You’ve been wanting to advance your career, but it seems that you’re sabotaging yourself at every turn. You were going to have that important discussion with your boss, and then wimped out. “Too busy,” you told yourself, or “not a convenient time.”
We all struggle with this.
Coaches have a concept called your “gremlin” – it’s the voice inside your head that’s constantly telling yourself you’re not good enough, you don’t have what it takes, and you’ll never succeed. The gremlin can be positively brutal, because he speaks in words that push all your buttons and activate all your insecurities.
I’ve expanded this concept and built on the image of a devil on one shoulder, an angel on the other. Your gremlin and the devil character are basically the same thing. But I believe there’s also a quieter, gentler voice of “your angel” that wants you to succeed. When you’re able to give energy to this angel, you can counteract the damage done by the devil on the other shoulder.
Imagine that I’m trying to work up the courage to talk to a partner about the fact that his work is causing problems for me. The devil’s on one shoulder telling me that I’m going to make him mad by opening up this conversation, and might even advise me to approach the topic in an abrasive way. After all, I’m frustrated, right? It’s his fault, so I should certainly let him know my views in an emphatic way!
But before I make any decision, I’m going to give voice to the angel on my other shoulder. She’s kind, thoughtful, and open to compromise – the opposite of that devil. She’s going to encourage me to create a discussion which allows for us to seek a common solution, and maintain the strength of our relationship.
It’s a tremendously simple concept, but powerful for helping you think through difficult issues. It helps to overcome your fear of failure, because you’ve thought things through carefully.
Why was my angel female? I’m not sure, but it’s not always that way. My angel is the opposite of whatever demons are around me at the time – so if my devil is telling me to wimp out, maybe the angel will adopt an attitude of strength and courage.
When’s the next time you’d like your angel to show up?
|Carl Dierschow is a Certified Small Fish Business Coach and author of the career management guide, Mondays Stink! 23 Secrets to Rediscover Delight and Fulfillment in Your Work. He is a career coach for those going through interesting transitions, and works with small business owners who need to create breakthroughs in achieving their business goals. Find out more at www.Dierschow.com and www.SmallFish.us.
If you are interested in individual career coaching, group coaching, or other resources which might help you with difficult choices, please contact Carl at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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© 2011 Possibilities Partnership LLC
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