Ancient lore tells us that there’s a magical Genie who lives in a lamp and that the person who possesses that lamp has the power to invoke wishes and desires beyond our wildest dreams. If I told you that Genie lives in you, would you believe me? Maybe not.

But if I told you that there was another character who lives in you and complains, whines, and was negative about your day-to-day life as well as your dreams, would you believe me then? I’ll bet you would because we are all far too familiar with this character, whom I call the Gremlin.

The Gremlin is that part of you who keeps your fears, anxieties, and doubts alive and well. His entire purpose is to maintain control over you, keeping things status quo, even if you’re not happy with the status quo. He believes his purpose is to keep you safe by not allowing you to take risks, to speak up for yourself, or to create changes in your life that you know in your heart need changing. And he definitely wants to make sure the Genie doesn’t make an appearance because once the Genie shows up, the Gremlin knows he’s no longer in charge.

For way too many years I lived with the Gremlin as the one in charge, until I learned how to quiet him enough to awaken my Genie within, making him my full-time partner and only allowing my Gremlin to visit occasionally.

Now you may ask, “Why allow the Gremlin to visit even occasionally?” Because it’s important to realize your Gremlin will always be there. You’re human, and it’s only natural to have both negative and positive thoughts show up throughout your life. But the trick is to be aware of your Gremlin when he’s around so you can consciously quiet him enough to allow yourself to feel a little bit better about a situation. As you do this, you give the Genie within the chance to come to the surface and help you find better solutions, ask different questions, and attract into your life more of what you do want, instead of what you don’t want, which, by the way, is what the Gremlin does—he attracts what you don’t want.

To get you started in shifting from your Gremlin thinking to your Genie thinking, I’d like to share with you Five Tips to Quiet Your Gremlin and Five Questions to Awaken Your Genie.

Five Tips to Quiet Your Gremlin

1.Let your Gremlin be when he starts up with you. Focus more on your body, and see where he’s showing up in your body. Does your head hurt? Is your neck stiff? Is your stomach in a knot? Breathe into those areas until you feel some relief.
2.Give your Gremlin permission to rant and rave for a bit. Don’t judge him; don’t panic over what’s being said or resist anything. Just let him be. Allow all the Gremlin’s ranting to pour out. Sit back and enjoy it for a change. Put a smile on your face as you listen calmly. Separate yourself from that Gremlin who’s doing all the whining and complaining.
3.Ask him questions. Get as intimate as you can with him. Find out what sets him off. Then give him answers as if you were talking to a four-year-old, trying to calm him of the dark before falling asleep.
4.Pick a name for your Gremlin and talk to him out loud. Using his name, tell him that everything is going to be fine and that he can take a rest for now. Keep talking to him until he’s less noisy. Talking out loud will create a shift inside you that won’t happen when you just think about the conversation. By the way, my Gremlin’s name is Gertrude.
5.Be gentle with your Gremlin. Visualize your arm around him, soothing him, comforting him, allowing him to rest his head on your shoulder. Remember, he’s scared—he doesn’t want you to fall down, and he believes he’s doing what’s best for you.

Once your Gremlin is under your control, this is when you want to connect with the Genie within. Your Genie is that part of you that creates comments, ideas, and questions that allow you to feel like you’re moving forward instead of being stuck. He’ll have you feeling better about yourself overall.

Five Questions to Awaken Your Genie

1.What’s working in my life for me?
2.What’s my intention in this moment?
3.What wants to be born from this?
4.What would be my best choice at this time?
5.What can I do for myself right now to feel a little bit better?

Learning to move from your Gremlin thinking into your Genie thinking takes time and patience. The Gremlin’s been in charge a whole lot longer than the Genie, so be loving and gentle with yourself as you develop this skill. As you are, it’ll occur to you one day that your Genie’s been showing up more than your Gremlin!

** This article is one of 101 great articles that were published in 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life. To get complete details on “101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life”, visit

Author's Bio: 

Featured on radio, on TV, and in the LA Times, Linda Salazar is the founder of Awaken the Genie Within® Coaching. Clients ranging from CEOs to actors say that her unique coaching method harmonizes their work and souls. With a degree in communications Salazar received her coaching certification from Coach U and is a member of the International Coaching Federation. Her unique method works for people of all careers and cultural beliefs. Salazar is the author of Parents In Love; Reclaiming Intimacy After Your Child Is Born and the creator of the Awaken the Genie Within®; Manifesting Your Heart’s Desire CD series. Visit