Bullying is not limited to the schoolyard, unfortunately. Even though I am way past the age when I would be going out for recess, I still get bullied. No, I’m not talking about people who use keyboard courage to say something snarky. The worst bully I know is…me.
We all have an inner dialogue and there are times when mine is particularly nasty. It tells me things that I would never say to another living person. What does my inner bully have to do with finding freelance writing jobs? Well, it used to prevent me from applying for certain gigs or talking to a potential client that I was interested in working with.
If you have ever taken yourself out of the running for an opportunity you wanted to pursue because you decided that you weren’t good enough, that your writing abilities weren’t up to scratch, or that the client will probably say no anyway so what’s the point, then you were the victim of your own inner bully. Yes, I fully appreciate the irony that I used to troll for job leads here at FWJ but rarely applied for anything because of my negative internal dialogue. I had a small group of clients that I was working with and I was kept busy, but I wasn’t really going after new opportunities.
What changed? I decided to start treating myself the way that I try to treat others. If I wouldn’t verbally beat up on another person, I wasn’t going to accept that in myself. I started off by stopping myself if the insecurity started to get the better of me. Then I started applying for gigs that I was interested in that I felt I was qualified for. I didn’t get everything that I applied for, but I was able to work with some new clients and add some more experience to my resume.
The trick in taming your inner bully is similar to dealing with a person who resorts to this kind of behavior. You stop listening to what the bully has to say and you take action to remedy the situation. Have you been troubled by an inner bully? How did you deal with it?