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Beat Bullying Like Ronda Rousey

Beat Bullying like Ronda RouseyRonda Rousey is a mixed martial arts fighter, Ultimate Fighting Championship® Female Bantamweight Champion and Olympic Bronze Medalist in Judo – so you would think that someone like Ronda would never be bullied, right?

I thought the same thing; turned out I was wrong.

Ronda has a deeply moving personal story – which you can read about here – but there are two stories that are not mentioned in that link I shared that talk about how Ronda had to overcome bullying not once, but twice in her life.

One bully she had to overcome was bulimia. Competing in Judo requires athletes to compete by weight class, so her weight was a constant issue in her life. In one summer, she had a growth spurt and went from between 70 and 80 pounds to 140 pounds. This made it very difficult for her to make her competition weight of 138.5 pounds.

When she would get yelled at by others for her weight, she would also beat herself up, calling herself a "weak-willed" person for being able to manage her weight. She also said being a teenage girl didn't help, as girls in general are very body conscious. Dealing with the emotional trauma of her personal loss at a young age (her father) and then dealing with the rigors of judo competition and managing her weight led her to bouts of bulimia.

She eventually overcame bulimia through a journey of self-discovery, self acceptance and encouragement from her judo coach and her Mom. She "stood up" to the bully of bulimia by accepting her body weight and muscular body style and competing at a higher weight class. Not only has she overcome bulimia, but after reaching her level of accomplishment and stardom in the UFC, she has also partnered with the Didi Hirsch Mental Health Clinic to help young people fight eating disorders.

That was the first instance where Ronda overcame bullying. There was another instance that she talked about in an interview, and this one did involve a traditional bully – actually, it was multiple bullies. When she talked about what happened, she revealed a key to "beating bullies" that you must have.

Ronda said she was out at the movies with friends and took seats in front of a group of people that were, "those people". You know, the loud ones that talk through the movie, put their feet up on the back of your chair and are basically a pain in the you-know-what.

One of them put her feet on the back of Ronda's chair, one on each side of Ronda's head. Ronda said she repeatedly asked the girl to put her feet down, but she would put them right back up. Ronda then said the girl started to make comments towards Ronda, all the while pushing on her chair with her feet.

It is this part of the story where Ronda reveals a secret to dealing with the bullies in your life – she said, "It gets to a point, when someone is picking on you or bullying you, and you have done everything you can to get them to stop, where you start to lose your self-respect and self-worth if you DON'T stand up for yourself."

Unfortunately, the situation eventually escalated to a fight, with Ronda and her friends able to defend and protect themselves and eventually get away from the bullies. The point of this story is NOT that the situation escalated to a fight; the point is that somewhere along the line, Ronda learned that there are times when you must stand up for yourself, even if it is scary or it means you may get into some sort of confrontation or trouble.

Notice that Ronda didn't ask someone if she should stand up for herself? Did you notice that she did NOT just take the abuse because she was afraid she might get in trouble or what might happen? She valued herself enough and believed in what she thought was right and wrong – and she had the training – to be able to make a decision that was best for her self-image and self-respect, regardless of the circumstances or fear of outcome.

That is a key to beating bullies. And when I say "beating bullies", I mean taking back your power from the bullies in your life.

You don't need permission to stand up for yourself or your child. You don't need to be a martial artist (although it helps tremendously when you have the confidence that comes from knowing you could protect yourself if a bully tried to harm you) or an Olympian.

You just have to value yourself and believe you are worth standing up for.

You are.

Stay strong,


P.S. – One detail I left out. Ronda and her party did get into a fight with the bullies and ended up coming out on top. The bullies sued when they found out who Ronda was (of course), and Ronda had to go to court, where the case was thrown out. She was inconvenienced by the lawsuit and had to pay five grand to an attorney to get the lawsuit dismissed. Ronda said that it didn't matter; her self-respect was what was most valuable and it was worth it to stand up for herself. This incident was also what fueled her to go into mixed martial arts competition, where she is now a world champion.

When you do stand up for yourself, there may be consequences, so you need to use your best judgment. The important question is this: how much is your self respect worth to you, and if you do stand up for yourself, how valuable is that boost in your self confidence going to be to your future?

P.P.S. – Ironically, the principles and mindset that Ronda speaks of in her stories are very much like what I talk about in the book, "Bullies Suck". If you are dealing with bullies in your life, or know someone who is, "Bullies Suck" will show you how to take back your power and self-respect. Don't delay, get it now.



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