My client Jeannie and I were on the phone just the other day. Jeannie’s up to some great stuff – creating a new program, redoing her website and leading some trainings.
She’s set aside time to create the content for the website and trainings before things get really busy. Her big fear was that she’d get to the end of that time and only have a fraction of the work done.
You see, Jeannie has…a writing gremlin.
You know how it is, right? That little voice inside that says, “I can’t do this. This sucks. What if people don’t like this? Or think it’s stupid?”
It leaves you sitting there staring at a blank computer screen. For hours. Knowing that if it were a piece of paper there’d be a hole from all the things you’ve erased.
Or maybe not sitting there. Maybe you’re already off reading emails or social media, worrying about the state of the country or what the hell other people are thinking. Or you’re off eating, exercising or cleaning your office.
Anything but putting words down.
None of those things is bad. You need to connect and stay informed. Within reason. And not at the expense of your business. You need to eat, move your body and take breaks.
But when the breaks are longer than the productive time – or are instead of it – then your gremlin is running your business.
It may have taken over your body, too. Did you notice how shallow your breath is, how tight your chest feels, or how your stomach is in knots?
No wonder you want to distract yourself.
Jeannie’s working with me because SHE wants to be in charge of her business, not give it over to her gremlins. So we got to work.
And Its Name Is…
First of all, we identified her gremlin. Its name was Perfectionist.
It wanted her to be perfect, to be right. It saw this as a way to protect her, to keep other people from judging her and hating her and what she created. It seemed smart and reasonable to have ideal wording on her website to get more clients. And who wouldn’t want to come to a training that’s got the best materials and content?
And if it’s all perfect, no one will ever judge her harshly, or get mad or upset at her.
Never actually gets anything written or published will also keep her from being judged and ridiculed. From this point of view, the best options are perfection or silence. Since perfection is unattainable…that leaves silence.
The problem, of course, is that silence also means no clients.
More than that, though, it also means not making a difference in the world. Not serving anyone. And not growing.
Making a difference, serving, growing – isn’t that why you’re here and why you have a business? This gremlin isn’t just running your business, it’s sapping away your energy and letting the months go by with little or no progress.
Not Jeannie’s though.
Identifying with the Gremlin
On our call, I guided Jeannie to connect with this perfectionistic part of her in a new and much deeper way. We cleared away some assumptions and false beliefs that she / the gremlin had had, and she came to a whole new understanding of what was going on.
As it turns out, this gremlin part of her is also the part that connected her with her passion to serve and her passion for what she’s creating. It’s the part that cares so deeply, and that keeps her engaged with her clients and her program.
She was so busy fighting against her gremlin and pushing it down, that she was at risk of killing both her business and her passion. If she had gone on like she was, she may very well have done it.
Her business would have become yet another “failed entrepreneurial business.” The world is littered with them.
But that didn’t happen.
Far from it! She’s excited and energized now. I gave her a strategy to use every day to keep clearing away the crap, stay connected with her passion and commitment, and keep taking action.
Reframing the Relationship
Her gremlin has become her ally.
Now, instead of just getting through this tough patch (or not!), this situation has been a pathway to growth and transformation. Not only will Jeannie get her website and program content written, she’ll emerge from the process feeling lighter, more confident and more energized.
And I’m here to support her if anything else comes up along the way. It’ll just mean more growth and expansion for her.
What would it look like if the obstacles in your life – those things you just “have to get through” – became the catalysts for some of your deepest transformations? Wouldn’t that be…magical?
What’s a situation that you’d love to smother in pixie dust if you could?