The Gremlin Says: Who Do You Think You Are?

What is a gremlin?
A gremlin is someone I know very well. It’s my inner critic. It’s the voice that likes me to be comfortable. It’s the persona that stops me from doing something because it wants to “protect” me.

While I’m still processing my notes from the John Maxwell Team conference I just attended, I wanted to share with you my top gremlin.

My gremlin says: Juan, who do you think you are? You aren’t good enough for your dream.

For a long time I liked to think I’m a great number two. The one that does great things outside of the spotlight. After the event, I have come to realize this is just another excuse for me not to follow my dreams. It’s a thought that has its roots in the fear of knowing my potential.

Throughout the years, I have seen my command of the stage; my ability to connect with others; the speed by which I can tackle complex problems; the skill to develop of trusted team; etc. I have examples of what I am at my best, and how I can get better. And the awareness of this, creates a certain level of fear.

  • What if I can’t deliver on my potential?
  • Why not let someone else do it?
  • I’ve been working hard, I deserve a break.
  • I don’t want to offend anyone with what I say.

These are statements my gremlin says to me when it comes time to deliver on what I do best.

As I continue to process my notes, I leave you with this famous citation from Marianne Williamson’s book, “A Return to Love.”

Our deepest challenge is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.

There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

If you prefer video, here’s the paraphrased version from the movie “Coach Carter”


What’s your gremlin saying to you today?




What is your experience with this concept?

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