Do you hear voices in your head that hold you back? Is The Gremlin of fear hissing, “You’ll never amount to anything!” or, “When are you gonna learn that ugly girls can’t do things like that?” or, “You’re not smart/pretty/talented/sexy/rich/wise enough!” when you start dreaming big?
Or maybe The Gremlin is spewing “You’ll never belong!” or, “What makes you think anybody would ever care about a book you would write?” or, “Get over yourself and know your place!” or, “Nobody will ever love you.”
So often, those voices stem from childhood. The Gremlin is just repeating things we heard from our parents or things we told ourselves when we were very young and impressionable.
And yet, those voices are powerful forces in our lives, and we may mistake them as truth, when they’re just bitter toxic lies spitting out of our minds like ammunition aimed at the jugular.
Compared to many of my Pink Medicine Woman coaching clients, my childhood was very tame. But even those of us with the most loving parents carry baggage we picked up from our youth. I wasn’t abused or neglected, and my loving parents took me to Disney World and carried me on their shoulders at the beach and tucked me in like a mummy at night while singing lullabies.
Yet, I still have voices.
Mine say nasty, untrue things like, “You’ll never belong. People are always going to resent you for being special. You’ll never be like the other girls. If you don’t learn to make yourself invisible, nobody’s ever gonna like you.”
Now, my rational mind knows this isn’t true. And yet, these voices are so powerful that even my rational mind has trouble shutting them up. And so they persist, and patterns keep repeating themselves and then — yup, you guessed it — I get in my own way.
An Antidote To The Voices of The Gremlin
So what can we do about these voices? Here’s a slightly modified version of one of the PLAYWORK exercises from the Get Out Of Your Own Way e-course module about banishing limiting beliefs, taming the Gremlin, eliminating self-sabotage, and preventing unnecessary obstacles from getting in your way.
PLAYWORK: Write Yourself A Love Letter
- Pull out a sheet of paper in your journal and write a love letter to your inner child. Write it the way you would if you were writing to a child you adore. Imagine what you would write to a child if she came home crying because the kids laughed at her outfit, she failed a test she studied hard for, and the boy she had a crush on told her he doesn’t like her. Be very gentle, exceedingly tender, and full of heart. If there was a time in your life when something tragic happened — you were molested, your parents got divorced, your mother abandoned you, someone died — write the love letter to yourself at that age. Don’t hold back. This is a LOVE letter. Be exceedingly loving.
- Read your letter every morning before you get out of bed.
I know you’re hurting, my love. You put your heart and soul into writing that book of stories and pictures, and Tonya just glued all the pages together. I know Rebecca just told you she’s not your best friend anymore because she loves Tonya more. But don’t fret, sweetheart — they’re just jealous. You’re smart and talented and pretty and sweet, and they’re young. They don’t know how to be your friend when they’re just figuring out who they are.
You’re angry. I understand. You have every right to be angry. You love your friends, and it hurts to feel rejected. Tonya was wrong, and you didn’t deserve to be treated that way. So scream. Cry. Beat your fists on the wall. You don’t have to pretend you don’t hurt just to be nice. Stop stuffing your feelings and trying to please everybody. Just be unapologetically YOU. So you’re ridiculously talented for a kid. So you got offered a book deal when you were 11. So what? I love you in spite of — and because of — all that. I love you just because you are you. And you are enough, without book deals or straight A report cards or boys telling you they love you.
I know you’re tempted to dim your light and bend your knees so you won’t feel so special around your friends. I know your little heart is breaking right now because you just want to fit in, and you’re just trying to be loved, but don’t do it, darling. And don’t worry. Your time will come. One day, you’ll be surrounded by friends who adore you just the way you are. Women will celebrate you when you write a book, instead of destroying it. You’ll take all that rejection you’ve experienced in your short life and use it to help others overcome rejection. People will SEE you, and you will be loving enough to hold all of them in your heart, even the ones who continue to hurt you because they are jealous. You matter, my dear. You are enough, just the way you are. Don’t let rejection or failure or criticism prevent you from knowing how precious you are.
If the other kids can’t handle it yet, give them time. They’ll grow up. They’ll stop teasing you. And if they don’t, turn away. Find your inner peace. Know your own worth and don’t depend on others to affirm it.
I am holding you in my arms, precious. I am petting your hair and rocking you while you cry and whispering, “I love you” into your little ear. I get you. Really, I do, because I AM you, and I know how you feel. You are never alone. God is with you. I am with you. Your family loves you. Your friends will outgrow their fear and jealousy. And if they don’t, you will move on, because there are others who will not be threatened. You can love them either way, because that is one of your many gifts.
All of these gifts will one day lead you to do great things. You will stumble and doubt and have dark nights of the soul, but you will never be alone. You will belong. Your passion and creativity will flow through you. Your powerful message will be heard. Your heart will fill with love, and others will feel it. You will be guided by The Universe and you will channel what you’re meant to do on this earth — if only you get out of your own way and allow your radiance to shine forth.
So don’t worry, my love. It will all be okay.
I love you,
What about you? Do limiting beliefs stemming from your childhood hold you back? Do you need to heal them so you can get out of your own way?
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Lissa Rankin, MD: Founder of OwningPink.com, Pink Medicine Woman coach, motivational speaker, and author of What’s Up Down There? Questions You’d Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend and Encaustic Art: The Complete Guide To Creating Fine Art With Wax.
Learn more about Lissa Rankin here.