Bust your Gremlins to Boost your Self-Worth

By Anita Sheehan-Nutz

On August 4, 2021
Do you have Gremlins in your head? I do. Constantly. And they are so busy. They keep telling me that I am not good enough, that I am not smart enough, not witty enough.
They also dutifully point out every mistake I make or when I acted too rashly. Argh! In coaching parlance, we call them self-assessments.

In listening around, I hear that I am not the only one. In fact, some people have even more vicious ones living in their heads than I! So, if pretty much everyone is struggling with these critters, what is one to do?

First of all, let’s just say that there is actually some (I want to emphasize the SOME) justification for some of them. For instance, if we keep making the same mistake over and over again, it might be a good idea to explore what could be behind it. Or if people repeatedly tell us that our behavior is not helpful, we can check in with ourselves . . .

But in general, most of these self-assessments originate in the voices we have heard over and over during our upbringing, helping us fit squarely into our societal norms (again, there is some usefulness in that). And most of these self-assessments not only drain our energy, but they really stop us from being aligned with who we really are and what we really have to do in our lives.

So, how do we tackle these nasty little beasts?

Here are some tips and I will write about some others in subsequent articles, based on what I learned primarily from John Niland’s excellent book: The Self-Worth Safari.

Let’s have a look at the first pest control step:

Shift 1: From Assessing to Asserting.

  • Awareness is key. Everything starts with awareness. Most of our gremlins pass by beneath our radar, i.e., we don’t even notice them anymore. So, get out your torch and shed some light on them. That in itself could make them disappear like vampires who shy the daylight. And name them.
  • Next, take your subconscious to the gym. Here are some powerful exercises:
  • State the obvious opposite. So, for instance, every time your “I-am-not-beautiful-enough” gremlin shows up, you look into the mirror and say to yourself “hey, gorgeous!”  Now, of course just saying it, might not do the trick. The secret is not only to repeat, repeat, repeat, but feel it with every fiber of your being.  And, yes, repeat your little heart out.
  • Every time any of your other gremlins shows up: You can either get into action and for instance, drink a sip of water (great for your skin, your organs, and your energy level) or
  • Put a hand on your heart and feel the energy shifting
  • Take a few deep breaths in and out. Also wonderful for getting some oxygen to your brain
  • And here is an interesting one: rub the tips of your thumb and your index finger together until you become aware of the ridges of both tips. Research has shown that it has a deactivating effect on the part of the brain where the gremlins live.

With all the above, it is all about repetition, repetition, repetition. No chance of strengthening your flabby muscles by reading a book about exercise and doing a few sit-ups once.

Get the drift?

If you make some or all of the above exercises a daily habit, I bet you my Obergremlin that something magical will happen to you in just a few weeks’ time.

Would love to hear back from you on how you were getting on and what the results where. Likewise, any questions or comments are most welcome. Stay tuned for the next shifts in future posts.



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