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What Jamey Rodemeyer Can Teach Us All

Jamey Rodemeyer’s video “cry for help”, as well as his suicide, have become national attention because of Lady Gaga – and Thank God for that.

This story is sad for a number of reasons, many of which are obvious, so I won’t go into them here. What is most helpful for victims of bullying, parents of children being bullied or adults who are being pushed around by the different bullies in their lives – money, booze, co-workers, the economy, politicians, etc… – is that Jamey revealed a secret is his video about one of the keys to taking back your power from the bullies in your life.

Lady Gaga helped Jamey realize part of this key through encouraging him that he was born the way he was and that all he needed was to love and believe in himself first. Lady Gaga was absolutely correct in this and as you see in the video, it helped Jamey for awhile.

Sadly, it wasn’t enough and Jamey decided to end his life.

It’s not his fault; it’s not his parents’ fault.  Sure, you could blame the bullies, the school system or friends that didn’t do anything, but that is too easy and doesn’t fix anything.

Jamey’s parents went to the school system.  Jamey even went to counseling.  Jamey had a world famous, mega-rich superstar tell him that if he loved and believed in himself, he would be okay.

What is missing?  Why didn’t this work?

For the same reasons it didn’t work for countless others who have followed these exact steps for generations (me included, way back in 1982 – with the exception of a famous person telling me to believe in myself) – if you don’t somehow, someway develop a bully proof self image – and then constantly, through daily practice – reinforce this belief through behaviors and disciplines that strengthen the self image – your ability to be strong won’t last.

America’s story from birth to beacon of freedom is an example of daily reinforcement.  America was founded on timeless, foundational, fundamental principles like hard work, individualism (belief in the power and rights of the individual), freedom and more.  From the time of our country’s birth, generation after generation has lived and practiced those princples daily, to the point that America stands for those values and is the picture of those values throughout the world. (We have been getting away from these values from top to bottom – and it is causing problems globally and at home – but that is a separate discussion.)

In the martial arts, there are fundamental principles that, if practiced daily, lead to mastery. But in order to get to the mastery part, you have to do something that most people think is a four-letter word: work.  That, and face you fears.

When you first put on your uniform and step out onto the mat to train, you have butterflies in your belly and you are scared out of your wits, questioning if you have temporarily lost your mind and more.

The first time you block with your head (get hit with a punch or a kick), it is traumatic and you think of quitting.  The first time someone makes you submit (give up by choking you or joint locking you) you feel everything from mild embarrassment to downright humiliation.

You can have the support of your classmates, your Sensei (instructor) and your parents if you are a child, but if you can’t make YOU shake it off, face your fear, gut it out and get in there to do it again, you won’t make it.  You’ll quit.

All the messages from superstars, books, tapes, DVD’s, mentors, coaches, school systems, politicians, therapists or anything else will not work, unless YOU do. (Yes, this includes my information and coaching, too.)

Don’t get me wrong; I have relied heavily on, and invested literally hundreds of thousands of dollars in all of the previously mentioned tools in my own journey, all of which contributed and still contributes daily to me being who I am and helps me help others.

But – and this is a HUGE but – NONE of it worked until I decided to make it work and use it. And, it is the kind of the decision that simply must be made prior to any major changes happening in your life or anyone else who wants to take their power back.

It is the kind of decision where you set your jaw, look yourself in the eye and say – quite frankly – “F#$k this; I’ve had enough.”

I have been in front of that mirror.  I have helped thousands of others stand in front of that mirror and do the same thing.  And every single time – without fail – anyone who has gotten to that level of emotional commitment has had the strength to do the daily practices of using the right tools to take back their power.  Of course, you will need the right tools by that point and when I say “right tools”, I don’t mean most popular, most politically correct, most academically acceptable; I mean tools that deliver results that you want.  Nothing else matters.

I wish I could have helped Jamey.  No one can help him now, but I can help others and  – if you are reading this – there is help for you.

If you haven’t gotten the book yet, shameless plug or not, it goes without saying that you might want to go get it. It is literally the only work I have seen that tells the truth about bullying and how to take back your power, without all the touchy-feely, politically correct, hasn’t worked in a million years B.S. that is being taught about bullying today.

Once you get it – read it and then use it.  Daily.

Just like going to gym, you can’t go once and then  be in shape for thirty days; you have to work at it every single day.

God Bless Jamey and his family – and best to you.


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