What’s the loudest voice you will ever hear? The one that comes from within. Ever not accomplish something because you tell yourself I can’t? To that I respond with a quote from Henry Ford, “If you think you can or you think you can’t you are right.”

Change is never easy. To change means to do something different. You may ask yourself, but what if I fail? Failures I have welcomed. They are the wonderful lessons in life that make us experts the next time around. So for every step up the mountain we climb, we grow. For those who have successfully waged the battles to win the war in our minds, we finally reach the top only to see the larger mountain in the distance casting its shadow upon us. What does the voice inside tell you then? I say, now I want to go climb that mountain. In the words of Robert F. Kennedy, “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”

To be truly happy is one of life’s greatest pleasures. When we allow fear to hold us back from what we desire our behaviors can self sabotage our own possibility for happiness. It’s the Gremlin working its magic. What is the Gremlin? It is your inner critic – the little voice inside you that opposes anything new. Its role is to keep us safe and function as our protection mechanism. When we listen to our Gremlin we become rigid and hold ourselves back restricting us from being creative, resourceful and living life to our fullest potential.

The Gremlin originates from voices of authority such as a family member or even an old guidance counselor resonated from years past. The messages we receive may sound like, “you can’t do that, you are way over your head, or why are you dressed like that?” We tell ourselves, “I can’t get started until I…, I should be stronger, and I don’t have the answers.” What you need to understand is that the Gremlin is not you. Rather it is a voice that speaks to you. It is up to you to choose whether to listen or not. Our thoughts become our beliefs which in turn show up in both our actions and inactions – procrastination, perfectionism, and fear.

A world of opportunity and happiness waits. Silence your inner critic through visualization and compassion. First visualize what your Gremlin looks like and give it a name. This brings awareness helping you to identify it’s not you. It is the voice within you programming negative beliefs. Next ask yourself, what triggers my Gremlin to appear? When does it outshine you in your spotlight? Next diminish its power through compassion for yourself. Know that YOU know this stuff, YOU can do this. Why, because it is important to YOU.

As you push aside negative thoughts you will become more engaged with experiencing life through a renewed sense of self worth. You will find the path to happiness can take you down one of three directions:

Path #1 – if something is working in your life, keep doing it.
Path #2 – when you know what works, do more of it.
Path #3 – if what you are doing is not working for you break the cycle and do something different.

How? Start with your top five signature strengths. Incorporate these into your life and they will propel you down the right path. Dr. Martin Seligman, founder of Positive Psychology, directs his practice and research to the study of positive emotions and strengths-based character. His research has demonstrated that you can be happier regardless of your situation. To determine your top signature strengths visit www.authentichappiness.com and take the VIA Signature Strengths Questionnaire (a measure of 24 signature strengths).

I’ve spent years of my youth with an audio recording ringing in my ears that repetitiously played, “what makes you think… and why would you ever… “ Throughout my adult years belief in my Faith, love for self, friends and family I chose to have in my life who believed and supported in me, and relentless persistence have allowed me to overcome both personal and professional hurdles that make me who I am today. Each day I look in the mirror in peace and say I am grateful to be me.

What about YOU?

Author's Bio: 

Christie Clipper, owner of Healthy Edge, LLC, has nearly 20 years experience in numerous health delivery systems and research in human behaviors. As a health and wellness coach, Christie empowers people to harness and breakthrough barriers that get in the way of taking care of themselves. At Healthy Edge, our unique approach encompasses value-based coaching that addresses an individual's overall well-being and underlying factors that contribute to unhealthy lifestyle choices.

You may enjoy the benefits of having someone who will really listen, help you seek clarity, develop and work on healthy lifestyle changes through support, guidance and accountability. Schedule your complimentary, private coaching session so you can begin to experience the benefits of health and wellness coaching for yourself at healthyedge-llc.com.