Name Your Bully

Jim:    Greetings and good thoughts to the followers of this podcast and those who choose to continue, I salute you.  I congratulate you on having an interest to participate in your life.  Creating yourself rather than finding yourself.  Combining serendipity and synchronicity.  Making 1+1=3 and creating a reaction rather than waiting for one.  Let’s confront fear.  Let’s use it and expect the unexpected.  Follow the sound of my voice.  Dare to look for a white rabbit.  However, we can choose which rabbit hole to go down.  Let’s meet life head-on with full-impact mindfulness.  And, if that interests you, listen on.  Get off the porch.  Run with the big dogs.  And, I’ll help you to Fish Without Bait and live a life without definitive explanations.  Let’s let the adventure continue.  Today, in this moment in time, I’m joined by my good friend, co-host and producer of this program – Mr. Mike.  Mr. Mike, have you ever heard the saying time doesn’t require anything.  However, everything requires time.

Mike:    I have not heard that actually.  

Jim:    Hmmm.  So, how does that strike you?

Mike:    I think that’s interesting because it shows the one-sided nature of time as we’ve talked about the currency aspect here on past episodes, right?  It’s weighted in a certain direction when we think about time.  

Jim:    So, we have expectations of time.  However, time does not have expectations of us, does it?

Mike:    Right.

Jim:    And, although these podcasts occur at a point in time, are they not timeless?

IMG_3512.JPG

Mike:    Right.

Jim:    Indeed.  You can listen to them anytime.  So, last week we spoke about taking dares and confronting fear.  If you remember what the saying by George Adair everything that you want is on the other side of fear.

Mike:    It’s the wall that’s between us – the great wall.

Jim:    Indeed.  The door with a lock on it.  We spoke about running throughout our lives chasing what others want us to be.  Trying to live up to the expectations of others and avoiding the wolf.  And, we made a promise that we’d help people avoid being dinner – being consumed by life with unreasonable expectations.  Tell me, Mike, have you ever been bullied?

Mike:    Certainly.

Jim:    For definition’s sake, what does it mean to be bullied?

Mike:    Basically just to be antagonized.

Jim:    Were you ever afraid to go anywhere because the bully would be there?

Mike:    Yes.  Unfortunately, my bus ride home every day.

Jim:    Your bus ride home every day.  Did you ever feel that no one was standing up for you?

Mike:    Absolutely.  

Jim:    And, the saddest thing is not even yourself?

Mike:    Mm-hmm.

Jim:    So, Mike, that’s where true despair comes from.  That’s where true loneliness, depression, and fear are brewed.  Today, Mike, we’re going to be using full-impact mindfulness to deal with the bully.  So, first of all, what’s an inner critic, Mike?

Mike:    Oh, we’ve talked about that.  It’s the person inside you that puts you down, that keeps you held down.

Jim:    Sure.  It’s a voice that we mistakenly – remember that word mistakenly – identify as our own.  One of the things we have to ask ourselves is whose voice is that and where did it come from?  Mike, the inner critic is the source of guilt, shame, low self-esteem, and self-concept.  It’s the tar pit.  It’s the obstacle.  It’s the immovable object that separates us from our happiness and our true selves.  Remember, Mike, everything we want – everything we desire is on the other side of the fear.  And, right now, that voice – that inner critic, the wolf, whatever you want to name it, is holding the key to a locked door.  Most self-esteem issues, most self-concept issues are generated out of our environments.  Everyone is constantly getting feedback about their thoughts, actions, and behaviors.  So, most behavioral health therapists, not all, have an assumption that there are three phases of an adult’s life.  The first is an area usually between birth and the age of 6 or 7 – keep in mind in these are ballpark figures.  And, this is called the imprint stage.  It’s where children are like dry sponges absorbing everything about them – which is why children have so many questions.  They need to be filled up.  They have dry sponges.  The second phase would be a modeling phase, which is usually around 6 or 7 until perhaps early adolescence – 10, 11, 12, which is also called modeling.  It’s when we model the behavior of significant others in our life for positive or negative purposes.  From then we usually enter a period called socialization.  Let’s say again from ages – again 10, 11, 12, 13 – into early adulthood, or for some sadly, forever.  It’s where we take our own self-concept and esteem from our perceptions of others’ views of us.  However, usually the seeds of self-doubt that grow that inner critic are planted in early childhood.  So where are we going with this?  And, what the heck does it have to do with Fishing Without Bait or full-impact mindfulness?  Well, Mike, fasten your seatbelt – buy the ticket and get on the ride.  Here we go.  Rather than chasing the wolf, chasing the inner critic throughout life, we want to learn how to turn and confront that alter ego – that false self, the darkness or whatever you would care to call it.  So, the first thing we need to do when we’re going to war is to learn a lot about our enemy, would that be correct, Mike?

Mike:    Absolutely.  You’ve got to know what you’re getting into.

Jim:    First of all, we need to give it a name.  So, if someone said Mike, I understand you’re going to war.  Well, yes you reply.  Although I don’t know with who or what.  Did you ever feel like that?  Did you ever feel like you were going to war but you didn’t know against who or what?

Mike:    Right.  Right.  Sometimes you call that a job.  

Jim:    That’s great.  Mike, I’m sure you have an inner critic – we all do.  So, take a moment.  Name yours.  Give it a name.  What would you call it?

Mike:    Bob.

Jim:    Bob.  Great.  Good.  So, to all the Bobs out in the world, no offense.

Mike:    No.  I have an Uncle Bob.  He’s awesome.  He’s very kind and this is in no relation to Uncle Bob, but mine is Bob.

Jim:    However, it’s important we do name it.  

Mike:    Yes.  We can call it Brutal Bob after the wrestler that I met one time.

Jim:    Brutal Bob?

Mike:    Brutal Bob.

Jim:    I like that.  Brutal Bob.  So, getting personal we need to find out when the voice appears, identify the voice – who it is, and importantly to find its purpose.

Mike:    And, when you say finding the voice – to clarify, we’re talking about – there’s a lot of, I don’t want to say voices in your head in that respect, but there are a lot of thoughts in your head, you know, poring throughout the day.  Making decisions and everything.  And, you’re saying this is that one that sounds a little bit different in your head and has that different tone that leads toward that inner critic. 

Jim:    This is the one without encouragement.  This is the one without support.  This is the one that disparages you.  This is the one that tells you you cannot do it.  This is the one that tells you that you’re too fat, you’re too dumb, you’re too slow in your life – that you can’t do it.  That you will fail.  That’s that voice.  That’s the bully.

Mike:    I see you there, Brutal Bob.

Jim:    And, again, words mean – basically that’s what they are.  They’re words.  I’m challenging everyone out there to take that image – to take that name out of your head and draw it on paper.  Draw a picture of it.  Get it out of your head.  And, out on paper.  Take your time.  Make it as colorful, or as dark, or as white as you want.  Use whatever media you may need.  And, it may sound silly for a grown man or a grown woman – however, keep in mind that this inner critic, this bully, comes from when you were young and when you were a child.  So, you might think of some of the things that your inner critic says to you, Mike.  Think of some of the things the inner critic says to you – name me some of them.

Mike:    For me, especially since I’m kind of going out on a limb and doing my own business and following passions, I think a big inner critic thing that happens is being found out as being – not a fraud, but not as talented as you hoped that you are, that you hope others think that you are.  For as much as you battle to prove that, you’re like maybe I’m not as good as I think I am.  Or maybe I’m not good enough to be doing this kind of thing.  And, that’s what Brutal Bob says to me.

Jim:    And, if a friend came to you and had some type of adventure, are those the type of things you would say to them?  

Mike:    No.  No.

Jim:    Oh, you’re not good enough.  You might not be able to do this.

Mike:    Are you sure this is a thing that you want to do?

Jim:    So why say it to yourself, Mike?

Mike:    One, that one person knows how you’re going to respond and how you think about yourself, and it’s pushing all those buttons.  Just like a bully.  The bully pushes the buttons, right.  They say the things that are obvious to them – or that they know.  Like you’re small and slow and scrawny and whatever.  And, that’s exactly the nerve that they keep punching at. 

Jim:    What is a bully’s most effective tactic?  What is the missile he fires?

Mike:    As with the thing that usually keeps us down – fear.

Jim:    Sure.  Fear is that door.  Fear is the lock.  So, Mike, now we know its name – Brutal Bob.  We know its weapon – which is fear.  Now, we need to identify places, times, and surrounding events when it appears so we know where it’s from and what its strategy is.  So, now we’re ready to use full-impact mindfulness.  Remember, we just don’t dive into the deep end of the pool.  First of all, we have to learn how to float.  We have to learn how to tread water.  Now it’s time to move ahead.  It’s time to stop the running.  We have enough information about the bully.  Turn around and face it.  What would you say to it?  Again, I ask you, what would you say to this bully?  You know it can’t physically hurt you.  It cannot strike you.  I challenge you – what would you say to it?  Put it down on paper.  What questions would you ask it?  Mike, what would you say to Brutal Bob?

Mike:    Why, Brutal Bob?  Why are you so tough on me?

Jim:    So, Mike, bullies – Brutal Bobs are cowards.  They criticize you as that’s what they think of themselves.  And, Mike, when you’re at war with someone do you remain enemies forever?  When countries, when they engage in senseless war – do they remain enemies forever?

Mike:    No.  Typically they lead to a peace treaty of some sort.

Jim:    Full-impact mindfulness can also be compassionate.  Full-impact mindfulness can also be gracious.  We can ask the bully why do they hurt.  Have you ever thought about asking your inner critic why they hurt?

Mike:    No.  But, it really makes sense knowing how bullies are typically triggered by something else in their lives.

Jim:    You have a choice, and you have the power of choice to help embrace that inner critic.  Mike, that voice has been with you all your life.  Why not make use of it?  How do we turn enemies into friends?  The first thing we have to do – and we’ve already given it a name.  We know where it lives.  We know where it comes from.  And, we know where it appears.  Mike, at this point, we know a whole lot more about it than it does about us.  So, what does that give us?  It gives us the advantage.

Mike:    The tactical advantage.

Jim:    Indeed.  We’re going to ambush that inner critic.  So, one thing we want to ask about ourselves with this inner critic is is it destructive or is it an interfering relationship?  And, after we identify that, we can proceed.  Is it destructive?  Is it toxic?  Is it destroying your life?  Is it interfering to the point where perhaps you’re using drugs or alcohol?  You’re using avoidance?  Or is it interfering with relationships?  Is it interfering with a career?  And, after we identify that, we can proceed by using full-impact mindfulness, by paying attention on purpose.  Participating in your life – you can confront that inner critic.  We cannot think our way out of this.  Bullies – destructive critics need confronted.  They’re not going to go away.  Remember, they live on fear.  They feed on fear.  And, like wolves, they smell fear.  They sense fear.  All the evil things in your life – all the dark things feed on fear.  They try to make this fear a controlling factor – to control you.  The inner critic is using this fear to interfere and destroy your life.  It’s a toxic relationship that needs to be ended, and I challenge you to do that.  Through full-impact mindfulness – turning and confronting the wolf, the bully, or whatever name you gave it.  I challenge you.  And, if you need help doing this – and at times we all do – feel free to contact this site, Fishing Without Bait, or Namaste Holistic Counseling.  And, as always, my challenge to you – number one is to be good to yourself.  Number two is to be good to others.  And, also I challenge you to find a white rabbit and make choices.  I would love to hear what some of the names you’ve given to your inner voice – to this inner critic.  As, once we name it, we own it.  Until next time, avoid definitive expectations.  Find a white rabbit.  Laugh out loud and fully impact your life.  Stay tuned, my friends.  Until next time, Namaste.  Continue your adventure.  

Please check out our website at FishingWithoutBait.com where you can listen to the show, comment on our discussions and find out where you can subscribe to our podcast.  Fishing Without Bait is a production of Namaste Holistic Counseling, P.C.