SILENCE MY GREMLIN
My gremlin looks innocent but is riddled with anxiousness that she unwittingly tries to pass on to me. Her anxiety comes from a deep desire to keep me safe, but in doing so she also keeps me small, away from growth opportunities, and failing to embrace the gifts that life brings my way every day. She thinks if I worry and doubt myself, it will keep me safe and away from danger but she's wrong. I know I grow through overcoming challenges and learning from experience. She used to have a loud voice that directed me more than my own instinct, but by using these tools I've managed to calm her down to almost inaudible. Some of these tools work better than others depending on the situation, so as always approach these ideas with the spirit of "Let's find out!"
1. Thank your gremlin. Your gremlin has come into being to keep you safe. It's not out to 'get' you or ruin your life - that's just a by-product of its fear. So, thank your gremlin for trying to take care of you and gently tell it that you're just fine and there's no need to worry. Worrying is not a useful action: it doesn't help you move and it certainly doesn't help you shape the future - only action does this.
2. Make a joke. If your gremlin tells you should feel embarrassed for making that mistake, or you'll never be able to do it, lighten the mood. Here's an example: laughingly say, "What? You're telling me I can't do this? Are you crazy? Don't you know my potential is endless and I can do anything I put my mind to?" or "Well, I could feel embarrassed but, hey, that's not going to help me get on with things in a helpful way so I choose to move on. Thanks anyway!"
3. Question the lie. When your gremlin tells you you always [enter undesirable action or trait here], you can ask, 'Is that true?' For example, maybe your gremlin says, "You always embarrass yourself when you speak to people in a new group." You respond with, "Is that true? No, it can't be because I remember when I met ____ last month, I had a really nice chat." You can detect when your gremlin is telling you a lie because it will often use words like 'always' or 'never'. Almost always such statements about our abilities or actions are false when these words are applied.
4. Acknowledge your creativity. Your gremlin has been borne from fear and anxiety. You, however, are endlessly creative. That means you have way more perspectives to tap into, where your gremlin has only the one (and that's the one that evokes fear and inaction). So, when your gremlin gives you all the reasons you can't succeed, you can tap into your creativity to counter the arguments with all the reasons you can succeed. For example, maybe your gremlin says, "You're just not that interesting so you're unlikely to make friends." You can respond with, "Hmm, if I'm not that interesting, why did ____ ask me to join them last month? If I'm not that interesting, why do I already have a really good friend (even if they're not in the same country at the moment)? I must be interesting because I am passionate about ____ and I know I'm not the only one. I just need to find others who share that passion and we'll have plenty to talk about. I am so full of great ideas that I don't need to let that gremlin's voice overshadow my fabulousness!"
5. Ask your gremlin what it wants. As already mentioned, your gremlin wants to protect you. So, you can take a moment to ask your gremlin what it's trying to protect you from. This might involve a moment of quiet mindfulness, journalling, or talking it over with a friend or coach (which has the added bonus of exploring other perspectives). Once you realise what is making your gremlin fearful, you can quash that fear with reason and logic. Asking "What's the worst that can happen?" takes away the apprehension as you realise it wouldn't be all that bad (in most cases).
1. How has my inner gremlin been holding me back in my personal and professional life?
2. What beliefs and patterns are contributing to the creation and persistence of my inner gremlin?
3. How can I leverage my creative potential and use these strategies to overcome the negative influence of my inner gremlin and achieve my goals?