You may have heard of the coaching concept called “your gremlins.” It’s a way of putting your fears and doubts into a form where you can think ABOUT them, rather than just reacting to them.
I also like the similar concept of “your angels and demons.” The demons are those thoughts and internal voices which are working against you, while the angels are working for you. It’s not really a religious concept: I’m not talking about actual angels and devils in the Christian sense.
I try to help my clients to recognize that:
- All of us have internal fears which show up as concerns, worries, even phobias. This is natural, and I believe they’re part of the way evolution teaches humans (and animals) to avoid dangerous things.
- When we think about those voices as independent entities, it helps us to look at them more objectively, and to consider how they work for us or against us.
- It’s also helpful to consider that we have voices inside us which tend to work FOR our best interests. They give us courage and fortitude, but often aren’t as strong as the voices of fear.
- Again, considering these positive voices as independent entities, it helps us to recognize that we can encourage them to be more helpful when we’re frightened and reluctant.
I know some coaches who do a brilliant job of putting a face to the gremlins or demons. I’ve even done a couple of exercises where I was asked to draw a crude picture of what they look like. Given my lack of artistry, it became easy to see that these voices really aren’t as powerful as I usually give them credit for, and that I even have the right to call them foolish.
So as you consider the daunting challenges in your life, consider:
- What are your demons telling you? How are they trying to keep you from taking action, from having courage?
- What would you like your angels to be saying to you? How can you give them a stronger voice, so that every day you can wake up with conviction and passion?
Give it a try. You’ll find out that the demons really aren’t much different from little kids dressed up in devil costumes.
by Carl Dierschow