Can I share something personal with you today? I haven’t talked about this openly with many people, but I felt a nudge in my heart that I needed to share this with you guys. Especially since October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness month.
Here it goes, from my heart to yours.
Growing up I went through the ‘chubby’ phase, had a lisp in Elementary school, and was always different because I had a strong personality. Due to that fact I was bullied A LOT in school. I’ve had all the words used against me you can imagine: ‘you’re ugly’, ‘you’re fat’, ‘you can’t talk right’, ‘you’re a pig’, etc. Isn’t it upsetting that people use these words against others?
As I went into High School and College I began to lose weight, could talk better, and in my mind, I thought that meant everyone would be nicer to me. Boy was I wrong! The bullying did not stop then and hasn’t stopped now.
One of the worst bullying stories I ever experienced was in college when a girl purposefully came to my dorm room, knocked on the door, and told me to my face that she didn’t know why but she doesn’t like me. Who does that, right? That is just one of the many bullying stories I’ve experienced that have deeply hurt me.
Plus, let’s not even get started on Cyber bullies! As if face-to-face bullying wasn’t enough, now people can bully us from behind computer screens. It’s an epidemic of cruelty!
However, I am not writing this blog to share a sob story or to make you feel bad for me. I’ve told you these stories so you understand where I am coming from, but how I’ve OVERCOME. At some point our bullies can either hurt us or we can learn from them and move forward. I chose to move forward to a better future and leave my past. This particular quote changed my perspective.
“A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.”
The moment I heard this quote it was a pivotal for me. I chose to LEARN from my bullies. As I reflected on my bullying experiences I took 3 Leadership Lessons away from them and I want to share them with you. Hopefully you can learn from your bullies too!
1) Some people will not like you no matter how hard you try to please them.
At the end of the day some people will never like us. We could do everything ‘right’ in their eyes, but it still wouldn’t cause them to like us. So why try, stress, or lose sleep over the opinion of people whom we will never convince to like us?
Don’t waste your time in the vicious cycle of people pleasing as a person and as a leader. Stand firmly in your convictions and don’t try to adapt who you truly are to align with what others think you should do.
You have to move forward and let your constant haters be your continual elevators!
2) Be comfortable and confident enough in whom you are to stand independently.
As someone who was bullied I had to come to grips with the fact that I would have to stand independently sometimes. Through this I had to learn to be comfortable and confident with who I was enough to operate without being part of the crowd. Once I learned to walk in this truth it was life changing.
Leaders who are confortable and confident enough to stand independently are the most successful ones of our time. Over and over again leaders have to be willing to step away from the crowd and embrace and be okay with being different.
You have to be comfortable and confident enough to stand independently and become the person and leader you are called to be.
3) Always extend kindness to others.
One of the major lessons bullying taught me was the importance of being kind to others! After continually experiencing a lack of kindness in my own life it made me more aware of how important it is to be kind to those around me. No one likes a bully!
Leaders must extend kindness to others. One thing I learned is that behind every person, every attitude, every action, and every circumstance, there lies a personal story. Some of these stories are wonderful, but others are not. We must extend kindness because we may never know where someone truly comes from and the story behind why they do what they do.
You must always extend kindness to others because you never know what it may do to encourage them!
I hope you have both heard my heart and learned three leadership truths that will help you overcome bullies and succeed in life! I believe in you! Let the words of your past be released and move forward with confidence knowing you are created exactly the way you are for a purpose! Never forget that.
I’ll leave you with this quote.
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
Never let any bully make you feel inferior! Learn to rise above the hatred and lead with boldness, compassion, and confidence! The world needs you too!
Have an awesome day! Comment and share with those you know need to hear this message! Thanks you guys!