#1000speak, Gremlins, House of Pain, introverts, Pink!, Public Speaking, self-confidence, self-doubt
Yesterday, at the weekly meeting for the lifestyle program I’m taking, we focussed on overcoming obstacles.
One aspect we spent some time on was the importance of dealing with your inner saboteur. You know, that little gremlin in your head who tells you that you can’t do it, that you aren’t good enough, that you’re fat, that you shouldn’t even bother, etc…
It’s not a new concept for me. Like many, I am my own worst critic.
The day’s conversation came with some suggested reading that I might add to my list. But it mostly made me think 1) about a board I walk by each week at the school where my eldest daughter does Sparks on Tuesday nights and 2) about some of the various tricks and gimmicks I’ve developed over the years to deal with self-doubt and self-sabotage.
On the first, I took a photo of the board to share with the group on Wednesday, but it came out a bit blurry. Fortunately, the Internet was there to pinch hit for this post. Here’s the board:
I pretty much love everything about this. Such a powerful message about how the way we speak to ourselves impacts us.
Like Pink sings:
I have a small “ahh” moment every week when I walk past the board. I hope these are the words students internalize and take with them into adulthood. Those with positive attitudes help not only themselves, but those around them.
In reading it, I also find some peace in the fact that while I recognize myself in some of the negative statements, I also see myself in some of the positive.
So yay me!
Which brings me to some of the tricks and gimmicks I’ve used to keep my inner critic in his place.
In no particular order:
- As an introvert, I’ve never loved walking to a room of strangers. In my first year of university I had a girlfriend tell me: “When you walk into a bar, just tell yourself everyone in there wants you – they just don’t know it yet.” While that’s not quite the approach I go for now, the intent is the same: I am awesome. And so I shall just walk up, introduce myself, and assume you want to speak with me. Because, really, why wouldn’t you?
- On the flipside of that, when public speaking or giving presentations, I tell myself the experience isn’t AT ALL about me – it’s about the audience and what they want to learn – which is the information I’m there to communicate.
- I named a stuffed koala I got at a conference after someone I had had to professionally deal with who chronically put myself and others down. There was something about turning that individual into a cute little stuffy that my kids felt the need to take care of and make sure I had with me for movie night – along with their bunnies because it is important not to exclude anyone – that, well, nicely redistributed the power in my mind.
- I’ve trained myself that, when I’m tasked with something I don’t immediately know how to do, rather than panic, I tell myself “I’ll figure it out.” I then take a moment and figure out what I need to do to figure it out. It generally works.
- At a particularly low point in my life in my 20s a girlfriend took me to a baseball game. I noticed that when each of the players came to bat they had individualized theme music. I thought this was an awesome idea. Everyone should have theme music when they walk into a room. I chose my song then and there and over ten years later I still hum it when I need a confidence boost. Here it is for your listening pleasure:
I admit, I never thought much about some of the lyrics until years later…
The discussion on Wednesday, as well as my weekly pause at that board, tell me I still have room for growth here. And really, I’m not sure anyone can ever hit Lynn Peltzer effectiveness with their inner gremlin. Although, that would be ideal so let’s all take a moment to visualize:
So what about you? I’d love to hear any tips or things you do or have found helpful in keeping him where he belongs.
Wendy W said:
I’ve decided Firework by Katy Perry is my song. If I ever need a pick-me-up, I listen to that
Ooh – that is an awesome choice! I have that on my IPod playlist for working out and it always motivates me.
I just happened to read this on a day when I was having trouble finding the engery to fight my own “inner gremlins”and the idea that I am not alone in the struggle made my day just a bit brighter. So, thank you for writing such a wonderful post! 🙂
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Thank you for reading! I’m so happy to know it helped. Hope you are well.
I love that board you’ve made. Turning the words around to make you feel a lot more positive about things.
And the theme music idea is amazing. I think I’ll go with Titanium by Sia. 😉
I can’t claim any credit for the board – I saw it at a local school – but I adore it. And that’s a great song choice. Thanks so much for visiting!
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So good. Thank you for this.
Number one is kicking me in the teeth right now. I’m walking into places, but with more of a chip on my shoulder and a wall up…
When I walk away or leave though, I pick back up with the “I”m awesome thinking”. This is definitely an area of growth for me.
Regina – I smiled when I saw your comment come in – I have bit a bit blog sporadic of late and it made me happy to know you are still in blogland.
#1 – yeah. I think there is a whole new nuance in there when “middle age” hits for women (whenever that starts) that I am just starting to sometimes experience. I may blog on it, but I am still mulling over my thoughts on the whole thing. As to your chip issue – I don’t know what it relates to, but hope it is something that you work through/move past? It sounds like you have the right approach after – but that something in the moment is the issue?
I have to admit – I’ve had moments in conversations at cocktail parties where I’ve actually told the person who is talking to (or more usually “at”) me while looking over my shoulder to see if there is a better option that he/she can really just troll on if they think there’s someone better out there to be chatting with. It’s probably not my best cocktail etiquette – but in certain moments I think I’m probably doing these “networkers” a favour in letting them know to be a bit less obvious in their intentions. I’d like to think – generally speaking – when people attend a function – the intent is to meet the other people there. So people should a) not be nervous about approaching others in these scenarios and b) those approached should be polite and receptive.
Tammi Kale said:
Thank you for the kind words and for reading!
Brenda Davis Harsham said:
I like Daring Greatly and Big Magic, two books that have helped me with that same problem. Plus I reached my 40’s and started to care a whole lot less about criticism.
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I will look up those two as well – thanks!
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These are great suggestions Louise. I love the idea of a theme song, and got talking with one of my daughters about it. (Also called Louise!) The first song that came to my mind was “All Will Be Well” by the Gabe Dixon band, and then Gloria Gaynor’s “I will survive.” I also love James’s “Sit Down,” but maybe it’s more for expressing compassion to others. Louise instantly chose “The Colors of the Wind” from Pocahontas.
I also love, love, love what you’ve done with the stuffed koala. To name it after someone who put you down, and then treat it kindly is just awesome! I think I’ll have to try that one!
Well your daughter has a lovely name! As for song picks – I haven’t thought of James in ages but have their best of hits album and may just have to pull it out. And I think my daughter would very much approve of your daughter’s pick (that’s a beautiful song).
I must admit, the Koala thing started off a little snidely if I’m being honest, but it helped change my views and thoughts for the positive over time 🙂
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