NAME YOUR GREMLIN: Scaredy Gremlin
One way you can get out of your way is to name your gremlin. A gremlin in this sense is a self-defeating behavior that reappears in life, work, and relationships that prevents you from achieving a new level of success. Like in the movie by the same name, gremlins usually are latent and easy to live with until they are activated by external or internal factors, either past, present, or perceived future. Naming them can help you to be aware of your self-defeating behavior so you may make intentional decisions that are edifying and rewarding to all involved. The introductory article to this series is at Get Out of Your Own Way.
Another devastating gremlin that prevents people from reaching their full potential is Scaredy. Have you ever met someone who has a reputation for quitting or they seldom finish a commitment. Most of the time, they never even get started because they contemplate the fear of failure so much that they fall into the habit of avoiding commitment. A sign of Scaredy Gremlin is persistent procrastination which is no more than claiming a value without acting on it. The individual has said yes but their actions say no. This dichotomy is reflected in the intense conflict the individual feels leading up to making the commitment. One might see this gremlin as the “Runaway Bride syndrome.” He feeds on fear and anxiety and the higher level of these makes him happy.
The remedy for Scaredy Gremlin is to make commitments…and keep them—doing the opposite of that which one’s emotions would lead in this case. As with people who do not suffer from the inability to commit, it is not a blind commitment to anything and everything. Instead, the individual should follow the following course:
- Admit that you struggle with commitment or the lack thereof.
- Partner with a trusted accountability partner who will walk with you through your journey to overcome this gremlin.
- Make some intentional small commitments one at a time. These might relate to things to which the individual has a strong feeling. Maybe it would be doing one-day volunteer work for a not for profit organization. Another possibility is to join a small hobby or study group knowing that an eventual speaking presentation may be expected. These experiences should be increasingly difficult and be of mutual benefit.
- Rely on the accountability partner whenScaredy Gremlin begins to present himself. Be prepared for the internal suggestions:
- You don’t feel well.
- You aren’t really helping anybody.
- You’re never going to overcome this problem.
- You can’t finish anything.
…and so on. The accountability partner should offer encouragement and dialogue to counter such expected internal conflict
Finish strong! Celebrate when you complete the commitment. Remember that there are some commitments that have no end, but should be celebrated on anniversaries and at major achievements.
Remember that the best weapon against the various gremlins is to name them and counter them usually with the opposite action to which they push.
- What would be the opposite action you might take to counteract your gremlin?
- Have you established a circle of accountability friends to help you overcome your gremlin?
- How may you help someone else overcome their gremlins?
Read the Complete Series
Dr. Tom Cocklereece is CEO of RENOVA Coaching and Consulting, LLC
He is a pastor, author, professional coach, leadership specialist, and is a member Coach/Teacher/Speaker for the John Maxwell Team
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