Taming Your Gremlin: A Surprisingly Simple Method for Getting Out of Your Own Way

Book Taming Your Gremlin (Revised Edition): A Surprisingly Simple Method for Getting Out of Your Own Way by Rick CarsonBy: Rick Carson

Reviewed by: Glain Roberts-McCabe

The Overview: Your inner critic is the voice of your self-defeating behaviours and beliefs. In 1983, Rick Carson wrote Taming Your Gremlin which has since become a mantra for executive coaches everywhere. The book guides you through how to simply identify and notice your “Gremlin” as well as actions you can take to keep it in check. Everyone has some form of inner critic. At its worst, this negative voice will paralyze us with fear (you name the kind) and keep us stuck. Learning how to manage the critic allows us to move forward and pursue our goals and passions. The book combines stories, exercises and zen-like wisdom to provide you with concrete strategies to tame that internal beast.

The Bottom-line: Most Type A personalities I know have very big inner critics. They typically say things to them like “sure that was good, but what are you going to do as a follow-up?” or “Next time you do a project, you should think about X, Y and Z”. Or, they say things like “You shouldn’t ask that question, everyone will think you’re stupid.” I could go on. What I know about high performers is that we tend to put more pressure on ourselves than anyone around possibly could. Some would say their inner Gremlin motivates them to action. In my observation, that perception is typically false. When you dig deeper the Gremlin is usually robbing you of happiness or getting you to do things out of fear. For anyone who’s gone home saying to themselves “Phew, I fooled them again today!” or can relate to any of the inner dialog examples I’ve shared, this book is for you.

Roundtable Rating: A must read for leaders everywhere.

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