Posted by: Suzan | July 1, 2021

Got Gremlins in Your Way?

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

We all have them, that nagging voice inside of us that sometimes says things like, “You can’t do that. Who do you think you are?” Even though what they tell us is not true, they can be convincing. Gremlin talk can even stop us from pursuing our dreams.

Elizabeth Gilbert in her book, Big Magic, suggests it’s as if every day we have a choice before we get into our cars. We can either allow the gremlin to get in the front seat and drive our cars or we can insist it climb in the back seat as a passenger. We may need to co-exist with the gremlin yet we don’t need to hand over our car keys to him/her.

If you have gremlins in your way, I invite you to do the following art homework assignment for some relief.

  • First write in your journal (or on paper) what your gremlin typically says. If you aren’t clear about this, carry a small notebook around with you and jot down any negative self-talk for the next few days. The ones you repeat (patterns) are your gremlin’s language. This can be challenging to do, yet the more you get clear, the easier it is to spot the gremlin. Then you can quiet it down so you can create (whatever it is your heart desires).
  • Take out some crayons/colored pencils or markers and draw your gremlin. Keep this somewhere that you spend a lot of time (e.g. near your computer) so you can better recognize the gremlin when it shows up. Since you now know its language of limitations and put downs and what it looks like, you can readily affirm that this is NOT who you are.

It’s then much easier to send it away whenever you need a break. You can have it go on a hike, a long walk, or even an international plane trip, anything to give yourself a break. In these tranquil spaces you can reclaim your life purpose, creative expression and well-being.


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