Fiona Clark is the founder of Inspired Mums, and is passionate about helping women find fulfilling, family friendly roles. She founded Inspired Mums career and confidence coaching in 2006 to help women fulfill their potential and find family-friendly careers. Here she wants to share her top tips on gaining confidence and busting your inner gremlin
You’re all dressed up, freshly printed CV under the arm and on your way to your first job interview in years. You want this job more than anything. On the way there, you try hard to have calm thoughts, but a loud, nasty voice keeps interfering:
“Your brain has turned to mush, your best skills are one-handed nappy changing and outwitting a toddler in I-Spy. Do you really expect anyone to take you seriously?”
“You have a gaping hole in your CV. Looking after children and gossiping at coffee mornings don’t count as work! “
Sounds familiar? Well, say hello to your inner gremlin: The voice inside your head that is constantly chatting to you. Some of us are lucky enough to have a kind, encouraging inner voice that helps us be the best we can and reach our potential.
But, if you’re a mum and you’ve stayed at home to look after your children for a while, chances are your inner voice has turned nasty.
3 signs that your inner gremlin has hijacked your thoughts
1. You compare yourself with every mum you see and imagine them all to be cleverer, wealthier, more successful, happier and thinner than you.
2. You have a dream job in mind, but it seems miles away from your daily reality and you don’t have a clue how to make it happen.
3. You can’t decide what to have for breakfast, never mind taking big decisions about your life.
If this sounds like you, your inner gremlin has taken charge and is blocking your way to success. You need to do something and do it fast.
Why? Your subconscious can’t tell the difference between fact and fiction, so if you keep telling yourself you can’t do something, it’ll become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Say you go into an interview telling yourself how rubbish you are, you’ll be so nervous you’ll struggle to get a word out, never mind sell yourself.
If you then don’t get the job, you will reinforce this belief with:
“I knew I wasn’t any good at interviews…I don’t know why I bother,” continuing a vicious cycle. You’ll have missed the chance to pick out the positives and identify the areas that need polishing.
So how do you tame that inner gremlin? Here are my 5 top tips
- Tune into your inner gremlin and write down what it’s telling you – both positive and negative. You’ll soon realise whether you’re being kind or too harsh to yourself.
- Interrupt yourself every time you hear a negative statement in your head. Do something physical such as shaking your hands or touching your head to block the thought.
- Flip it – replace any negative statement with a positive thought. Turn “I haven’t got the experience for the job” into “I have many relevant skills that will make me successful in that job.”
- Don’t just say it – believe your positive statement. Draw up a list of all the reasons why it’s true. For example, “I have developed budgeting and negotiating skills during my years as a stay-at-home mum.”
- Repeat the new belief statement over and over to yourself, the dog, anyone who will listen. Retrain your brain to believe it. Treat it like a doctor’s prescription: repeat 3 times a day for at least 28 days. This is how long it takes to change negative thought patterns.
Try my techniques to keep your inner gremlin on a tight leash. You’ll be surprised how much further you can go when your inner voice is on your side – Pablo Picasso once said: “I’m always doing things I can’t do, that’s how I get to do them.” His inner gremlin was well trained!
Let me know what your inner gremlin is telling you and which techniques have worked for you in the comments box below.
Fiona says, ‘I spent 10 years climbing the corporate ladder working in various commercial roles appearing to have a successful career but deep down I knew I wasn’t on the right path. I decided to take control and had some career coaching to work out exactly what I wanted to do. The coaching opened my eyes to the opportunities available to me that were fulfilling and offered the flexibility I wanted as a mum.