There’s a lot happening behind the scenes here at the moment. Change is afoot. Dreams are being turned into goals and bigger dreams are being made. I’m excited and scared by it all at once. And the doubt gremlins have come out to play.
Brene Brown describes gremlins so perfectly in this keynote from 99U. The gremlins are usually “I don’t know if I can do this” and “Who do you think you are to dream and plan this big” and they play like a loop when we try something that’s out of our comfort zone. It’s easy to say that you should just ignore them and fist-pump the air with a defiant “I’ve got this!!” but sometimes they get in through the cracks and plant that seed of doubt. And it’s crazy frustrating!
Maybe it’s just part of the process when we’ve made the decision to make a change, to do something that feels a little like swimming against the tide? To focus on small (big) things like making our homes feel happier and maybe a move where you feel like we’re a better fit (or whatever that looks like for you). Maybe they’re there to strengthen our resolve. To make us realise what is truly important and what is really not.
But if we give them air and energy (the gremlins that is) they grow into something that feels insurmountable. Stop! Do not pass Go. Do Not collect your goals. And we can’t let that happen.
Sometimes mine tell me I’m too old to make mistakes. That now’s the time to have my shit together. Not to run around (literally and figuratively) with crazy dreams. That the dreams and goals are too big and they ask if I’ve earnt it, do I deserve to reach those goals. It’s like an internet troll in my head. Fun times!
And maybe you have some too. Maybe they tell you to play a small game or that it’s not for you to dream. But it’s utter crap. Those gremlins are just nasties that we need to treat like obstacles on an obstacle course. We need to get our game faces on and make our best ninja moves past them and continue onto our goals.
Here are a few ways we can show the gremlins who’s boss:
- Get people on your side. Safe people you can share those goals with that will help you to achieve them. Moral support is a must.
- Write your goals down as a plan and then stick to the plan. Gremlins can argue all they like, it’s on the plan, it’s getting done!
- Acknowledge that they are there but do it anyway.
- If it’s the overwhelm gremlin: break your goals down further, to 15-30 minute chunks and just chip away at them.
- Laugh them off. Watch a comedy you love. Have a session of finding the funny things in life with your BFFs or have a joke contest with your kids (or kids you know). Finding the funny will help.
How ever the gremlins appear in our lives, and they will, the important thing is to remember that a) we’re not alone in this and b) that there are ways to make them go away and c) that they’re aren’t a reason to give up and walk away – even if they sometimes make that seem super inviting. Dreams and goals are worth fighting for, I think.
Do the gremlins sometimes make you question everything? What do you do to minimise their impact?