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Aug 07 2012

Are Gremlins Threatening to Sabotage your Plans?

Gremlins, barriers to change, what is stopping you

“If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.”

(Henry Ford)


Whilst planning my trip, one thing which threatened to stop me achieving my goal was what Rick Carson in *Taming Your Gremlin Revised: A Surprisingly Simple Method for Getting Out of Your Own Way refers to as ‘Gremlins’.  By that I mean the thoughts that circled around my mind that could stop, limit, or slow me down and sabotage my plans.  I believe these thoughts are there as a means of protection so I don’t like to refer to them as negative thoughts or self-talk.

I had numerous thoughts going through my mind that could have potentially stopped me from achieving my dreams.  These included being too old (I know! I know!), being lonely, safety as a solo female backpacker, can I actually do it?  So how did I overcome them?

  • My reasons for going travelling were compelling and really helped me to keep going.
  • Taking consistent small action steps towards my goal.
  • The constant visual reminder of going travelling (the A3 size world map on my kitchen wall kept the idea fresh in my mind and helped me think of other places I could go).
  • Whilst preparing for the trip I thought about ways around some of the issues that were whirling around my head such as joining the Couchsurfing community as a way of meeting others.
  • Trusting in myself and believing that everything would be OK


So, what’s stopping, limiting or holding you back from achieving your goals and taking action?  As a starting point:

  • Write down all the thoughts that are stopping, limiting or holding you back
  • Take each one in turn and write down all the things you can do to overcome it.  Once again, there might be some crazy ideas in there.  That’s fine, just get it all down on paper.
  • Which of those ideas would you like to try first?


Once you have completed all the steps in the process (identified what’s important to you, set motivating goals that you are committed to achieving, made an action plan and followed it, and worked on any gremlins you may have), you have all the pieces of the jigsaw to help you to organise a travel experience that will be purposeful, meaningful, and useful rather than a one-off event that you ‘did’ once in your life.

Further information

Should you required any further assistance, please contact me.

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photo credit: Inti via photopin cc

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About the author

Teresa Keane

Teresa has been to almost 60 countries. She started travelling independently at the age of 38 when she gave up her job, rented out her house, put her possessions in storage and spent a year travelling the world. It changed her life. She now creates, publishes, & promotes online travel content and is an experienced freelance trainer & EFL teacher.

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  1. Action stations! - Independent Travel Help

    […] Are Gremlins Threatening To Sabotage Your Plans > […]

  2. The Value Of Hindsight: Things I Would Do Differently

    […] It took my about 6 months before I finally signed up to do an EFL course.  That was because of a lack of confidence in my ability, the cost of the course, and the ‘it’s too late’ way of thinking.  Once I overcame all of those obstacles, I did qualify as an EFL teacher and am very glad I did.  If you have obstacles that are getting in your way of achieving things, please read my post ‘Are gremlins threatening to sabotage your plans?’. […]

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