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January Series: Fresh Start

Dealing With Gremlins

We all have a voice or two in our head that tell us not to do things. Those voices are our Gremlins. They say things like  “don’t try for that job! You will be so disappointed if you don’t get it” and “if you play charades, you might look foolish, and people will laugh at you.”

Our Gremlins’ job is to keep us safe, and they take it very seriously. They want us to live a life as free from pain and disappointment as possible. If we follow our Gremlins’ advice, we live a small life with few risks. We don’t take chances on life, career, or love. The less we expect or want, the less disappointment we experience.

Our Gremlins often pop up when we are setting goals. If we set an audacious, exciting goal, our Gremlins might say, “You can’t reach that goal. You will be disappointed. You should make a smaller goal.”  Remember, our Gremlins’ priority is safety, and they don’t care if their advice leads to a stagnant, boring life.

Besides, living a disappointment-free life is impossible. Things don’t always go according to plan. Even if we try our best to avoid embarrassment, we are going to goof up in public now and then. Embarrassment, disappointment, and failure are important parts of life! We learn and grow from adversity. Each unpleasant event that we overcome helps us to face the next challenge better. We need to explain this to our Gremlins.

When making goals, take your Gremlin by the hand, and lead it into another room. Say, “Thank you for trying to keep me safe. I appreciate that. However, I’ve got this.” Then leave the Gremlin alone in the room and go write some goals.

We want our goals to be attainable, but we also want them to be a bit of stretch. A great goal feels a little bit scary but exciting. A good goal will definitely make your Gremlin nervous, but you can do it!

For a little bit of fun leadership development, join 53 Leadership Challenges at KathyStoddardTorrey.com.

Want to go further with your professional development? Check out the courses offered at PositiveEffectLeadership.com.

If you are interested in taking your career to the next level quickly, contact me for a sample coaching session at KSTorrey@tapferconsulting.com.