When I am in a session with a client and we are addressing the way they hold themselves back from success, we often meet a "gremlin". A gremlin is that little voice who whispers self-limiting beliefs into your ear as work – trying to keep you in your place. It is tough enough eradicating one gremlin, but sometimes I work with people whose gremlins are made up of the voices of other people – teachers, parents, employers all of whom keep whispering "who does she think she is?" These inner voices often come from actual comments we hear from others. When I was a teenager living in Australia, one of the worst things you could say about a girl was that "she loves herself" – implying she was stuck-up. Girls would immediately defend themselves with the vehement denial "No, I don’t!" When I look back at that I don’t know whether to laugh at the ridiculousness of it all or cry that so many girls got the message that "loving oneself" was one of the worst sins you could commit as a woman! Think of the gremlins those kind of comments can create!
One way to know what is holding us back is if we think about what we want through the eyes of others. If you can only hear the opinions of other people – you will never move forward. People, as much as they love us, often want us to stay exactly where we are – it is easier for them when we don’t move house, start to earn more, demand more respect – begin to love ourselves. Our change can be uncomfortable for them - but that is no reason to stay where you are if all you are doing is giving a resting place to a villainous gremlin.