Don’t Bully Yourself (Be Gentle)

I found out today I’ve been booked for 2!? summer shows at the Gallivan Center in Salt Lake City, Utah!! (a very popular venue in SLC). This is huge for me in ways I can’t even describe. But regardless of where I am on my creative journey … there is … as I’ve written about before … that little voice inside me that second guesses things.

What this voice says has changed over the years, due to consciousness of it and realizing I can change it … or at least make it quieter. For example, when I found out I booked the Gallivan shows, I felt some hesitation, and then I thought “I hope I can pull this off”.

This is in sharp contrast to the voice of my youth… “Don’t be so stupid”… “I’m stupid”… “You’re so ugly”… THAT was my self-talk at age of 14/15/16. And it wasn’t just for auditions… it was constant, it was daily, and I lived until my early 30’s with THAT as my impetus in making choices.

I recently found the first professional picture I had taken at around 16 years of age. My 16 year old self designed and sewed her own clothes, was employed, wrote songs and played the piano and violin, among other things. This…

THIS girl thinks she is STUPID and UGLY:

Darby Bailey Age 15

Darby Bailey Age 15

When I see this younger faced version of me, I have a hard time believing I talked to myself so cruelly. I’m glad she made it through… even while mentally bashing herself on a repetitive basis.

I write this in case there are other young women (and men) out there that are doing the same. Please, stop it. You are not alone. It does get better.

I know many live daily with negative thoughts in their heads. At best, it helps us become better people. But there is an easier, gentler way. Tell yourself better stories. It’s taken years of self-training and help from teachers, counselors and friends to learn how to tell myself better stories. Pick one… any one… make it magical… make it beautiful.

I now respond to new stimuli… “This is an interesting path” or “It’s new and scary and that’s okay” — I know the bullies of my youth aren’t near me anymore.

I know beauty fades. Bodies age. I am not alone. We are not alone. I know that all we have are the stories we tell each other … and the stories we tell ourselves.

Let’s be gentle and kind why don’t we?


And so are you.

xo -d

No matter what problems you are struggling with, hurting yourself isn’t the answer. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to talk to a counselor at a Lifeline crisis center near you.


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