Keeping the Gremlins at Bay

by jenn on January 30, 2010

in Coaching,Writing

Calendar

Isn’t it funny how the gremlins get louder the closer we move toward our big dreams? For weeks and weeks, I’ve been diligently plugging away at my manuscript, but now that I’m preparing to have colleagues review it and give feedback, the Inner Critic kicked into overdrive.

Productivity came to a halt. I dug my heels in. I started to stall on sending out certain e-mail requests, I avoided reading sections of my manuscript (let’s not even talk about looking at the whole thing in its entirety!), and I kept myself in the dark about what the timing of my next steps needed to be. These are a few of my gremlin’s many sneaky tactics to keeping things status quo.

Recognizing the gremlin’s grip, I began taking little steps forward. I drafted up the e-mails that I needed to send out. I printed out documents that I had not been wanting to deal with. I got more Post-it Notes and mapped out the dates of key milestones leading up to my deadline. I swear, it’s these tiniest of actions that get my mind off of the gremlin talk and on to the bigger vision. There is still plenty more to do and I’m still noticing resistance. But, I know if I keep making these micromovements I’ll maintain momentum. And it sure helps having awesome, supportive people in my life and an amazing book coach to keep me focused on the positive. So take that, gremlins!!

How does your Inner Critic try to sabotage your progress? What are the ways you keep your gremlins at bay?

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

j-a brock January 31, 2010 at 3:30 am

I hear ya on those gremlins! Funny how just when you think you’re beyond them, they pop up.
Mine seem to work in similar ways to yours, and my way of handling them is also to do those little things like drafting unpleasant emails so that they’re not so daunting. I also print out the manuscript, clean off my desk or table and set out my pen and notebook so it’s all there for me to sit down and start work. Then when I have a few spare moments or am walking past to do something else, I tell myself I’ll only do a few minutes of it first. Seems to work.
And of course, keeping in creative networks is inspiring and invaluable.

Kathy January 31, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Love this Jenn and love you – I completely champion you and this project so know that 🙂

I’ve discovered this weekend that focused steps truly do keep the gremlin at bay and, in fact, weaken it. As a visionary, I tend to get ideas faster than a snow storm drops snow flakes in Michigan and when I get an idea, I see it as whole. It’s done already. To begin the steps toward that wholeness feels so small in comparison and the journey begins to look daunting. Why can’t I just leave it whole in my vision, my pretty picture, my imagination of what’s possible? Well, the fact is that when I do that, the idea gets to stay whole but unmanifested and my gremlin can beat me up for never achieving anything. So, small steps it is…micromovements ROCK! It takes a lot of little notes to make a song!

Ana February 1, 2010 at 10:49 am

Thanks for sharing this, Jenn. What a great observation that gremlins tend to come up when you get closer to realizing big, beautiful dreams.

I think of my gremlins as playground bullies that don’t want to see anyone else succeed. Then I start to feel a little sorry for them, and that compassion shifts my energy to more positive mindsets.

Eliza February 1, 2010 at 1:58 pm

yes, those stinky little gremlins…those guys show up for me all the time. Sometimes I don’t get rid of them and they just hang out and we procrastinate together all day long, you know, check the email a million times, watch you tube videos, eat crap and get snappy with our significant other. But then sometimes I remember that I have some pretty powerful tools in my pocket to work with the gremlins/inner critic, letting them be as they are, but not letting them get in the way of my getting things done. I usually try to take them to the mat, unroll the sticky and focus on opening my heart and relaxing into my own body through yoga. Sometimes this works wonders. Sometimes I have to get out of the house completely and go for a walk and let that kind of brisk movement actually help move me through my stuck-ness…come to think of it, maybe that is what I should go do right now….thanks for this question!

aimee February 2, 2010 at 1:46 pm

gremlins and micromovements. you’ve just added two FABULOUS new words to my vocabulary! thank you!

Anna Goldstein February 11, 2010 at 2:38 am

As you reach for your highest goal, you face you biggest challenges….

Kevin Incorvia March 11, 2010 at 8:01 pm

I know a lot of people that become over planners in these situations, and I know others that become interested in other paths, right as they are about to make it big. It seems that the big thing is that we have to step outside our comfort zone, put the ego aside and just do it. Making a habit of expanding your comfort zone also helps.

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