Our inner voices will not make us feel like the best version of ourselves every day. Some days, you will experience doubt and be insecure about anything and everything you want to do. Your inner voice will be filled with ‘what ifs.’ That inner voice, the voice of judgment, your inner critic, that’s your gremlin.
Believe it or not, the gremlin voice is quite common in everyone. Unfortunately, it has kept many from pursuing their dream careers, experiencing new adventures, or embracing new opportunities.
Yet, we cannot place all the blame entirely on our gremlin. Since its part of our brain, the amygdala, whose sole function is to process dangerous situations, it takes in new information, activities, or interests we might be developing as threats. In a bid to protect us from these perceived threats, the gremlin kicks in; that job interview you got, the promotion, presentation, or even an exciting date, and you suddenly start doubting yourself.
While this part of our brain is acting to protect us, you can clearly see it could be your downfall or a hindrance to achieving the kind of career or life you envision. Is there something you can do about it? Yes. At least, not until you have understood and mastered the art of leading these doubtful conversations in your brain.
In this article, we will explore how you can understand your gremlin and turn it into a positive voice.
How to Understand and Take Control of Your Gremlin Voice
Acknowledging Your Gremlin
The first step to fixing any problem is to, of course, acknowledge it. Denying there is a voice of judgment ruling your every decision only worsens the situation. The faster you acknowledge your gremlin, the sooner you can come up with a solution.
Once you acknowledge your gremlin, you can start being more vigilant, identifying it whenever it starts creeping in. For instance, when you start doubting your capabilities at the workplace, you can remind yourself that you hold the education qualifications and work experience.
Identifying Your Gremlin
Now that you have acknowledged it, the next step is to identify your gremlin and possibly give it/him/her a name. Yes, people name their gremlins, which helps interact and cast them out during those doubtful moments.
It can be overwhelming, especially if you do not know where to start. Try to think about any time you have had a ‘what if’ moment. Or when your gremlin voice comes in, take a moment to water down all the emotions you are going through and your reaction. It will help you identify your gremlin voice and what’s usually happening when it creeps up on you. Are you panicking, doubtful, or scared about a situation?
Alternatively, you can go the digital way and lean on online test methods to identify your gremlin. Fortunately, some assessments, like this test, can help you identify your gremlin. What’s your gremlin?
Visualizing Worst Possible Outcomes
Your gremlin could be right, but how would you know? After all, everything in life is a risk. And some of these risks pan out.
So, instead of being afraid based on what your gremlin voice is saying, why not explore your options, especially the worst-case scenario? If it’s an interview and you are scared of not acing it, the worst that could happen is not making an impression or failing a test. That means you will not get a job offer. But life doesn’t end there, right? You could learn a few things through the process, allowing yourself to be more prepared for the future.
Alternatively, you can start prepping for that interview based on what you fear — impressing the panel, being more aware of happenings in your industry, or passing an aptitude test. That means you will be more confident through the interview, and you might land your dream job.
Taming Your Gremlin
Visualizing the worst-possible outcomes also allows you to question your voice of judgment. The more you continue doing this, the more you retrain your gremlin. Because it packs this information as non-threatening for future purposes.
Additionally, you will learn to look at situations not from the worst-case scenario but the best-case scenario. When you look at situations from this angle, you will not assess your weaknesses but your strengths, accomplishment, and dreams. As a result, your gremlin turns from a voice of judgment to a supporter.