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  • We all have an inner bully who focuses on the negative and threatens to send us into a shame spiral, which can have harmful short and long-term effects.
  • This makes acknowledging your inner bully crucial to improving your life and defeating the bully, so you can then replace the negative self-talk with positive self-talk.
  • You can start reprogramming your mind (or replacing the negative with the positive) by introducing thoughts like “I am enough.”
  • You should also work on halting the negative and thinking back on those positive affirmations instead.
  • Other techniques like emotional freedom technique (EMT) and hypnosis can aid you in this process and help you to capitalize on your advances.

“That was so stupid, why did I do that.” “I’m such a fool, what was I thinking.” “I am doomed.”
Do you ever engage in this negative self-talk? My guess is yes because I know what it’s like to deal with that inner bully… as does Paul Levin. Paul Levin is a certified hypnotherapist, a certified NLP practitioner, and the owner of I Deserve A Perfect Life. He went on a personal journey to find innermost happiness and now helps his clients tackle the same mission, of which starts with identifying and correcting a major problem… that inner bully.

Identifying the Problem: Your Inner Bully

We all have an inner bully that can make us feel worthless or even ashamed of who we are. Quickly, we submerge ourselves in a shame spiral that threatens to spin out of control and wreak havoc on our lives at any given moment. This makes acknowledging our inner bully vital to improving our self-worth and ultimately our lives. Levin explains the roots of the shame spiral:

“The low self-worth, shame spiral is caused by a chain reaction of beliefs, thoughts, and feelings. You go through your days, believing that you aren’t as good as other people. Several times during the day, your mind says something demeaning about yourself: ‘I’m such an idiot!’ When your mind goes there, your feelings follow close behind, with feelings of sadness, incompetence, and depression. These feelings trigger more beliefs (e.g. I can’t do anything right) and the loop continues, spiraling downward into deeper and deeper sadness and depression.”

Fortunately, just by acknowledging your negative (or even cruel) thoughts, you’ve already completed the first step of defeating this bully. The next step is to employ proactive strategies for breaking down the bully and giving way to the positive, more realistic and beneficial self-talk.

Employing the Solution: Self-Love and Empowerment

Levin explains how you can spring upward into self-love and empowerment instead of downward into negativity: “The mind and emotions function as described above. Beliefs lead to thoughts which lead to feelings, which lead to more beliefs. This same mechanism can be used to spiral upward toward self-worth, self-love, and self-empowerment. This is accomplished by filtering your thoughts and reprogramming your mind,” he says. “Start by inserting new programming with affirmations: ‘I am worthy. I love and I am loved.’ You can accelerate the effect with techniques such as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and hypnosis.” Let’s delve into how positive self-talk, EFT, and hypnosis can help you correct your negative thoughts and escape the shame spiral:

1) Programming positive self-talk. Levin says in programming positive self-talk, you must “be diligent.” You have to catch and correct yourself: “When your mind says, ‘I always mess things up,’ catch yourself and say, ‘No, that is not true!’ Then, say to yourself, ‘I do things perfectly.’ Over time, your mind will play the negative programs less often and will start automatically playing the positive self-affirming programs. You will find that the spiral has reversed direction.”

2) Engaging in the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). When paired with your new self-talk, EFT can help you see your worth and adopt a more positive outlook on life. This is a form of acupuncture, which foregoes the use of needles and instead utilizes fingertips to stimulate points on the body with the goal of restoring one’s energy system. It also places an emphasis on acknowledging and accepting the problem one wishes to resolve.

3) Hypnosis. For some, hypnosis or hypnotherapy can also assist their adoption of positive self-talk. A clinical hypnotherapist helps their clients reach a trance-like state of concentration, which allows them to focus their undivided attention on the problem at hand. Whether it be coping with stress or, in this case, breaking a bad habit: more specifically, replacing their negative self-talk with positive self-talk.

Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett is a staff writer at Thriveworks. She devotes herself to distributing important information about mental health and wellbeing, writing mental health news and self-improvement tips daily. Taylor received her bachelor’s degree in multimedia journalism, with minors in professional writing and leadership from Virginia Tech. She is a co-author of Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book and has published content on Thought Catalog, Odyssey, and The Traveling Parent.

Check out “Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book” written by AJ Centore and Taylor Bennett."

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