Zombies, chimps and headmistresses

You are lazy, other people get in at 7, you'll never get promoted with that attitude. Yes have the extra latte, but your trousers look tight, that's 500 calories. You're buying another self-help book, it wont help you. Don't apply, this job is fine, you won't get an interview anyway, you don't have 500 contacts on Linkedin, the market's flat. Remember you messed up the last interview, it will be the same this time, there's no point trying, you'll just fail again.

This is the chimp, the gremlin, or the zombie as some of my clients call it. You wouldn't choose the chimp as your friend, it's a bully, looking out for itself so as to control you and your current status quo. Chimps love the status quo, they love to constantly remind you of past experiences and keep you in fear of moving forward. But what the chimp doesn't want you to know, is he is tamable, but first you have to notice him.

Simply notice.....what does he say? .......when does he show up?

Can you see that he's not you, he's separate from you. This is key. 

After a while my clients start to get a sense of what their chimp looks like, their personality. Clients say things like, it's a short fat man called Eric with a whiny voice telling me to stop talking in meetings or mine.... a headmistress, a Miss Trunchball from Matilda, who scrunches up her face and starts tutting just before I do something brave or different (she does not like this blog).

Once you have a sense of the chimp, listen to what it says. There is a tiny bit of truth or knowledge in what it says. I mean tiny, 2% tiny, one chocolate flake on your cappuccino tiny. What is the 2%? Listen to it, then thank your chimp and do what you need to do with it! One of my clients last week put hers on a slow boat to Greenland. 

You will never get rid of your chimp, in fact they get louder with change, but you will be able to start to laugh at them or even grow fond of them. Fortunately chimps are portable, which means they can be put back in their box!

Two great reads are The Chimp Paradox, and Taming your Gremlin, and if yours is saying 'what another self-help book?', then it's time to get a coach. Get in touch!

sally powell