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As a continuation to last week's topic, here are some suggestions on how to strengthen your mind against bullying.

MINDSET: Turn a wounded heart into a determined mind

If you are at all familiar with the NBA star, Kobe Bryant, who recently passed away in a tragic accident, then you have likely heard the term, ‘Mamba Mentality’. Kobe exemplified a mindset he called the mamba mentality. This mindset is a determination to use any trash talk or wounds as fuel to pursue excellence and prove people wrong. It helped him not just take his power back, but also to eventually use his power for good in this world, including self-improvement.

Here is the key thing you need to know about bullies: their behaviour is a reflection of their problems. No one who is happy or joyful is thinking about ways to cut others down. Typically, those who bully are pushing others down in an effort to raise themselves up. You can’t overcome their mind-games by having a similar mindset or approach. People who are both successful and good, flip the script by focusing on their values, their goals, and on the good they can find in their lives / in themselves. There is a wise saying that says, “Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life”. Flipping the script means giving your thoughts the power of belief - in yourself, in your values, and in what you want to become.

What did that look like in my journey? I created space between myself and the bully crowd and sought out new friendships that were positive. Breaking the contact helped me be able to think less about the hurt and find the good. Attending a church youth group where I felt accepted, and finding places to volunteer played a huge role in my life and my healing.

REACTION: Do not feed the game

Knowing how to respond is difficult, but it is absolutely key because people can only keep the power that others allow them to have! RESPONSE-ability is power! Retaliation only feeds the game and will lead you to become like your adversary. Instead, refuse to be involved in another person’s garbage - their mind games and deflections of their own insecurities. Think of it as mentally raising a shield of resistance rather than a sword of attack or a flag of surrender. How? Here is an example, when someone tries to verbally cut you down, respond with something like: “That really doesn’t matter to me.” Show them that you fully embrace who you are! This reaction might not reflect how you feel on the inside, but refuses to hand over power. Your worth is not dictated by someone else’s actions!

PURSUE EXCELLENCE: Be the change you want to see in the world

Here’s the problem with retaliation - you have simply chosen to play the game.

Here’s the problem with letting words stick - you have given someone else the power of dictating how you will perceive yourself.

We all have to ask ourselves, what kind of person do I want to be? One of the best ways to learn anything in life is to have great examples to follow, so who are the positive examples in your life? One of the most proactive things we can all do in life is to seek out relationships with people who display what we want to become and STOP spending time with people who are manipulating and changing us into someone we do not want to be. Negative reinforcements don’t belong in our social media feeds or our inbox!

My role model as a kid was a lady named Corrie Ten Boom. She grew up in Holland and survived Nazi prison camps. She resisted evil on every front, later travelling the world speaking about forgiveness. Incredible!

Who do you want to reflect in this life? What image will you pursue? If you hate being bullied, don’t become what you hate, instead envision the change you want to see and pursue it! You’ve got what it takes, and don’t let ANYONE convince you otherwise.

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