Taming Your Gremlin by Rick Carson
One Line Summary
Texas man teaches you to change your self-talk
Why it’s Awesome
We all have a voice in our head constantly commenting on our life. For most people, this voice is inherently negative. Nothing is ever good enough and we beat ourselves up beyond rational reason. There’s good evolutionary reasons for this, mainly that negativity often keeps you alive in a harsh environment.
But what about now? Now most people in the West live a life of extreme luxury compared to our earliest ancestors. Yet still the voice persists.
This voice is your Gremlin.
Rick Carson is a counselor and professional coach with over 35 years’ experience in the field. In this one book, he tells us everything he knows about taming your Gremlin. It’s a very easy read and packed with practical exercises so you can get started fixing your self-talk right away.
So how do you tame your Gremlin?
Basically it comes to practicing mindfulness, breathing and changing your perspective. Incredibly simple but hard to achieve. Therefore you have to remember that this is a skill you develop over time with practice.
Mindfulness is essentially present moment awareness. Next time your Gremlin starts causing problems, try watching your thoughts like an observing scientist instead of getting lost in them. The thoughts will still be there, but you will no longer be identified with them as “your” thoughts.
Changing your perspective can be very difficult. What Carson says is that we all have different roles that we like to take on in our lives. Yet with the complexity of life, we often find ourselves violating these roles and beat ourselves up for it.
For instance, a man who identifies as “masculine” is going to come up against situations where he either isn’t masculine or being masculine isn’t the right course of action. In both cases, his Gremlin will not be very happy. So Carson suggests you flip your perspective and view these roles as something you just play around with.
You can engage in roles, but realize they’re not all the serious. Like a child choosing to play cops and robbers. You do it because you want to, not because you have to.
For anyone who has read Eastern philosophy, this is one of the universal principles that always gets mention. Don’t take your own ego so seriously. It’s just an illusion anyway.
Why Does It Suck
There’s nothing inherently bad about Taming Your Gremlin. It’s practical, well written and contains great information. Everything you could want from a self-development book. But I just didn’t love it. It lacked a certain punch to make it onto my all-time favorites list.
I also just didn’t resonate well with the author, a good ol’ Texas boy. I’m originally from Jersey, we laugh at people like that. But hey, to each their own.
The Wrap Up
Taming Your Gremlin is definitely worth a read if you’re interesting in changing your self-talk. You’ll get practical steps and exercises that you can do right away while reading the book. Don’t let my bias towards the author influence your decision.
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