According to STOMP Out Bullying, 1 out 4 kids is bullied, and depending on their ages, 43% have been bullied while online. With easier access to social media and technology, bullying is at an all-time high. Bullying is an issue that has resulted in suicide becoming an option for too many children, and one that Stacey Sargison-Shawe struggled with and discussed in a recent TedX Talk
Openly sharing her struggles with bullying at an early age, Stacey continues to authentically discuss the challenges of overcoming bullying, even at this stage of her life. In an open letter to her Online Trolls, she mentions, “We’re bombarded every day with ‘perfection’ – too skinny, too fat, real career woman vs. stay at home mums, etc. – all these different boxes we’re told we should fit into. As women in society, we’re conditioned not to stand out. If we’re being ballsy we’re seen as being a ball-buster or somebody who’s going to walk over anybody to get what they want and that’s simply not the case.”
Today, Stacey uses her experiences to encourage women to step out of their comfort zone in order to live life on their own terms.
Below are 5 of Stacey’s tips to Overcoming Bullying to Live a More Empowered Life
Focus on the positives – if you are being bullied you tend to look inwards and become negative and self critical. Really try to see, and focus on, any positives that are happening in your life. I remember sitting and listening to motivational speaker, Les Brown and one thing that stuck out for me was this quote (and I’m probably paraphrasing here): “Another person’s perception of you does not make it your reality.” And it’s true – it’s their stories; their issue. Take a moment with me now… place two fingers on your neck and find your pulse and take a deep breath and remember – we are all not guaranteed the next breath – you are on this planet for a reason. You are a miracle and we are all part of a bigger picture.
Seek people on your wavelength – whether that’s online groups or around you. Try and find a way out of this situation where people are making you feel worthless – whether it’s a new job, setting up your own business or simply removing yourself away from those negative people. Take some time to sit and find out what, and who, inspires you and try and surround yourself with those people.
Find snippets of your happiness – dive into self-care, books, audios, motivational speeches, TED talks, etc. Do what lifts your spirits, whether that’s dancing to your favourite music in your bedroom, even if it’s just for a fleeting moment in the day.
It’s your responsibility to shine – be that quirky, weird, different person that you are. Be that light for others to find you (and believe me, they will). Reflect those values in your business and your life, even with family – learn to say no and find that self-respect.
Make yourself happy and be true to your core – I had a lightbulb moment recently where I realised there was a pattern with my bullies throughout the different stages in my life (school, corporate world and online) simply put: I wasn’t being myself and was trying to fit in and always pleasing others. This saying is overused but by being ‘true to myself’ – from the heart – is when things changed dramatically. The moment I started swearing in my vlogs and being the ‘real me’, my business grew at an exponential rate. Don’t try and please others all the time for fear of fitting in; just be you.
If you are a parent with a child who is experiencing bullying there are a lot of great resources available to help you to understand what your child may be experiencing.
To connect with Stacey Sargison-Shawe or to find out more about her story, you can follow her on Facebook.