How We Sabotage Ourselves

I’m SO freakin’ excited. As many of you know Iíve been invited to rock the stage with Louise Hay, Wayne Dyer, Cheryl Richardson, Doreen Virtue and other teacher/authors who have inspired me at two Hay House conferences (one in San Jose this coming weekend and one in NYC in Fall 2012).

The minute I found out, I lapsed into a sort of happy shock, in which I couldnít feel my feet, so I decided it was time to meditate to get back in my body and integrate the news. The lashing that ensued between my Inner Pilot Light and my Gremlin was a throw down so epic I had to share it with you because I suspect it might sound familiar to you. The conversation went something like this.

The Throw Down

Inner Pilot Light: Congratulations Lissa! Youíve worked so hard for this and itís about time everybody is figuring it out.

Gremlin: Oh, you fraud. Wow, youíve really pulled the wool over their eyes on this one, havenít you? But theyíre gonna find out the minute you open your mouth that you canít hold a candle to those people. You might as well just back out with your tail between your legs before you make a big fool of yourself.

Inner Pilot Light: Whoíre you calling a candle there, bucko? Iím a bonfire, baby, and Iím raging, so back off buster and go hide in your hole.

Gremlin: Youíre probably gonna freeze the minute they give you the mike. There youíll be in front of 3,000 people who paid good money and youíll forget everything you wanted to say. Not that you have anything original to say anyway. I mean, itís all been said before anyway and youíre just mouthing off about shit nobody cares about anyway, so why donít you just shut your pie hole and get over yourself?

Inner Pilot Light: Wow, someone must not have gotten enough love when you were a little baby Gremlin. Come here, hon. Let me snuggle you. There, there, nice Gremlin.

Gremlin: Back off, bitch and quit spouting off worthless platitudes that are only glib attempts to make Lissa feel better about her crappy self.

Inner Pilot Light: Thatís it. Youíre impossible. Iím not speaking to you anymore. Lissa is the shit, and the message sheís teaching will change the world and heal so many people. This is what she was born to do. Like The Universe has been lining all this up so she could just skip along the path and serve as an agent of love, healing, and positive change. Like people need what sheís doing like they need blood, like they need oxygen.

Gremlin: Oh zip it, wonít you already? Get off your freakiní high horse and quit being such a narcissist! Hereís how it goes.†Nobody really cares about you, Lissa.†Youíre not worthy.† This was all some big mistake and theyíll realize they screwed up soon enough. Youíre just one big failure and youíll never amount to anything, no matter what conference you get invited to speak at.

Next: The threeway

I Couldnít Take It

The voices in my head got so loud that I started shaking and had to open my eyes. I needed to move. I needed to hike or do yoga. But I wanted to get back to my meditation so I could tell my Gremlin to go to hell, so I put on a Lady Gaga song and took a little dance break, then I closed my eyes in front of my altar and decided to join in on the conversation.

The Threeway

Lissa: Gremlin, to quote you, ďShut your pie hole.Ē I know youíre just this evil figment of my reptilian brain and youíre not real. Nothing youíre saying is true. You think youíre protecting me but all youíre doing is getting in my way and making me feel like crap. So go away. My Inner Pilot Light and I are on it. We donít need your slimy little self anymore. Oh, and here are some peanuts (shoves fistful into the Gremlinís mouth.)

Gremlin: Hrrumph mmmth rargh.

Inner Pilot Light: You tell Ďem, Lissa! (Pulls out pom poms) Kick that Gremlin to the curb, baby. Or maybe he needs a hug. But youíve got me, love. Iíve got your back. Youíre so on this. Let me take over and you know you nailed the†TEDx talk. Let me shine and youíll beam from that Hay House stage like you were born to be there.

Lissa: (hugging the Gremlin, who is spitting out peanuts) Gremlin, I know itís your job to protect me and that youíre just trying to keep me safe. But hereís the thing. I am safe. Life is full of risk, but Iím not afraid. And you only make it harder for me to get out of my comfort zone, where I must go in order to do what I must do. (Patting the Gremlin on the head) So chill out dude, and donít take it personally when I put this muzzle on you (muzzles the Gremlin, forcing it over the peanuts).

Gremlin: (whimpers)

Lissa: Hereís the thing Gremlin. Weíre not talking about death or dismemberment here. Whatís the worst thing that can happen? I get up on stage, forget my speech, wing it, do a little tap dance, and look kind of foolish. Or letís go even worse. Letís say they shine the spotlight and I completely freeze until some hook drags me off the stage.

So what? Nobody dies. Thereís no torture involved.

And whatís the likelihood of that happening? Remember how I ROCKED that stage at the keynote at the BlogHer conference in front of 2,500 people? Remember how they gave you that standing ovation at Sonoma State University?† I know how to do this. And itíll be fine.

So shut the f*ck up, Gremlin! This risk is worth taking and the upside is HUGE. Iím SO grateful to have been asked and youíre a fool for thinking I should do anything but bow and accept the invitation graciously.

Inner Pilot Light: Letís rock this, baby!

Lissa (sighing): Geronimo!!!

Next: Banishing fear for better health

Banishing Fear For Better Health

I canít tell you how often conversations like this pop up in my head. I used to think they were real, that the Gremlin was a true voice and not some figment of my lizard brain. And these evil voices would lead me to sabotage myself or fail to do something risky that might have led to greater joy, freedom, and happiness in my life.

Now, the voices are still there, but I can identify them, assess them, weigh risk, and muzzle them. Which is so much more effective than getting in my own way.

Managing your fears is key to living a wholly healthy life. Not only does fear sabotage you personally and professionally; it also raises dangerous stress hormone levels that weaken your immune system, raise your blood pressure and heart rate, increase your risk of cancer and heart disease, and negatively affect your brain biochemistry.† In other words, Gremlins are hazardous to your health!

Does Your Gremlin Get Naughty?

Does your Inner Pilot Light come to your rescue when the Gremlin starts spewing evil nothings? The more you fan the flames of your Inner Pilot Light, the more youíll be able to dissociate from the voices of the Gremlin. To strengthen your Inner Pilot Light,†sign up for daily reminders of how awesome you here.

Want to see me win out over the Gremlin at my Hay House Event? I Can Do It: Ignite – San Jose is March 17-18th.†You can purchase tickets here. Can’t make it to the live event?†Check out the LIVE streaming option here.

Tell us your stories. How do you deal with the Gremlin? How do you strengthen your Inner Pilot Light?

Feeling grateful for blessings and Inner Pilot Lights,


Lissa Rankin, MD: Founder of†,†Pink Medicine Woman coach, motivational speaker, and author of†Whatís Up Down There? Questions Youíd Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend and Encaustic Art: The Complete Guide To Creating Fine Art With Wax.

Learn more about†Lissa Rankin here.


Kiana S.
Kiana S5 years ago

Congratulations! I used to have some pretty vicious Gremlin vs. PL arguments myself, but my Gremlin is keeping pretty quiet these days. Thanks for the post. I'm sure your talk is going to be great! :)

Lydia Price

Almost everyone gets stage fright and has self-doubt. Just remember we're all the same and no one is an all-knowing genius. They have the same gifts AND flaws that you do!

Sheila L.
Sheila Swan L5 years ago

Well, that's HER blog.

Janine Kaczynski
janine Kaczynski5 years ago


Donna F.
Donna F5 years ago

Here's why the angry people stroke out:
"Managing your fears is key to living a wholly healthy life. Not only does fear sabotage you personally and professionally; it also raises dangerous stress hormone levels that weaken your immune system, raise your blood pressure and heart rate, increase your risk of cancer and heart disease, and negatively affect your brain biochemistry."

Read more:

Danuta Watola
Danuta W5 years ago

Thanks for the post.

Chad A.
Chad Anderson5 years ago

A funny take!

Sandi C.
Sandi C5 years ago


Vicki P.
Victoria P5 years ago

Absolutely loved it ..smiled and laughed all way through the inspiring message ~♥