We all have one. Some of them are tame and "housebroken", others are wild and taking over our lives. What are they? Gremlins - those little creatures that live in our psyche that say things like "you should ___________", "why are you attempting that", "you know you can't do it", "it never works out for you", "you'll end up alone and poor", "that's too risky", "are you crazy!". Sound familiar?
In his book Taming Your Gremlin, a guide to enjoying yourself, Richard D. Carson explains it this way, "He/she tells you who you are and defines and interprets your every experience. He wants you to feel bad and he pursues this loathsome task by means of sophisticated maneuvers; just when you feel you've out-argued or overcome him, he changes his disguise and his strategy. He's the sticky sort - grapple with him and you become more enmeshed. What he hates is simply being noticed. That's the first step to his taming."
One of my frequent "jobs" as a coach is to simply notice or shine a light on the Gremlin. This tames him/her and the real woman can get back in the driver's seat of her life.
Some of the ways I help my clients tame their Gremlin is to have them literally draw a picture of him/her in order to get to know this "enemy". Another is to find a place where the Gremlin can go when you notice her and want her out of your immediate life. This may sound "hokey" but it works surprisingly well.
In fact I gave one client a ceramic, lighted igloo for her to "put" her Gremlin in when she need to "cool her heels". I suggested the Gremlin can have fun in there eating snow cones. With the igloo visible, my client is more aware of the Gremlin when she begins to dominate her life and keeps her tamed most of the time.
Sometimes clients identify a desk drawer or a shelf on which the Gremlin is welcome to sit and observe but not dominate. This light-hearted, childlike approach to Gremlin taming works so well because it is disarming. Gremlins would rather you do battle, showing up adult-like and managerial. In these instances, the Gremlin usually wins.
By Mershon Bell, a certified personal/professional coach who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.mershonbell.com.
COACHING CALL TO ACTION FOR
IDENTIFY AND TAME YOUR GREMLIN
What is your Gremlin saying to you? (we all have one)
In what way is your Gremlin holding you back?
What's one way you can tame your Gremlin?
With the Gremlin tamed, what is likely to happen that is different in your life?
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
"Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step."
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
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