Each week in The Wisdom of Change blog series, I share the original artwork and unpack the insights and meaning behind one of the 44 cards in The Wisdom of Change oracle deck.
This week’s card is 14 Inner Audit
I’ll never forget the way I felt when it was explained to me that the punitive voices inside my head are normal; a recognised phenomenon common to us all. Not only that, my inner voice of doom and gloom has an identity; a persona affectionally known as ‘the inner gremlin’.
I was training to become a personal performance coach at the time. Along with the other trainee coaches, I was encouraged to conduct a ‘gremlin audit’. I was invited to give my gremlin a name, identify where it resides within me and imagine what it looks like. It was suggested that I list all the things that this little being said to me on a daily basis, every opinion it wheeled out each time I so much as thought about creating change for the better and every little put down it offered to have me saying ‘no’ when I so dearly longed to be a ‘yes!’ to myself.
The process was as liberating as it was discomforting – how had I allowed myself to be spoken to like that?!
I was encouraged to recognise how abusive my inner gremlin could be. I was invited to consider if I would level such criticisms at another living soul. I was given the opportunity to join the dots and recognise the level of punishment I was allowing myself to put up with simply for having dreams and desires.
I was stunned. Talk about a light switch being flipped in my consciousness!
Suddenly the power that my gremlin had over me was diminished to a bothersome, small minded, busy body type critter who needed to be treated firmly but kindly; much as one would minister to an unreasonable child.
You see, our inner gremlin is well-meaning but uniformed and afraid. Our unevolved reptilian brain deduces that if we are still alive doing what we’ve always done and thinking the way we always have, then that must be the way to survive. Change therefore equals danger. It’s really that basic and binary. I saw for the first time the power my subconscious had over me. I realised that I had been trying to create change whilst believing this unevolved voice of fear. It was little wonder my life felt like it was closing in on me. I was second guessing myself, doubting my abilities and couldn’t see a way to confidently create big, beautiful shifts forward.
When I consciously landed this, the shift was huge, but the methodology was simple; my favourite kind of personal change technique. All I needed to do was shine a light on what was going on inside me; to conduct an inner audit of what I’d been telling myself. It’s a technique I use often. It’s important to recognise the forces within us that pull in counter directions.
Whenever I’m feeling ungrounded or ill at ease, I begin a frank conversation with my inner gremlin. I hear what it has to say and I reassure it. My favourite way to calm myself and get back on track is to say to that voice of fear and doubt ‘thank you, I’ve heard you and I’ll take it from here – you have no need to worry’.
Creating the change we desire is an inner game.
Once we get to grips with what is happening on the inside, our external world shifts to reflect that.
If you’re wrangling with a wayward inner gremlin, I’d love to help. Get in touch and tell me what’s on your mind and let’s alchemise the commentary that’s holding you back.
You’ve got this.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s connection to your inner wisdom.
As always, I’d love to hear your comments below.