How to Defeat Those Inner Gremlins

The majority of people suffer debilitating fears.

The inner gremlins are always there to raise doubts about anything that might alter their status quo: Do you really think that is wise? Are you ready to do this? Why don’t you get another opinion? Are you sure you’re not getting in over your head? What will people think?

These messages give us an excuse to defer a decision or allow us to convince ourselves that we are better off not taking a chance. They confirm an almost universal tendency to put off making decisions.

In the real world, the only way to completely avoid mistakes is to avoid taking action. To accomplish anything means you accept that you are going to make mistakes.

One of the biggest obstacles to any action is self doubt. Doubt will discourage you, delay you, distract you, and prevent you from taking action. And yet, these doubts have no power, except for what you give them. They can only exist in your imagination and only you can excise them from your mind.

The function of doubt and fear is to protect you against any situation that would confirm your worst fear – that you are not good enough. Deep down you want to be in control of your own destiny, but, in order to do that you need to expose yourself to risk.

Once, as a child, it was your mother’s lap, now your comfort zone is the people, routines, places and situations you are used to. The attitude of “better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know” has kept people in bad marriages, bad jobs and bad situations for years because trying something new involves a risk of failure, a risk of being embarrassed, ridiculed, belittled, rejected or treated like a fool.

But what sort of life is that? One person says “I don’t want to take a risk.” So the partner says “OK, let’s put them in the corner, cover them with a blanket and push their food under the door.” You withdraw from life, but, the partner says, “I don’t want to live like that. I refuse to just survive, I want to enjoy my life, I want to live a life with achievements!”

Many are looking for answers. Maybe you are sick of letting yourself down or listening to your own excuses. Perhaps you’ve had enough of never finding the courage to stand up for yourself, or maybe you are tired, or apprehensive, of being dependent on someone else. Or, just simply, you want to be master of your own destiny. Well, that is all you need to get you started.

Many people have told themselves that they will make a change just as soon as some future event occurs. It might be when the children finish school, the partner gets a raise, you move house, the mortgage is paid off, rising asset prices, falling unemployment or falling interest rates. Generally, of course, once we are aware that better economic circumstances have arrived prices have already jumped.

You will find that there is never a “perfect” time and there is never a guarantee that if you take a risk, nothing bad will happen.

While we wait for someone else to solve our problems we are validating the negative feelings we are suffering. Waiting passively, being unable to change our circumstances, creates a feeling of being powerless. We are living in fear; being reactive, not proactive.

The only person responsible for your life is in your mirror.

You need to stop waiting for life to happen and start making it happen. The problem is that how life unfolds within your self-imposed limitations is largely the “devil you know”, whereas anything else is an unknown and “the devil you don’t know” and possible failure, ridicule etc.

Starting to make it happen requires a willingness to experience new ideas, see things differently, listen to people who will support you and not those who will confirm your fears.

Being resistant to change is a symptom of how strong your fear is. A lack of success, in your mind, creates a sense of self- doubt, feeds pessimism, negative self talk and growing feelings of being a loser.

These feelings will only be defeated by taking action and enjoying the self respect and self-confidence that flows from challenging and succeeding. Doing something you fear is the key to managing fear and creating personal freedom. You need to challenge yourself otherwise you will not get out of your comfort zone.

There is only one guarantee “if you do nothing, then nothing will change.” Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly the first time and then refining it from there. Do something; don’t wait until you get it right, get it half right. If you have strategy on your side, you will create an exciting dynamic and it will impact positively on your life.

If it is important enough to you, you will find a way. If it is not, you will find an excuse.

Unfortunately, the direction that is easiest usually does not lead to a destination that is the most desirable. That’s because creating something of value involves challenge, effort, sacrifice, and moving out of your comfort zone.

Whether you see a life with positive possibilities or whether you see no hope at all, your assessment will almost certainly prove to be true. So which one will you choose to see?

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