Inner Critics or Gremlins are something we all have within us. What? Do I really have Gremlins living inside me? Yes, I am afraid we all have those inner voices who insist on interrupting our thoughts with commentary on tasks we are doing, or plans we have. They also tend to pop up at the most inconvenient of times. Our inner critic is a product of our restless minds consisting of positive and negative judgements all day long.
Sounds exhausting, doesn’t it?
Well, those little voices have and always will be there, so we need to learn how to manage them. Left to their own devices, our insufferable gremlins will “zap your health, foul up your relationships, ruin your disposition, dampen your creativity, hamper your productivity, drive you into low-down funks, and wind you up in to fits of anxiety." (Carson.R., 2013, Taming your inner Gremlins, Revised Edition). This inner critic can be truly crippling and damaging for some.
Gremlins are something we work with everyday with our clients and once you learn to take back control, the effects can be transformational.
Until you can work with a coach, there are some tools and techniques that can help you cope with your gremlins, once you have identified them:
1. Take out your journal - Write down your thoughts which will give you distance from the inner critic. While you have your journal, write down 3 positive things that happened to you today. This is a way to train your brain to focus on the positives.
2. Think positive thoughts - Instead of: "I can't handle this," try writing down in your journal or a piece of paper: "I'm having a tough time right now but I know I have the skills and tools to change what needs to change."
3. Change your physical change – When you are stuck in negative thoughts, get active. Take a walk or do something to distract yourself.
4. Incorporate mindfulness into your day – This can involve a short morning meditation where you are focusing on your breathing. It can be remembering to stay present when you are out walking by focusing on the nature around you. Whatever your practice may involve, staying present without judgement can help quieten that inner critic.
When exploring ourselves and our minds more, it is important we foster self-compassion to change our inner dialogue which is a huge step in looking after our mental health. Self-compassion is all about taking action to alleviate suffering. It differs from self-care as we face the suffering head on and try to treat it in by understanding what is happening and why. Once you understand this, look for ways to help yourself. While it can be uncomfortable, the first step towards self-compassion is gaining awareness of our inner thoughts by understanding what triggers feelings of anger, disgust, etc. How do we instinctively react to them and in what tone is of our internal dialogue? We need to face these thoughts head-on to enable us develop a compassionate lens.
If you need any assistance on this or other aspects of coaching, get in touch or book in for your complimentary consultation: https://calendly.com/chemistry-consultation