The news of Robin William’s apparent suicide this week has many people expressing shock, sadness, compassion and an offer to be a listening ear for those who need help. What is it about inner demons that scream so loudly in our heads and all too often are invisible to those around us unless we reach out for help?
Most coaching clients I work with hear me talk about those saboteurs or gremlins that act as a constant source of criticism and judgment on just about everything we do. They tend to write the story of our lives unless we learn how to be in better relationship with them. Yes, this IS possible and vital if we are to step more fully into our purpose for being here at this moment in history.
Believe me, my inner demons scream just as loud as ever, especially at 3am. (Are you part of the 3am club too?) Mine say things like, “you’re going to be alone the rest of your life,” and “why do you think you have anything worthwhile to say?” Oh yeah – real sophisticated stuff. But I’m learning that underneath those voices, a part of me dearly wants something and is just quite unskillful at asking for it.
I’m never going to make those voices go away, and I wouldn’t want to because I’m beginning to understand that they are there for a reason. For example, I’m learning how to separate the one in me who says, “why do you think your voice counts?” from my true self and get into a better conversation with it. I learn that what it really wants is for me to own my powerful message and share it because I do have something valuable to share. I’m mindfully learning to let it spur me on to the greater work I’m meant to do in the world.
Fortunately I sensed that there was more and reached out for help in making friends with and taming my inner demons. Yes, they still frequently wake me up at 3am and nearly drive me over a cliff. AND the light of day always comes with gentle, purple rays of sunrise to reassure me that I have a choice and that I make good choices.
What will you say to your inner demons today? Please reach out to your support systems if they’re yelling so loudly that you begin thinking that they define you. YOU get to define your story today. Start rewriting it now – this is where true, authentic leadership begins.