We are all guilty of it at one time or another, listening to those little thoughts niggling at us. Thoughts that stop us soaring to the awesome heights we’re capable of. I know I’ve done it on numerous occasions, listened to the gremlins chattering in my ear. You can’t do that, you’re not good enough, what makes you think you’re capable of anything other than normal and boring… they go on and on in a never-ceasing litany of doubts and fears.
So how do we stop them?
We need to reframe the negative into a positive. Our memories shape our thoughts and our thoughts dictate our actions. They are all interconnected. Our memories, thoughts, and actions shape our identity and all too easily we can start a spiral down into the depths where self-sabotage gremlins reign. We do this with the three Rs
Recall | Reframe | React
Our memories are powerful things and have you ever noticed that, especially when we’re under stress, it’s always the negative ones we remember most clearly. Of all the good things I did at school, the one memory that stands out almost every time is when I was mean to someone in my class. I’m not a mean person usually but I thought I was being clever when in fact I was downright mean. But that is one of my clearest memories and it always surfaces – like now when I was talking about negative memories there it was, popping up again. Yet I know I was a good student and a good friend when I was at school. There must be so many times I was nice to someone yet my brain serves up the uncomfortable & negative one.
We need to retrain our memories. Train our brain to recall the positives first and reject the negatives. It takes effort and a degree of willpower because it’s easy to tread the well-worn paths of our memories rather than push through the undergrowth to find the beauty hidden away. But we’re awesome and we can do it.
Sit down, stand up, lie down – whatever is appropriate for the time and situation then think. Push the negative memories those gremlins are offering away, sweep them into the dark depths of the dustbin of your mind. Search and recall the good things. Find those wonderful memories I know you have and watch the feel-good movie they’re offering to you.
Tip: write this memory down, hang a tag on it, make it so it’ll be easier to recall next time. Use your phone, use your notebook, use Evernote or whatever app you love and have access to all the time. When you have a quiet moment or when you’re hearing the scuttle of gremlins approaching take out the memories you’ve noted before and recall them again. Train your brain to think of these first.
Once we’ve recalled those positive memories we use them to reframe our thoughts. Check out you in that positive memory, you’re totally fabulous,
aren’t you? You’re being brave, you’re doing stuff, you are taking chances – whatever you need right now to kill off those self-sabotage gremlins you are smashing it in that memory. So why are you thinking you can’t do it now? Why are you thinking you’re weak, lazy, unworthy, incapable, whatever those gremlin thoughts are YOU ARE NOT THEM. That memory shows you that you’re not.
Write it down, say it out loud, repeat in your mind – whatever you need to do to reframe those negative gremlin thoughts into oblivion and reinforce the true awesomeness which is you. Believe it. Be strong and believe the positive instead of taking the easy path to believe the negative. Because it is easier to believe the negative, if we believe the negative then that means we don’t have to be brave, move forward, take action. After all, why should we bother?
Come on, is that the way you want to be? Is that how you want to live your life? Of course not. So believe the positives, banish the negatives and take the next step beyond memories and thoughts.
You’ve recalled your positive memories, you’ve reframed your thoughts because you now know deep within you how awesome you are. What next? React – take positive action. Do whatever those self-sabotage gremlins were trying to tell you not to. After all, this was the whole point of the exercise wasn’t it? To defeat the gremlins and be awesome.
You can do this, you’ve achieved great things in your past so why can’t you do it now? Of course, you can do it now.
And don’t just take tiny action and think you’re done. You’re not. You have been brave enough to do all the recall and reframe work so you’re strong enough to do something wonderful.
Recall – remember the positive memories, make a note of them mentally or (preferably) physically. Make it easier for your brain to recall them first next time you need them.
Reframe – take those positive memories and change your negative gremlin-induced, self-sabotage thoughts into positive, can-do-this thoughts. Note how you’re feeling, what you’re thinking.
React – take positive action, and not a little piddling bit of action, take a huge oh-boy-I-can’t-believe-I’m-doing-this type of action. You are awesome, believe it, be it.
An unashamed geek who has recently released her two new lifeform experiments out to infiltrate society after twenty years of nurturing them, Sharon is now totally ready for new adventures and challenges.
She drinks coffee in the morning, water in the afternoon, and JD in the evening. She hasn’t met a cake she didn’t like, and she always see the problem as not enough shelves rather than too many books. The answer is forever 42 and Sharon is a hoopy frood who knows where her towel is at any given moment.