WomenEd Blogs

Sitting with my Gremlins


by Amy Carson @TitchyDitch #PledgeForChange20

I have the pleasure of working with @cerasmusteach, in fact she's my line manager. A few weeks ago she came into my classroom and invited me to write a blog for her #WomenEd #DGmeet to #PledgeForChange2020.   My initial thoughts were 'What would I write about?' then 'Who would be interested in reading what I have to say?'

I now know that those thoughts are my 'Gremlins' (aka negative self-talk). I am getting better at dealing with my Gremlins thanks to @Naomi7444 and my wonderful @Purposeful_Ed (#P_Ed) posse, plus the awesome @WomenEd community. In fact when I asked my #P_Ed group what they thought I should write about they unanimously replied that I should document my journey with my Gremlins, so here I am doing just that.

For many years I tried to ignore my Gremlins - they got louder. I tried to battle, fight and annihilate them - they got louder.

Now, after my time on the @Purposeful_Ed peer coaching course, I try and sit with them. I say try because it's not always easy to sit with the uncomfortable thoughts I have about myself. I say try because sometimes it's often easier to revert to old behaviours of ignoring or battling with my Gremlins. I say try because sometimes I feel too tired or too delicate or too vulnerable to sit and hear what they have to say.

When @Naomi7444 invited me to be part of her inaugural @Purposeful_Ed group I knew it was going to be special. The module I was most looking forward to was Week 3: Tame your Gremlins. If I'm honest it was this module that sold the course to me. I knew I had Gremlins, I knew they were sabotaging me on a regular basis, I didn't know how to deal with them. The peer coaching course gave me the tools I needed to start working with rather than against my Gremlins.

A few months ago I was drowning in negative self-talk. I actually couldn't think straight. Because of my work with @Purposeful_Ed I knew it was because I had been ignoring my Gremlins. I decided to write down everything my Gremlins said to me throughout the course of a day. I have to admit I was shocked and ashamed of what my Gremlins said/say to me. This episode took place not long after @WomenEd 5th UK unconference. On reflection I realised that my Gremlins had gotten so loud and so extreme because I had pledged to tell myself daily "I am enough". This was apparently a step too far for my Gremlins: with their status quo challenged they retaliated.

The funny thing was that writing them down somehow made the thoughts of my Gremlins less powerful. When they were written down my rational mind was able to start debunking some of the thoughts. I went one step further and shared the list with my #P_Ed group, they were fabulous and @brightwayscoach wrote a wonderful letter to my Gremlins that I have stored on my phone. One of the most wonderful gifts from this course is the group of incredible people I now have acting on my behalf as champions standing there with me in the arena.

So, what have I learnt from sitting with my Gremlins? I have learnt that there are many of them, each with their own voice and agenda.

I have learnt that sitting with them and hearing what they have to say, then telling them kindly to jog on and get out of the way is the best approach. I still have some way to go. I am slowly making peace with the fact that I think it will be a life's work.

So what is my #PledgeForChange2020? There are two parts to my pledge. Firstly, to continue to do the uncomfortable and challenging work of sitting with my Gremlins, getting to know them, to try and understand them better, to continue to push on and be #10%Braver despite them, maybe I can even find a way to use them as a driving force. Secondly, I will return to telling myself at least once a day 'I am enough'. Last time I did this it seriously agitated my Gremlins which generally means I should carry on.

Join me this year in getting to know your Gremlins better and repeat after me 'I am enough'.



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Wednesday, 29 June 2022

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