Are your gremlins stopping you from creating the career and life you really want?

Are your gremlins stopping you from creating the career and life you really want?

Are your gremlins stopping you from creating the career and life you really want?

In a recent article about how to create your new ‘normal’, I discussed the importance of getting clear about what you want rather than what you DON’T want.

Once we have clarity about what we want, the next job is to get past our gremlins. Those voices in our head that trip us up and block our path to success and fulfilment. Sometimes, we don’t even recognise the power they have over us – so remain oblivious to the ways they are stopping us from realising our dreams.

These gremlins typically rear their ugly heads when we’ve decided what we want, are feeling excited and motivated about the way forward and are eager to get going.

Are your gremlins causing you to stall?

They’ll start whispering – and, sometimes, even shouting! – that what we’re going for is ‘impossible, we’re stupid to think we could do that/have that/be that, we’re not capable’. Especially when there’s going to be six million unemployed and a recession!

So, therefore, we have to ‘stay put, give up, and forget all about our heart’s desires’. All of which can stop us from even starting to explore what might be possible. And, closes us down to opportunities that may be right under our noses.

Or, piling on the stress?

Or, these fear-mongering scoundrels will convince us that we have to ‘push hard, work all hours, sell our souls’ to get what we want. So, we launch ourselves into a frenzy of desperate activity – overworking, chasing and pressurising ourselves and others to make things happen.  Which may or may not bring the result we want.

However, the one result I can guarantee you will get from operating in this way is stress. And – if left unchecked – will ultimately lead to dis-satisfaction and burn-out.  I know, because it happened to me!

These tricksters will also kick into action at the first set-back. ‘There, I told you so – this isn’t going to work, better to forget it. Or, ‘That was a pathetic effort so try harder, go faster, do more’.

Following a successful – although often stressful – career in consultancy, one client had taken the courageous step of carving out some time for a sabbatical and to explore what next. Through our work together, she’d become very clear that she wanted to fulfil a life-long dream of doing a PhD and to find a part-time NED role to run alongside that and support her research. And, to do so in a balanced way with space and time for herself and to breathe and think.

She was excited about her new future, had been taking consistent action and was making good progress towards applying for the PhD and opening up opportunities for a NED role. However, she’d noticed that she was starting to feel stressed and ‘out of balance’.

Rooting out fears and demands is key for success

When we dug into what was happening, she suddenly realised that her gremlins had been demanding she fill up her diary with calls and meetings. Or else – according to her gremlins – nothing would happen. Which meant she had zero time for herself and to breathe and think. It was a pattern of behaviour she recognised from her consultancy days and one she acknowledged was driven by her fear of failure.

By rooting out this limiting way of thinking, she was able to make the diary changes necessary for her to reclaim the time and space she desired so she could work in a balanced way.

So, if you want to make changes, what fears and demands are your gremlins placing on you that are getting in your way of success? I encourage you to get good at spotting and rooting these out. It’s key to creating a new ‘normal’ – a career and life – that will work for you.


And, if you want to explore how working with me would enable you to realise your ambitions and create the life and career that you really want, let’s have a call. Just send an email to and we can set up a time to speak.