Today is Pink Shirt Day here in New Zealand. A day to raise awareness about bullying that goes on in many different areas of life, and the importance of being an upstander.
An upstander being someone that intervenes, steps in and/or supports the person being bullied, as opposed to a bystander who does nothing to stop it.
We can think ah, well I am no longer at school, so those years are behind me. Maybe there is a thought well I don’t work anymore, so I am no longer involved in potential bullying in the workplace.
As I shared at a business networking meeting yesterday morning, sometimes the biggest bully in our lives is the one that shows up in our mind. Sometimes called the inner critic, called the red zone story reel when I am coaching, whatever its name I am thinking you will recognise it. That voice that isn’t kind, isn’t helpful and certainly not encouraging us to get where we want to be.
It can be a voice that sabotages, makes excuses, blames, and puts us down. It can prevent us from moving forward in life. It is often made up of how we felt during our younger years, and what we made those feelings mean.
We can start with a set of core beliefs that then morphs in to more of that story reel; a feeling of being alone can turn in to ‘why does life have to be so hard’; a feeling of confusion can turn in to ‘is this all there is’? A feeling of not being enough, and being different can lead to an ongoing feeling of shame and not belonging.
Ooph, can feel a bit heavy right? What I share when I am coaching, is that actually these are all clues, clues about what is going on, clues about what is needed, what would help in that moment and long term what would help us heal…
My question to you this week is what volume is your red zone story reel playing at the moment? How much is that inner critic playing out? If allowed, this story reel will continue to play out and continue to prevent you from being where you want to be. Are you going to be the bystander that lets the internal bully continue to be mean, or are you going to be the upstander in your own life, for yourself?
Is it time to call that bully out? Step in and say enough now. You deserve some compassion and gentleness. We don’t heal, no one heals by beating themselves up. We need a quiet voice of encouragement, kind words, support, and understanding.