November 7, 2017

When those Gremlins come knocking…

Negative self-talk happens to all of us. Pushing those Gremlins off your shoulders is easier said than done…

Well, you’re probably asking yourself, “Hasn’t it been a couple weeks since I’ve heard from Tom?” Yep, you’re right! It has been a couple weeks since “The Pursuit” newsletter – and no, I wasn’t binge-watching Stranger Things 2 on Netflix! Things have been nuts, but I’m back on track and ready to continue delivering you best practices and insights right to your inbox!

Ok, so we’re still on the topic of “Heathy Mind=Healthy Career” and this week I want to talk to you about Gremlins.  No, not the ones from the movie (although those were awesome) … I’m talking about the Gremlins that come-out and bounce on your shoulders when you’re doing something different, something new, or something unknown.  We’ve all experienced them – they yell and poke and push negative thoughts into your head. You know what I’m talking about. They say things like, “Why do you deserve something new?” or “What are you doing leaving your corporate gig?” or “Who would want to help you?” Sound familiar??

I certainly experienced these Gremlins when I decided to leave my corporate role and start my own career consulting company. They were everywhere! And it took some work to yell and poke and push them OFF my shoulders – something you might have to do if you’re on (or starting) your Engaged Pursuit.

Here are some of my best practices when dealing with your negative-talking Gremlins:

Acknowledge them. I think it’s super important to know when you’re surrounded by Gremlins. Have some fun with it – name them, know how many you’re dealing with, and understand who’s the most active. Be upfront with yourself that you’re experiencing negative self-talk – it can go a long way to help you get back on track!

Be grateful. Counter-intuitive, right? Well, maybe not! While I’ve found that too much negative self-talk isn’t helpful, a little can actually help as you make a transition or find yourself on a new path. They can help to make sure you’re not jumping too far off the deep-end (and that can be a very good thing).  Thank them for that!

Know when they get hungry. Evenings were when my Gremlins came-out to play. If I didn’t have a super productive day or felt like I wasn’t giving 110% constantly, then my Gremlins knew it was time to pounce.  I would make sure to hit the gym, go out with a friend, cook dinner, or go for a walk with the dog if I knew the Gremlins were itching to make a move. Setting yourself up for success is important if your Gremlins are consistent in their approach (more on this below).

Don’t feed them. If you know when your Gremlins strike, don’t give them fuel! I found that staying busy when I know they’re around was really helpful. Telling yourself that you’re not going to engage in this negativity can work well. Or, if you do want a mini-pity-party, give them a few minutes and then cut them off! They can yell and poke and push, but only for a couple minutes (then it’s back to reality)

Bring-in your network. Talk to people! Tell folks important to you that you’re dealing with some Gremlins. Everyone can relate.  I found this to be super therapeutic and bonding. Try reaching out to someone important to you if you start to sense that the Gremlins are approaching!

Find resources. There are tons of great resources out there around negative self-talk, Gremlins, and lack of confidence. Brene Brown, Cheryl Strayed and Lewis Howes are some of my favorite authors who write about this very topic. There’s tons of TEDTalks, Podcasts and articles on the topic too.  And guess what? Next week I’m going to highlight my favorites!

Your homework this week: Think about the last time you experienced Gremlins in your life. Has it been a while? Or more recently? Use some of my techniques above to come-up with a game plan next time you start to feel negative on your Engaged Pursuit. Need someone to chat with? Shoot me an email and we can set-up some time!

Coming-up later this week:  It’s the week before Thanksgiving and I’ll be highlighting my favorite Book, Article, TEDTalk, and Podcast related to “Healthy Mind=Healthy Career” just in time for the in-laws! I know it’s a little early, but you’ll have a few extra days to relax, so I think the timing is perfect!

Here’s to your Engaged Pursuit!

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