For whatever reason, we are not taught positive self talk. Instead, from years of what has been called "constructive criticism," we learn to berate ourselves. For so many, we are meaner to ourselves with our inner chatter than we would ever imagine being to any one else on the face of the planet!
You know it’s true. And it messes with your self-esteem.
All those comments like, you’re too old, not pretty enough, too fat, too thin, have mousy hair, nothing special to say, not bright enough, not quick witted, don’t make enough money, grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, didn’t go to a good enough school, didn’t go to college, say the wrong things, am not very interesting, blah blah blah!
Raise your hand if some of this doesn’t circulate in your brain from time to time.
But what can you do about this inner nastiness that seems to have a rather tenacious mind of it’s own? Well, according to Richard Carlson, author of Taming Your Gremlin, everyone has this problem. And everyone has a gremilin that chatters on and on viciously and incesantly. So you are not alone with this issue.
And there is hope. But it will take some practice. The good news is, you are not your gremlin. Your true authentic self would never be mean, only supportive.
Here are a few things you can do to quiet that gremlin, take back your power, build self-esteem and start to love yourself again. Pretty important stuff if you’re looking for a healthy relationship. Because you have to be healthy to start with.
1) Start to recognize your gremlin’s voice and wake up in that moment to realize you don’t have to listen to that stuff! And your gremlin does not have to be the one in charge. Allow your authentic self be in charge!
2) Tell your gremlin to shut up if you have to!
3) Tell your gremlin to go on vacation, lock it in a drawer, tell it to go away – whatever will work to distract and cut your brain off from that broken record that plays constantly. This does work believe it or not.
4) Ask your gremlin what it is afraid of. Your gremlin does have a real job – to keep you safe and from looking foolish. But in that small, narrow comfort zone, you’ll never get a chance to stretch and try something new – that’s why you need to get past the gremlin. Find out what the fear is about and you can sneak past it!
5) Be kind to yourself. Once the gremlin has been berating you, you’ll need a good dose of kindness and understanding. Remember that you are most likely doing the best you can. Shore up your inner strength and move forward to try again. Everyone makes mistakes so ease up on yourself
6) Remember you don’t have to be perfect. That’s a great excuse to keep from trying anything new. First time out you won’t be perfect – but to try is to learn something new! Cut yourself some slack.
7) Appreciate how far you have come with whatever your goals are. Praise yourself for what has gone well. This is crucial to your self esteem so believe the good things you say to yourself and empower yourlsef for MORE!
Once you start down this road to recovering your self esteem, your confidence will build. When you appreciate yourself, you will learn to love yourself. No matter who you are – you are a unqiue individual. There’s not another like you in the whole wide world. And that is great news.
Cherish that. Nurture that. And believe in yourself. You’re the only who can do this so do it with gusto! A whole new world will open when you are kind to yourself first. Amazingly, others will start to respect you and show it more as well. Smile at yourself in the mirror and know that you are worthy of love!