Gremlins: Low Self-Esteem



1. a mischievous invisible being, said by airplane pilots in World War IIto cause engine trouble and mechanical difficulties.
2. any cause of trouble, difficulties, etc., especially in a mechanical,electrical, or other system: A loose wire was the gremlin that blew out the lights.
Today’s prompt from The Daily Post is gremlins. I had a bout with a gremlins this morning. I ran the Thanksgiving Day Run with about 2000 other runners this morning in this lovely little town about a half hour from here. It was chilly at the start, and there was a lot of excitement in the air with families and friends keyed up for the holiday.

But I wasn’t feeling it. I did not eat well yesterday, and my energy was low. I was filled with anxiety. I have some thoughts on why, but I don’t want to give them any more power than they already have. My RunKeeper app asked me if I wanted to accept a 5K challenge for Thanksgiving, and I said yes. But when I tried to click the “Go Running” button to start the clock, it took me to some other page. Since I didn’t have glasses on, I couldn’t read it, so I wasn’t able to use the app. I was frustrated because I wanted to see my time. I quickly gave that up and just started running.

Then the negative self-talk started. My anxiety started rising, and my energy started going downhill pretty quickly. It was all I could do to hold back the tears. I could tell what was going on, and rather than fight it and get more irritated, I decided to walk when I wanted and just enjoy the run. I ended up walking a good bit but still ended up with a good time at the end. And then I was mad at myself because I could have gotten a better time if I hadn’t walked.

When I was walking out of the gym after the race, a big leaf on the wall caught my attention that said “low self-esteem”. As soon as I saw it, I realized that I was caught in a fight with my arch-nemesis gremlin “low self-esteem”. Calling it what it was helped to take some of the sting out the insults going on in my head. A sign surrounded by leaves said What are you leaving behind? 


When I think of the things that have impacted my life, the most impactful and destructive one has been low self-esteem. It has affected my ability to speak up for myself, to go after jobs that I really want, to set goals that might make my life a lot better and to choose partners that would be helpful rather than harmful. In so many ways, this gremlin has made my life less than what it could be. Its incessant badgering that I’m too big for my britches or a loser or not good enough or not lovable keeps me from attempting things that would help me be happy with myself. I want to drop that gremlin on the side of the road and leave him behind.

I looked up the word gremlin, and initially I ran across the Gremlins movie. They are very sensitive to light, they reproduce when they get wet, and if they eat after midnight, they will change into a monster. And they are so, so clever….

Hmmm… that sounds like my gremlin of low self-esteem. I’d better stop feeding him in the middle of the night, and I’m going to expose him to the light. I’ll name him Gremlin so next time I can call him who he is and just leave him behind.

What gremlin do you want to leave behind? 

6 Comments on “Gremlins: Low Self-Esteem

  1. Happy Thanksgiving Sharon. Good for you for doing the race and listening to your body. You’ll get it done the next time!! That gremlin might have been trying to say something else besides low self esteem. Run with that thought for bit!! Hugs!!


  2. Worry which for me is a blend of fear and anxiety.

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. A big gremlin for me, despite my busy life, is ‘Laziness’. He’s the one who doesn’t try that extra yard, or can’t be bothered making something even better. He’s tricky, cos he looks like he doesn’t drag me down, yet I can feel his lazy clutches when I want to try and excel at something (particularly writing); he just waters down my initial enthusiasm. Interesting post, and well done for listening to your body, but yes, try not to criticise yourself…

    • Thank you for sharing that gremlin. I actually don’t think I’m criticizing myself as much as my brain is just repeating messages it’s been wired to give. The more I meditate the more I realize how random thinking is. I have to learn to let it pass by unnoticed and reprogram it with more positive thoughts. And my brain gets more negative when I eat sugar. It’s fuel for my anxiety.

Talk to me, please...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: