No I haven’t gone mad..erm ok, madder than usual. Gremlins is a term some of us coaches use, to describe the nagging internal voice that tells you, “why bother, you’ll never be able to do that”, “you’re not good enough”, “go on another biscuit won’t hurt, you can start the diet tomorrow”.  Any of this sound familiar?

We all have our own personal Gremlin, or maybe a few of them.  I think I have a whole Gremlin networking federation in my head at times. Rest assured though, your Gremlin, maddening as he is has your best interest at heart.  Your Gremlin doesn’t like change.  He wants you to stay safe in your comfort zone, he doesn’t like challenge. As soon as you start thinking about changing something, he may start telling you very convincingly all the reasons why that would be an unpleasant thing to do.

The thing is comfort zones are only comfortable for a short while, everything we want most in life is just outside, in that slightly more uncomfortable area.  It doesn’t stay uncomfortable for long though, and often it’s never as hard as we may have imagined it to be.

Feel the fear and do it anyway or  “sometimes you just have to jump, and build your wings on the way down”. By getting out of our comfort zones we grow more as a person.  Every time we make the plunge for what we want we become stronger to the  Gremlin chatter.

Arguing with your Gremlin is futile as arguments are a big energy drain.  So how do you tackle this slippery character? Sometimes he can be very convincing, so much so you end up believing what he says.  “We are the only thing that ever stops us achieving any thing in life, there is nothing outside that stops us, only our Gremlin excuses that we adopt as our own”. Sure it’s not always easy but the more we overcome our Gremlin excuses the more our world changes.

Typical Gremlin excuses are

I haven’t the time

I can’t afford it

It will be difficult

It will take a long time

I’m not strong enough

I’m too big, tall, short, old etc

I’m just not that kind of person to do….

I’m not good enough/not worthy/un-lovable etc

Have the cake you deserve a treat, you can start the diet Monday

5 ways to tackle your Gremlin

1.     One way is just to create a bit of space and recognise your Gremlin is agitated.  Listen to him, even write it down, he wants his say, let him have it. Now what is it you want to do? If you follow his advice will it help you or hinder you towards your goal?

2.     Note your Gremlins advice, thank him for sharing then tell yourself out loud in the mirror,  “I am going to do – – – – – –  as this something I want and I am choosing to do for myself”. You will be more fulfilled, happier and feel like you have achieved something worthwhile than if you listen to your Gremlin.

3.     Tell yourself the voice is just your Gremlin it’s not who you are. You are not your Gremlin. Stay present and observe these thoughts, do your best not to get sucked into his chatter. Visualise your Gremlin, give him/her a name, this can then create a silly image in your mind which will lessen the effect of the negative words.

4.     Listen to your Gremlin, then close your eyes and focus on your breath. Noticing your  breath will give you something to concentrate on as oppose to the Gremlin chatter. Bring all your attention to your breath in and breath out. Put your hand on your heart, and connect with that deeper part of you. Ask yourself, what is it that you really want?

5.     Get really determined, know you are always have choice.  You are master of your destiny, you can decide what to do.  Choose to ignore his advice and instead go for it!

If you want to read more about Gremlins check out a book by Rick Carson called ‘Taming your Gremlin