I am going to be brutally honest. Please tell me I am not alone.
I am a person that is driven, I am at my best when I have more than just a few plates spinning, I love to prepare, but my performance improves at crunch time. I love a challenge and the feeling of defying the odds by taking just one more step forward when I feel like giving up. I thrive on living with purpose, seeking growth opportunities and most importantly making a contribution to others.
But, there have been times when I feel like I am beaten, that I have nothing more to offer, that I am just not all I “used” to be, that I am not good enough, I am not as smart as he or she is and I just can’t make a difference.
I wonder why things just aren’t working as quickly as they should and why it is taking so long for me to figure out the real key to my own momentum and my true calling in life.
Why do we give any ear to the voice of these “gremlins”? We all have them right? You know, that dirty, sneaky little guy that likes to rain in our canoe or drill a hole in our boat just when we are about to paddle out to an amazing never seen before view of incredible possibility and undiscovered realities.
Instead, we stop short of our vision. Beaten and discouraged, we clamor and crawl to shore when that breathtaking view is just around the next bend in the river. In fact, we probably didn’t even need the darn canoe — often that stunning new view of possibility is within swimming distance. If we didn’t stop short, maybe we could have dog paddled or even floated on our backs to get there.
If your gremlin is like mine, he comes prepared. He has boxes of proof, case files, and piles of evidence telling me why things won’t work or why I am not good enough to achieve my current plans. His reasons take up a great deal of room in my heart and I am annoyed that he can crowd my creativity.
When I take an honest look at any of his “proof”, I realize it would never stand a chance in court. I have a thousand more reasons why I can succeed if I take the time to look at the evidence or listen to those that are cheering for me.
Another thing my Gremlin does is keep score, but not very well. You see, he only keeps score of the times it hasn’t worked out or I failed. He forgets to track all my successes or to take worthy note that I got up each time I fell. He doesn’t account for all the lessons learned and the new knowledge gained on how to avoid similar future pitfalls.
Sometimes we unconsciously call our gremlin “experience” and limit our future and potential with assumptions and conclusions about the past. Assuming the past equals the future is like driving forward while relying on the rear view mirror to get you where you want to go.
The past can be a gift if you use it to remember who you are and what you are capable of achieving. Resist the temptation to allow negative past experiences to stop you short of reaching your potential in the present.
If you are on a road where you think only what happened in the past can happen again, then perhaps it is time to take a detour and choose a new route — one where you are not sure where it goes. Get excited about what surprises could be found around the corner.
This new road may get dark or foggy, but don’t get discouraged. Move forward to the edge of what you can see and you will find the path illuminated a step or two ahead — just enough to show you the way. So keep going, the destination is worth the journey.
Before you set out, tell your Gremlin to “take a hike”, rip up his scorecard, take the air out of his tires, and leave him at an abandoned gas station without a payphone. Don’t tell him where you are going and don’t give him a forwarding address!
Start at the “Now Here” mark (the present moment) and recognize with excitement that you have NEVER been in this moment before. Be open, get curious, and allow yourself to get in touch with a stream of continuous new possibilities.
Forgive yourself and those around you for whatever has gotten in your way in the past. Show up with plenty of love each day for yourself first. If you do, you will have much more to give. It is like putting the oxygen mask on yourself first so that you can take care of those around you.