October is Bully Prevention Month: Here’s a Tool to Help

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October is bullying prevention month. In truth, as a educator, I know every month is, but this is the month that we try to bring national and global attention to solutions that help those impacted by bullying.

I am proud that schools invite me each year to speak and share my art to help students, educators, and families take action to reduce bullying.  I wish I could share my message to every school; I believe it makes a difference. I recently shared my art and words with 1400 students and staff at Perrysburg Middle School in Perrysburg, Ohio. It is always a joy talking with teachers and students about the importance of leadership.  In this particular presentation I was asked to kickoff the schools Owelus Bullying Program to help build leadership within the classes. It was a great day. 

I wrote the following article to help students, families, and schools take action against bullying.  Please download it for free here and share with everyone you know. What Everyone Needs to Know About Bullying by Kelly Croy.pdf

The opposite of bullying is leadership.  We’re all in this together.  Let’s build leaders.

Kelly Croy is a professional speaker and speed artist. 

He entertains and amazes audiences across the nation

with his art and words. The art is brought to life with computer animation.

 Please consider booking Kelly for your next event.

www.KellyCroy.com

1-800-831-4825

 

How to Advertise… to Yourself!

Self talk

You may not be aware of it but you are advertising to yourself every minute of the day. I’m talking about those little comments that you say to yourself. Everyone engages in self talk, whether it is audible or just thoughts inside our head. We need to be careful about what we say, because it is more powerful than the billions spent each year on commercial advertising.

The following is an excerpt from my upcoming book:

I read a wonderful book years ago on sports’ psychology titled Toughness Training for Sports by James E. Loher. In it, I learned that the majority of our self-talk is negative.  The author emphasizes that negative self-talk is damaging and that positive self-talk improves the success of Olympic and professional athletes.  This is huge, because we can change our self-talk and practice giving ourselves a great advantage.

 

What we say to ourselves is far more damaging than any criticism from others. Be intentional about how you talk to yourself and 

about yourself. 

 

Sometimes this negative self-talk is picked up by others.  They hear us talk to ourselves.  They hear the “I blew that one!”, “I suck!”, and the occasionally “I’m an idiot!”.  Some people are even posting their failures on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. 

You don’t have to go around bragging all of the time, but why advertise failures?  Turn that loss into a lesson and post what you learned.  Work at making the majority of your self talk positive.  

 

The expert suggests replacing, “Crap! I always miss that shot!” with “Next time I’m going to nail that shot!” 

 

You must learn to make positive statements about yourself and when talking to others. 

You might be surprised by who is actually listening to the comments you think you are only making to yourself, and even if they can’t our bodies do indeed project what we say to it. I can see “Crap! I always miss that shot!” on a person’s face as easily as I can hear it. 

Feed yourself doses of positive self talk and begin to be amazed at your results. Talking positive and creating some default positive mantras has been a major source of productivity and success for me personally. I also attest that doing so has helped me to create a winning attitude. People will always choose to follow and spend time with someone positive over someone negative any day of the week. 

 

You have to discipline yourself and work at how you communicate with yourself. Make a challenge or game out of it.  Positive self talk will directly impact your dealing with others, your attitude, your tenacity, and most importantly how you think, especially when confronting a challenge.  

 

Practice makes perfect! What you say while playing a game will later on impact what you say at the office or on the field. Identify some key phrases you know you make and shouldn’t as well as some situations in which you make them. It might sound easy to but it takes some focused effort and discipline. 

 

Please know that when I am talking about self-talk, I am not just referring to what you say out loud.  I also mean those little negative comments you make to yourself in your head. Those count just as much as what you say out loud. When you catch yourself feeding your mind junk, replace it with a positive thought and statement. It works!

 

You need to work on positive self talk and eliminate negative self-talk entirely.  Be your own public relations worker.  Get the message out there that you are confident, successful, and have a winning attitude.  You need to sound like a leader. 

 

Mantras, Slogans, and Mottos

 

Positive self talk is used by top executives, professional and Olympic Sports athletes, and by corporations. We can use it too. Create a mantra, slogan, motto, or creed to live by, or adopt someone else’s you admire until you do.

I believe every organization should have a slogan and most importantly they should live up to it. There is nothing worse than having something arrive late from someone proclaiming to be fast and on time. You know what I mean. Live by the words you use as your motto. 

I cannot help but think that much of my success stems from my Tuesday night Boy Scout meetings. Every Tuesday at seven o’clock I pledged to keep myself physically fit, mentally awake, and morally straight.  Furthermore, I took a weekly Oath and recited the twelve points of the Scout Law. 

 

Every Sunday I recited my Christian Creed aloud with my fellow Parishioners, as well as each night and morning. 

 

The words we use matter, whether we are using them to describe others or ourselves. We need to communicate these meanings very carefully and intentionally. Write and recite your creed regularly. We become what we envision. We become what we say.

 

Kelly Croy is a professional speaker and speed artist.

He has entertained and amazed audiences across the nation

with his art and words. 

 Please consider booking Kelly for your next event.

www.KellyCroy.com

1-800-831-4825

 

What Everybody Ought to Know About Bullying

It’s wasn’t easy for me growing up with what many considered a girl’s name.  A boy named ‘Kelly” was often a regular target for bullies.  I wouldn’t change my name for the world though. It’s not only my identity, it has helped me become the person I am today.  My name forced me to stand up to the mean-spirited and helped forge a much-needed self-confidence at an early age.

While I’m what many consider a ‘big guy’ today, that wasn’t always the case. I was one of the smallest boys in my class until my eighth grade year.  I was shy too.  My first interests weren’t sports but rather art and writing. The combination of all of these qualities that made me, well ‘me’ often made me different, out of place, and teased.  I was not, however, a victim. I guess somewhere deep within my genetic code, my Irish DNA stepped up and helped me confront what I knew was wrong. When I found out that my name ‘Kelly’ was Irish for ‘warrior’ that sealed the deal. When others were being teased I would get involved.

I drank my milk, worked out with the football team, and graduated a ‘big guy’ with big plans. I was always on the lookout for people unable to speak up to bullies themselves. I understand where they’re coming from, because it isn’t easy.  As a teacher there is nothing that I enjoy more than correcting a bully, and helping the recipient of the abuse feel more confident and loved.  Even out in public, far from home, I walk into situations where someone is being victimized.  It’s just my nature. I’m still the Eagle Scout trying to be helpful, trying to make a difference.

Oddly, the bullying never ended.  It didn’t matter how old I was, where I was, how big I became, or what accomplishments I had achieved.  There has been a bully at each stage in my life.  Perhaps others don’t call them that, but I do.  Anyone that finds enjoyment at the suffering of another is a bully. (Here is a great webpage that highlights warning signs and characteristics of the typical bully.) It may be a coworker, a neighbor, or even that mean clerk in the checkout line. Regardless, there is no shortage to negative thinking, mean-spiritited bullies.  I have even read about cyber-bullying that uses texting, blogs, and social networks to harass and victimize. (Many states are considering more laws about bullying and greater punishments.)

So what do you do with a bully?  How do get on with your life when a bully steps into it?

Here’s what I want you to know about bullying:

1) It’s wrong and it isn’t just a part of growing up. While I have encountered bullying at each place in my life that doesn’t mean it’s acceptable.  Bullying is wrong.  Don’t accept it as a part of life.  It needs to be dealt with immediately.

2) Confront a bully. I researched this and didn’t like what I read.  Nearly every article said ignore the bully, change your lifestyle to avoid attention from the bully.  Well, I’m no psychologist, so you might want a second opinion here, but confronting the bully always worked for me.  Involve your family, teachers, friends, coaches, and everyone you can, but confront the bully right away.  Always stand up for what is right.

3) Don’t encourage a bully. If you are laughing along with a bully making fun of someone else, you’re a bully too.  If you see bullying going on, and you do nothing to stop it, you’re part of the problem.  You have a responsibility as a bystander. The bully wants your attention and thinks you approve if you do nothing.  Repeat these words, “What you’re doing is wrong! Stop it!  Don’t do it again or I will report it to someone who will do something about it.”  Your behavior will be repeated by others. (Both the good, bad, and the indifferent.) We have all, at times, been guilty of taking a joke too far, and perhaps bullied someone. If so, we need to correct that mistake and make it right.

4) Invite everyone in on it. Don’t keep the bullying to yourself.  Tell everyone you know what  is going on.  Kids! I’m talking to you now.  You must let your parents know. Don’t keep it to yourself! It’s nothing to be ashamed about.  The bully should be ashamed. If you tell someone and they do nothing about it, keep talking until someone does.  Heck, email me, I’ll get involved.

5) Use the buddy system. Navy SEALS are the toughest warriors on the planet, but they don’t go into the water or anywhere without a buddy.  Why?  Because it’s dangerous.  If you are being bullied take a friend.  What if you don’t have a buddy?  Make one. I knew a teacher that was being bullied by a parent.  She went some places by herself and wanted the verbal abuse to stop.  She carried a digital recorder with her.  Once she played it back the bullying stopped. Surround yourself with positive people.

6) Bullying ends when confidence begins. If you really want bullying to end you must work on confidence.  I don’t mean work on it a little bit; I mean work on it a lot!  You can’t be bullied if you have confidence.  Confidence doesn’t allow you to second guess yourself. Confidence will encourage you to inform others about the problem. Confidence will give you the courage as a bystander to get involved. Confidence will help you in so many ways.

To conclude, I want to emphasize that there are clearly more good people in this world than bad, despite how the media portrays it. Ninety-nine percent of our interactions are good and wholesome, and our focus should be there.  If you have been bullied then you also know how powerful that one percent can be, and how it can alter a life.  Don’t let it.  Be heard. Find a buddy. Confront it. The greatest gift we can give in life is a second chance; in time please try to extend that gift to the person you once considered a bully.

Kelly Croy is an inspirational speaker, author, and artist. Please visit our website to book Kelly for your next event. www.kellycroy.com info@kellycroy.com 1-800-831-4825

Kelly’s  presentations have entertained and amazed audiences across the nation including corporations, schools, churches, conferences, and numerous other venues where people come together to be entertained and improve their lives. Please consider booking Kelly for your next event.