out their in the environment, will not look out for your best interest but rather their own. For that reason, people must take up the challenge and begin to plan for ways to begin to be in charge of themselves. Merely wishing for it to happen doesn’t make it so. It takes a willingness to challenge behavior that no longer is working. From there, take small steps toward a higher level of functioning, even if it is not felt. You may have to “Fake it until you make it.” However, with consistency, you will discover courage in abundance. From this point, you define who you are, rather than letting outside people or inside thoughts do it for you.
Any questions, comments or suggestions can be directed to Ray Shocki PhD, LCSW, LMFT at firstname.lastname@example.org.