From politicians to celebrities, it seems as if every person who has found national or international success has been able to get beyond bullying that occurred in their past. From movie actors like Chris Rock to presidents like Bill Clinton, many people who have seemingly reached the top in their careers have been outspoken about the bullying they experienced growing up. How have they been able to move on?
There are a variety of ways people have been able to accept their bullying and rise past it to find success in their personal and professional lives. While everyone is different, these are a few common ways that successful people have gotten past bullying.
They’ve Taken the Life-Lesson of How To Overcome Obstacles
Unfortunately, life isn’t fair, and bullying has taught many people that lesson. People who experience bullying have done nothing wrong and don’t deserve the way they are treated. Acknowledging that and moving beyond it is a great skill to have. This practice of moving beyond obstacles and understanding it’s not your fault can be implemented throughout your entire life, not just with bullying–but bullying is where that skill begins for many people.
They Have Found Closure
A major aspect to healing from bullying is to acknowledge how the bullying impacted you, and then detach from it. It’s easier said than done to move on with your life, but at some point it’s healthy to close the door on the past and understand that bullying does not completely define who you are, especially years later.
Finding closure is different for everyone. Some people write letters, others talk about it with their loved ones, some even confront the bullies of their past. Successful people have found their own way to move on.
They Focus on Their Growth and Value
Many successful people take their bullying and are able to spin it into supporting their professional success. For example, Chris Rock, as a stand-up comedian, sometimes makes jokes about his bullying experiences from his childhood. Other people have written books about their experiences or have incorporated their hurt feelings and struggles into songs or other art.
No matter what, successful people focus on how they have grown and that they are no longer the person who was bullied. They acknowledge their value and self-worth. They’re able to completely focus on their strengths rather than the supposed flaws that they used to be picked on for.
They Acknowledge What Happened
It’s common for people who have experienced bullying to spend years dismissing it, minimizing it, or acting like it never happened at all. It’s also easy to give in to feelings of blame, guilt, and shame. However, one of the ways people are able to move on from bullying is to acknowledge not only that it happened in the first place, but that it wasn’t their fault and they were often bullied for things that were not true or overblown. The biggest thing is to acknowledge that bullying happened in your life and you aren’t responsible, if you want to move on from it.
Despite finding success, however, there can be long-term implications to bullying and some people continue to experience bullying well into their adult lives. It’s also important to note that both people who were bullied and people who were bullies themselves can get help and heal from their past actions or circumstances.