3 steps to reclaim your power using creative visualization and body awareness
Limiting beliefs, fear, and self-doubt are universal aspects of the human experience. If you find yourself grappling with these, welcome to the club!
For most of us, these fears come knocking in the form of a nagging inner-critic voice, or that sinking sense of dread that’s loaded with guilt and shame. Personally, I like to refer to this inner critic as your “Fear Gremlin”. It likes to throw you off course by whispering negative thoughts such as:
What will others think?
What if you say something offensive?
What if you fail?
What if you succeeded and everything changes?
What if they don’t like you?
What if you mess up?
What if you end up all alone?
You can’t do it. You’re not good enough. You’re just a screw-up!
UGH! Just typing these makes me want to gag!
These questions tend to lead us down rabbit holes of self-doubt, piling up obstacles until we are convinced to give up and stay stuck in INaction.
Just imagine your Fear Gremlin smirking & thinking, “phew, now we don’t have to do anything! We can stay right here, doing what we’ve always done” - whether it’s working or not.
Looking back, we can usually see that this pattern doesn’t serve us well. But how do we break free when we’re IN it? How do we differentiate between a legitimate fear that we should listen to versus mere Gremlin chatter?
Well, here are two practical ways to keep your limiting belief Gremlin in check:
1. The Fear Gremlin antidote: Learn to tune into your body
To tell real fear from limiting-belief fear gremlins, we need to get in touch with our bodies and learn to pay attention to their messages. This skill is the key to discerning the difference between the two. It’s a game-changer that can help us conquer obstacles, and confront our fear head on.
Next time you’re questioning whether your fear is real or just Gremlin talk, ask yourself these embodiment questions:
What happens in my body when the Gremlin chatter starts? Where & how do I feel it has arrived?
In contrast, how does my body react to a genuine threat, like a near car accident or catching a child from falling? Where & how do I specifically feel this in my body?
Now pay attention to how you’re limiting-belief fear differs from the feeling of actual danger. Identify as many distinctions as possible. (Eg. Is it sharp twinge vs. dull ache, tingling vs. throbbing, cold vs. hot, in your lower gut or in your side…?).
Once you are familiar with what the Gremlin feels like, you will be able to know when it has arrived.
You see, being able to recognize these differences empowers you to trust your body and then decide the best way forward. It’s a game-changer that lets you take charge of your fears, rather than letting them control you.
At first, you’ll only be able to notice in hind-sight (which is frustrating), but if you keep growing your embodied awareness and developing this skill, you’ll soon be able to catch it IN the moment and change the way you react. This is awareness + choice and it is the key to real lasting change.
2. Drop the fear & have some fun with it: Bring your Gremlin to life!
For this second strategy to overcome fear, I want to remind you that your Gremlin’s job is always to keep you safe: a hardwired response to help you avoid danger and a vital trait that helped us all survive as a species. So, instead of seeing it as an enemy, let’s consider befriending it.
This strategy is my favourite because it adds a playful twist to the process, making it feel less daunting and more manageable. In fact, it can feel somewhat ridiculous- which is precisely the point!
After you’ve identified how your body reacts to the arrival of your Gremlin, you get to lean on the power of your mind.
Picture yourself creating a character for a children’s book to represent your inner-critic voice and how they talk to you about your limiting beliefs.
Who or what best captures your Gremlin’s essence?
Is it a streak of lightning or a constant dark cloud?
Is it as wild as a Tasmanian devil or as belittling as your second grade teacher?
Does it have a name, like Grumbling Gertrude, or Slithering Steve?
The more vividly, you can imagine this character, the better. As the saying goes, you have to name it to tame it, and this step can be incredibly empowering.
But now what? So what if you can see this pesky little critter in all it's glory? If you can't hide from it anymore, what the heck do you do when it arrives?
3. Love not hate: learn to befriend your Fear Gremlin
Well, now that you know when your Fear Gremlin has entered the building, you get to talk to it! YUP, it sounds weird but it's an important part of claiming your power back.
No more supressing it or hiding from it! Now you get to acknowledge it, welcome it, and kindly redirect it.
Yes, I said kindly. I know your first reaction is to tell it to beat it! Maybe you even like to use you favourite 4 letter words to shoo it away. But believe me- this only makes it angrier! Imagine if someone rudely told you off : does it make you want to back down or fire back?
So, instead of yelling at your Fear Gremlin, I invite you to try something a little more empathic. Treat them like a real person who wants to be seen & heard (just like you). And consider adding a kind invitation to make them feel included because, afterall, they are a natural part of you.
“Hey little dude, I see you & I know why you’re here. I know you're trying to help by pointing out all the things that can go wrong, but that's not actually helping me. I'm a grown up now & I've got new tools to deal with tough situations. Want to join me and I'll show you how?"
Now, doesn't that feel less confrontational than a big EFF-YOU!?!
Conquering your Fear Gremlins and embracing personal growth might sound overwhelming, but it’s totally achievable. With an open and playful mindset and some extra 3rd party guidance to help you uncover your blind spots, you’ll be back in the driver’s seat of life in no time. Your Gremlin will never fully leave you, but it can most certainly be demoted to the back seat (or maybe even the trunk) - still along for the road trip but no longer calling all the shots.
Hi, I’m Christianne Zurowski and my goal in life is to help people live fully & authentically. I’m a Certified Embodiment Coach, which means that, instead of ‘logicing’ our way through your thoughts & feelings, we take a body-based approach to change. If you’d like to unlock the power of your right-brain and learn practical tools to lessen stress and change your patterns, you might like the way I operate.
Book your complimentary JUMPSTART session here and experience what it’s like- because doing it is always better than just reading about it!
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