According to Arloski (2014), the inner critic or gremlin speaks to our self-doubts and fear. It is the accumulation of distortions about ourselves we have heard from the past that tells us we are not good enough, never change, or smart enough. It triggers negative feelings and self-loathing. It destroys confidence and causes people to perform poorly in reaching goals.

The inner gremlin is a part of us and will never go away, but it can be managed. The first step is to not give it much attention or dwell on what it says to us. As you listen to it, it will grow. Follow these steps:

01 Recognize the gremlin talk.

  • Know your gremlins favorite lines
  • Distinguish between the gremlin and problem-solving activities
  • Identify if this is a vulnerable time for you.

02 Refute the gremlin talk.

  • This is not true…what is true for me is ______.
  • Do not debate the gremlin, if you listen to it it will grow

03 Remove the gremlin from your experience.

  • Use visualizations to help what you would like to do with the gremlin (lock it in the dungeon).
  • Do not let them travel with you (throw them out of the car, out of the workplace, or wherever you are).

04 Regain your self-confidence.

  • Reflect on successes in the past and affirm your abilities and talents.

05 Return to the present.

  • Focus on the here and now. If you’re finding this difficult, try the 3-minute breathing space or another form of mindfulness meditation.

Your Health Advisor may also be able to recognize when the inner critic or gremlin shows up and can help you take steps to minimize its impact. Remember, the more you share with them, the more they can help!