Stuck in the Rabbit Hole of Self-Esteem?


Alice: How long is forever? White Rabbit: Sometimes, just one second.

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Have you ever noticed how mischievous our minds can be? In some ways, we can spend the whole day trying to keep what we consider inappropriate thoughts from surfacing into the social atmosphere. “If I truly said what I think, what would people think of me?”, you may ask yourself. So we keep the sentry at the door, ever vigilant to avoid a social pothole. Our faces and actions may show that all is well in our world, but the mind will say things like, “I feel so stupid for saying that.” Or the mind will enter into always/never land… “It seems like I will never be good enough.” When the judge appears (the inner critic), down the rabbit hole the mind wanders and in a second can become forever lost in our cranky, critical thoughts. Thoughts that are not anything like the way we would speak to a beloved child or cherished friend. Why is that?

Why are we not as likely to say grand things about our own behavior? Like, “I handled that like a pro” or “I’m the best.” Somehow being nice to ourselves in our inner thoughts can feel more painful than the disparaging ones. We’ll do anything not to appear to be full of ourselves. What DO we say to ourselves then? Many experts agree that the answer is simply to let the mischievous mind wander where ever it wants or needs to go in a process called “cognitive awareness.” What that means is simply to be aware of your mean or grandiose thoughts but stop short of putting a label on them. So an inner voice that says “you screwed that up again” could be met with a response like “hello little gremlin” or even simply “stop delete.” Our body’s responses will tell us when we have gone down the rabbit hole into judgment land with headaches, stomach problems, overeating, undereating, anxiety, depression and illnesses of all varieties.

If this cycle sounds like your daily routine, there are ways to get unstuck and make friends with your gremlin. It requires just 3 things:

  1. Be aware when an emotional guidance signal sends you pain. Stop and look at it. Let it run its usual script.
  2. Get playful and have some fun with that nasty, critical thought. Give it a name or visualize it in all sorts of ways so that you can picture IT rather than judge yourself. (Mine is a sparkling purple with striped red and white socks.) When I chase IT down the rabbit hole, I focus on this image instead of the critical thought. Like Alice in Wonderland, I can get “curiouser and curiouser” which keeps me from reacting to the judge.
  3. Learn to love your gremlin instead of trying to hold him/her down. Know this gremlin is there to help you. When you talk to it with love and acceptance, it will be a calmer companion.

If you find that your gremlin is too big to tame, I have a few more ways that will help you get unstuck and play your way into healthier self-talk, often in as few as 1 to 3 sessions. If you’re ready to trash those nasty habits with an investment in you of $90 per session, call me at (928) 367-8208 or email me using the Contact Form on the website. Bringing over 30 years of experience to my practice, I am a highly qualified NLP Practitioner and a certified clinical hypnotherapist. Many have found my friendly ways and precise techniques to be the easiest road toward a better life.

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