Like most people, you know your inner gremlin well. It is that little voice in your head that judges you, doubt you, belittles you, and repeatedly tells you that you are not good enough. Your gremlin says harmful and hurtful things to you. I am so stupid; I can't do anything right; I will never be successful.
Whether you like it or not, what you say to yourself matters. Your inner gremlin is not harmless. It keeps you stuck, holds you back, and keeps you from living your life on your terms. Your gremlin steals your inner peace, lowers your self-esteem, and is detrimental to your overall well-being and can even lead to anxiety and depression.
When your inner gremlin incessantly speaks to you negatively, it is demeaning and creates a skewed self-concept about who you are and what you can do.
You may ask, what if the words the gremlin speaks are valid? Talking to yourself negatively is never good for you. Treating yourself in a way that does not involve negativity and self-demoralization. Instead, speak to yourself with compassion, kindness, and identifying and focusing on your strengths.
So, how do you silence your inner gremlin?
Be aware of your gremlin:
Make a conscious effort to slow down and pay attention to your thoughts. What emotions are you experiencing when he rears his ugly voice? Negative emotions such as shame, guilt, doubt, and worthlessness are real signs of when he is around.
Whenever you notice yourself being self-critical, jot down a few notes about the situation and the words you said to yourself. Being aware of the words you say and the emotions you felt will put you in a position to stand up to your gremlin.
Name your inner gremlin:
Your gremlin does not want you to be aware of when he is around. He does his best work when you mistake it for being a part of your authentic self. Your gremlin is an internalized voice based on outside influences and learning, such as criticism from others. To conquer your gremlin, you must separate it from you. One way to do that is to give your gremlin a name. Naming your gremlin separates him from your identity, and ultimately frees you from its influence.
Take away its power:
Tell your gremlin to shut up, or you don't want to go there when it talks.
When you talk back to it, you take its power away. When you tell your gremlin, you do not want to hear it, you are giving yourself a choice.
Tell it you refuse to listen. Call it a liar. Tell it you are choosing to be kinder to yourself.
Replace your gremlin:
Grow an inner voice that acts as your best friend. Challenge what your gremlin says. Focus on the positive and good things about yourself. For example, if you say to yourself, I can't do anything look at all the things you have accomplished.
Breaking the negative self-talk is not an easy task, but you must make a deliberate effort to say something different to yourself and search for the evidence that makes it true. Talkback, challenge what the gremlin is saying. Replace the gremlin's words with words that you know to be true.
I’ve spent years learning to silence my inner gremlin. When I reached my forties, I finally felt I had listened to him long enough. I kicked him out of my head and started living my life the way I wanted to.
Challenge the things you say to yourself.
Don’t let your gremlin bully you, shame you, or hold you back!