PHOTO CREDIT: ARUN BHARDJWAJ
Do you struggle to love yourself because you feel disconnected from who you truly are? That was my story too. I often wondered, 'Who am I really?' Was the answer my personality test, Enneagram number, career, or behaviour? None of these labels seemed to resonate with me. The truth is, I lost touch with my authentic self at a young age.
Growing up, my family made me believe that being emotional and sensitive was a sign of weakness. They compared me to my older, smarter sibling, and I was ridiculed for not being as smart as he was, for having a temper or expressing my feelings. Despite my complaints falling on deaf ears, I was told to toughen up. I questioned if this was meant to help me grow or merely to serve my family's needs and suppress their fears.
To add insult to injury, I was bullied severely as a teen when I was sent away to boarding school, hundreds of miles away from home. I truly believed there was something wrong with me, that I was the problem and I needed to change who I was to prevent being targeted by bullies.
This led to a cycle of self-bullying. I pushed myself relentlessly to excel hoping to avoid taunts and teasing. I yearned to be accepted and loved for who I truly was. My pursuit of achievement and recognition took me down the path of overachievement, earning multiple degrees and certifications, but I never allowed myself to celebrate my successes. Each time someone doubted me, I turned it into a personal challenge to prove them wrong, even driving myself to lose 22lbs over 11 months through intense workouts at home. I also embraced toxic positivity, denying myself the right to experience negative emotions.
However, despite all my accomplishments - including winning three International awards for my book, I found myself terribly unhappy and drained. It was then that I realized I needed to embark on a journey of self-love.
I tried various techniques, such as keeping a gratitude journal, meditation, EFT tapping, and reciting affirmations. Although they provided temporary relief, I couldn't sustain the positive change in the long term. Much later, I learned that these are steps 3 to 10 in any healing journey. What I was missing was steps 1 and 2.
What truly made a difference was discovering who I really am – my Uniqueness, Intangible Drivers, steps 1 and 2 of any healing journey. My intention and behaviours, regardless of the circumstances. Embracing my true self energized me in every interaction I experienced. This resulted in quantum leaps of massive positive changes in my life and experiences in under a year including doing a TEDx talk which had been a dream of mine for over six years!
This inspired me to become a certified Flowcess trainer - the ONLY one in Canada! It is through Flowcess that I learned about thought processes and Intangible Drivers (Uniqueness).
Moreover, I learned that most self-help techniques only address the surface-level effects of self-bullying, like applying a Band-Aid to an abscess, without treating the root cause. They focus on feeling good without addressing the underlying causes, pushing people deeper into the cycle of self-bullying.
The techniques I teach are different. They target the intangible causes of the problem – our thought processes and Uniqueness. I strongly believe that one size does not fit all, which is why everything I offer, including three-dimensional trauma-informed care, is customized to your Uniqueness. I give you steps 1 and 2 so that your steps 3 to 10 work every time ensuring that you don’t fall into the trap of self-bullying again.
So, are you ready to find the courage to stop bullying yourself, discover your true self and embrace your Uniqueness?
I offer a variety of presentations, workshops and keynotes suited for adults and teens on identifying and combating self-bullying. These are available in-person and remotely, contact me for more details.