Grappling with Your Gremlins

In previous Energy Leadership™ posts, we’ve learned that the Big 4 energy blocks hold you back from living the life you desire by preventing you from making conscious, empowered choices. We’ve examined each of the first three blocks in some detail.

To recap:

  • Limiting beliefs are things you accept about your life—yourself, your world or the people in it—that limit you.
  • Interpretations are conclusions you draw and treat as “truth” concerning events, situations, people or experiences.
  • Assumptions are expectations that, because something has happened in the past, it will always happen in the future.

In this post we’ll delve into the fourth and most challenging energy block: gremlins.

Grappling with Your GremlinsIn chapter 6 of my book, Choose Your Energy Change Your Life!, I talk at some length about how gremlins show up in relation to your “personal board of directors.” Your three-member board—sage, guardian, and muse—is a useful construct for sorting your vast array of gifts, passions, options, fears, and coping mechanisms into three distinct though interrelated subsets to reduce the complexity of understanding what you’re experiencing in each moment and the specific path to finding greater equanimity.

When fueled by love, you can trust your board’s discernment—reasoning and intuition—to help you foster equanimity and access your deepest wisdom to reveal and advance the highest good for all, in all, through all. They do this by creating a moment-by-moment custom blend of competencies that varies based on the optimal mix for the opportunities in each life situation.

In contrast, when they switch to fear as their fuel instead of love, your board members’ gremlin personas take over and block your forward progress by focusing their energies on infighting, backbiting and one-upmanship on a grand scale.

When they first give birth to their gremlin personas, their mission is simple: to protect us from ever again experiencing painful or embarrassing situations. As we get older and our lives become more complex, our sages, guardians and muses see that many situations, while different in details, offer the same opportunity for pain. As their fears continue to grow, so do the possibilities for gremlin interference by board members who expand their job definition to include any situation or person who could ever lead to discomfort. Talk about limiting our world. The great irony is that when in the grip of fear, gremlins will do whatever it takes—including some very underhanded tactics—in order to protect us from the potential danger “out there.” In this way, they become the enemy within.

In this context, the term gremlin is used as a metaphor for a part of you that is neither inherently evil nor intentionally harmful but a deeply rooted pattern of behavior triggered by your oldest most painful scenarios and a deep need to protect yourself by any means necessary. In short, they keep you small because they believe that is what safe looks like.

Grappling with Your Gremlins

Some “protect” you by sabotaging every potentially intimate relationship, thus escaping the risk—and joy—that intimacy brings. Some protect you by remembering every disappointing new experience in your past, painting every future opportunity with the same brush.

A new job might remind your sage, guardian, or muse of situations in the past where an authority figure was frightening, dangerous, or just plain unkind. As a result, its gremlin persona will be on the prowl at every new job, looking for the boss it remembers so well from the past. By leading with the same expectations, you are nearly guaranteed to attract the energy you transmit.

Like the weeds in your garden, effective long-term management of gremlins is not about elimination of surface behaviors. Lopping your gremlins off at the surface with the weed whacker of denial or superficial behavior change may yield a more cosmetic result temporarily. But because they are tenacious and deep-rooted, they usually grow back quickly. And with each failed attempt at superficial removal, they are likely to expand their purview of peril even further.

Though grappling with gremlins can be incredibly challenging, take heart! As an Energy Leadership Master Practitioner and Board-Certified Empowerment Coach, I am especially adept at helping clients employ more effective and lasting measures to neutralize and redirect their gremlins’ relentless, misguided, ever-escalating interference. In a coaching partnership, together we can examine and eliminate any of the energy blocks that are keeping you from reaching your unlimited potential.

To explore the possibilities-expanding power of grappling with your gremlins, sign up below for a 60-minute complimentary coaching session.

Web copy used by permission. No reproduction or retransmission is permitted without expressed written consent of Bruce D Schneider and the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC). ©2006-2016 Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC)


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What clients say about
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“I knew Deborah before she became a Professional Life Coach. I’ve been amazed at how she has changed her life. When I decided it was time to begin making decisions about the next phase of my life, I knew immediately that Deborah was the person I wanted to work with. Her personal and professional experiences help her guide clients through coaching in a way that is individualized and delightfully eye-opening. Her warmth and sensitivity are immediately apparent, even over the phone. With gentle encouragement and permission, she will guide you through an examination of your life, including difficult experiences. She will help you gain insight from your past choices and then explore possibilities for moving forward in less encumbered ways. When you work with Deborah, your life will take on new meaning and your potential will be limitless!” Chris

“The work I did with Deborah continues to change my life. While I have learned many valuable lessons from her, the greatest was the deep insight that is available to me when I listen to and learn from my own inner wisdom. Her intuition, discernment and encouragement have taught me to trust my own intuition—creating new paths and possibilities for my life. One of Deborah’s great gifts is helping others respect and connect with their inner guidance and through that connection, to form a deeper, more meaningful bond with the collective wisdom and energy of all.” Ryan

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What readers say about
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“With the same energy and determination she applied in the professional world, Deborah has taken her considerable expertise in human potential and has now set her sights on the largest co-op in the world, humanity. ‘Choose Your Energy, Change Your Life!’ tackles what I believe are the most important questions we each must ask: who am I, where did I come from, why am I here, and what’s love got to do with it (cue Tina Turner)? These are not trivial or philosophical questions for the answers change what we do, why we do it, who and what we love. I am grateful for the opportunity to walk with Deborah on this critical journey.” JD Messenger, Award Winning Author of “11 Days in May: The Conversation That Will Change Your Life”

“To me the great thing about Deborah’s book is how ‘accessible’ she makes the ideas. The Oxygen Mask is probably the single best example. As with so many of the ideas in the book, she explains the principle in such a simple way that it’s got universal application to virtually any reader. I can imagine people having multiple moments of ‘Oh….I get it!’ throughout the book. The stories from her own life as well as stories of her clients’ experiences become stories about all of us—stories about which the reader will think, ‘I am living my own version of this.’ Well done—bravo!” Joe Calloway, Author of “Be The Best At What Matters Most”

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About djwlifecoach

I am retired from 40+ years of helping individuals and teams build lives and organizations they love. One of the great joys of my retirement from professional practice is having greater bandwidth to donate my professional and creative talents to support and promote animal and social welfare charities. During my 30 years as an organization transformation consultant, I served as a senior partner in four of the world’s largest, most prestigious global professional services firms. In 2005, I took a five-year sabbatical to find healing and peace because non-stop work had taken its toll. My recovery from burnout led to finding my purpose guiding others on their journeys. As a board-certified coach, author, consultant, radio host, Reiki Master and EFT/tapping practitioner, I share hope, possibilities and empowerment with the world. 111419 DJW Sid CH Pet Corner Photo ShootI help clients achieve rapid, extraordinary, sustainable results by connecting who they are with what they do, a connection often lost through stress and the sheer busy-ness of daily life. Courageous self-awareness and unconditional self-love lead to honest choices based on priorities that nurture you and those around you on a journey to wholeness. Decades in coaching, consulting, change management, organization development, human resources and mixed media artistic expression honed my business sense, professionalism, creativity, intuition, leadership and communication skills. The result? Practical tools that help you become more insightful, creative, committed, productive and fulfilled. Even the most dedicated and hard-working individuals can shift from frustration to a sense of futility when their values, passion, work, and lives become disconnected. One of the problems with not taking care of our health is that the effects of ignoring it are often slow to show up. We continue to juggle family responsibilities, work and finances until we lose ourselves, waking up one day 50 pounds heavier in body and soul—no good to ourselves or anyone else. I love working with people who are ready to take life-changing action to make their dreams a reality. At each moment, you have inside you all the wisdom you seek to choose your life and your way of showing up. Limiting thoughts, beliefs and feelings can block you from moving forward. An absence of love and concern for yourself can result in negative head talk that holds you back with discouraging messages about who you are and what you can do. By listening and caring deeply, I guide you in connecting with your own inner wisdom. We identify the way you’d like to live. We determine what’s blocking you and release you from the hold those blocks have over you—unleashing the positive energy that will fuel you forward. Together we develop a plan to move you closer to your heart’s desire. My books, blog, radio show and signature coaching programs help individuals and organizations harness the transformative energy of love to turn unexplored possibilities into fulfilling realities and step into their greatness. What’s love got to do with it? Everything! My book, Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life! (Hay House/ Balboa Press 2013) shares my story and the stories of 10 of my clients along with my signature Discovery Framework. For fun, I love reading, sewing, knitting, yin yoga, afternoon tea, opera and movies. I live in Williamsburg, Virginia with my spouse, Wilson Abney, and the cat who runs our life, Maisy Jane.
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