Sneaky, Invisible and Damaging: What Can Imprison a Determined Achiever?

By Lorraine Morgan Scott

spookyIt’s like a dark presence you can feel on a moonless night: sinister.



You know something is there but you can’t describe it. It’s a taste left in your mouth – bitter, metallic; you wonder if you’re bleeding internally.

Self-doubt is a motivation killer, a hidden root you stumble on, a hillside you tumble down that leaves you dazed, broken and paralyzed.
Has this happened to you? You’re focused on a goal, have your milestones identified, prepared the foundation to achieve the desired result… and nothing. You’re still in the starting block like a racehorse in her first race. You can’t explain it. It’s like there is an invisible hand grasping your collar holding you back from taking that next step.BarbedWire

That could be self-doubt. It could be your inner protection system keeping you from getting hurt, keeping you from possible failure.

“What?” you ask. How crazy is Lorraine today, you think. “I don’t have any inner protection system going on that I’m not aware of,” you exclaim.

Have you ever caught yourself thinking, “if I don’t try…I won’t fail, or, I’m not quite ready yet, I’ll wait until I get everything together.”

In the coaching world we call the little voice telling you to stop, be careful, wait; Gremlins. In the IPEC world we break Gremlins down even further and call them GAIL’s. GAIL’s are the self-limiting beliefs and self-protecting, invisible thoughts and actions that hold us in our comfort zone. When we are unaware of our GAIL’s and Gremlins we find it extremely difficult to move forward in one or more areas of our life – regardless of how determined we are as an achiever.

I know, because I just escaped from a sneaky, creepy, and unforeseen long depleting and immobilizing self-protection barricade that left me stunned as I became aware of it. I was astounded. Actually, the effects of realization are still raw; I just surfaced from its clutches a few hours ago.

It took FAILING a test (literally), to bring my captor, my paralyzing self-doubt, my unknown and invisible self-protecting mechanism to the surface. I know my grasp of grammar and sentence structure is not so great. I know each time I write I struggle between a comma, a semi-colon, and what the hell do I do with a dangling modifier? I know I struggle with these challenges, but I didn’t know I was holding myself back from one of my biggest loves (writing) because of these

Now that my Gremlin is visible I can (kill, stab, attack, rationalize, understand, embrace, soothe) do the things necessary to build confidence and competence so that I am comfortable moving outside of my comfort zone and striving to set and achieve my goals.

Have you felt invisible bonds holding you in place? Is there ‘something out there’ you can’t explain, something that waits on the fringe of consciousness? If this sounds like something you’re experiencing and you want assistance in discovering yourself – I’m here for you. Or, to crack those bindings – try this: DO NOT read ahead – if you can, stop what you’re doing to spend 30 seconds on this.

1. In a quiet place where you can be alone for a minute, ask yourself this question: “what do I want?”

2. Immediately, capture the thought that popped into your head. Don’t soften it, don’t tweak it. That thought is your deepest desire.

3. Now ask yourself, “Am I do “it”, am I living “it”?

4. Now ask yourself why. I surmise a whole lot of excuses popped up. That my friend, is your Gremlin protecting you.

As a self-development coach, you know I’m going to tell you that where there is a desire, there is a way. Now all you need to do is design your action plan and get working (and growing) toward your goals.

I’m here if you need help. 509.590.9365, or

Warmly, and to your success,



Poor Fit Equals Poor Performance (or Worse)

By Lorraine Morgan Scott

Two days later and I am still swollen, sore, and wincing when I move. Both hands, both knees and my back suffer from an evening of fun. I’d gone bowling. I’ve no natural skill in the game-not even close! My skill quite possibly equals that of someone who has never picked up a ball; yet I enjoy the game tremendously.

Slide1I may enjoy it more and not suffer for days afterwards if I did some things differently.

For example, the clothes. What does one wear bowling?

I’d chosen something a little different.

The Capri’s I’d worn were too big. I thought wearing something loose and long would create a feeling of confidence and comfort. Wrong. Each time I stood up I had to pull up the waistband.

The shirt I’d worn because it was long needed constant adjustment: at both the hem and neckline.

The ball I’d chosen for its weight caused pain in my thumb and middle finger.

The rented shoes fit perfectly, yet upon my return from the restroom I received warnings my shoes may stick.

So, if you can picture this, each time I got up to bowl I pulled up my pants, pulled down my shirt hem, adjusted the shirt’s neckline, picked the ball up with my fingertips, adjusted my fingers in the holes, aimed at my target, advanced my target worrying about if I’d stick, and also worrying if I’d slip (I’d slipped once years and years ago and have not been able to remove the worry of falling on my behind again).

I bowled miserably. Probably the two worst games in my history, certainly (excluding the time I slipped and fell) the most painful. The poor fitting ball and clothing was a constant distraction while the worry of sticking or slipping hampered my bowling form – it was not a pretty, ball-release form. No graceful bend of the knee and swing behind of the leg. No, it was not even close.


Yet, I endured it all – knowing I would be in pain for days afterwards. Why?

Why didn’t I at least make the effort to change the one thing I could change at the time – the ball?

I kept thinking it would get better. I thought I’d get used to it. Insanity?

Now I think: what else am I doing time after time, or day after day that is a poor fit for me or my goals, values, dreams, or my health? How would my performance, or health, or happiness, or success be improved if I took the time or made the effort to change just one thing?

What about you? Are you able to think of something that’s not a good fit? How could your performance improve with a subtle change?

I’m curious to know. I’m curious to learn what your ‘ill-fitting bowling ball’ is.

I do enjoy bowling – even though I suck at it. I am ready though, to make a small change – maybe get a ball designed for my hand or maybe take a lesson.



Need help assessing your world? I can help.

I am a professional, certified coach specializing in communication and personal development. I help people improve their relationships and reach their dreams. I am available via phone or email.

Time: Wasted or Used?

I play Solitaire nearly every morning. I know as I play I am wasting time, yet at the same time I rationalize I am sorting out my mind; creating avenues of escape or creativity. Sometimes, I tug-a-war with myself over the time I am wasting and some times I feel as if I am on the verge of cracking a great mystery of vision. Sometimes the time spent strategizing with the cards allows my mind to free up and de-clutter and relax and accept the ideas with which I can write, compose, and create. It is as if my mind opens to the Universe and I am the receiver of wisdom and insight not of my own doing. When I acknowledge receipt of this inside path to creativity – the Solitaire time spent appears worthwhile.


Today, I am at war with my ‘to-do’ list. I appreciate the list. I appreciate having a direction for my day so I do not wander blithely through time, undirected, misdirected. The list doesn’t always beckon, doesn’t always remain in my field of vision. On those days few items are crossed off. This has happened daily this week. Today though, I feel as if I must rectify the slight and work on those listed actions. I surmise emotion is tied to a few of the actions: elation and disappointment.

My mind wanders to one of the books I am reading. I feel the power of One Thousand Words, by Ann Voskamp. The small book is full of witness, witness to powerful words with powerful and insightful meaning, and a call to join her in her discovery of He who is All. I am contemplative with what I read, the Message so promising, so delightful to my soul. Ann’s writing is compact, expressive, and packed with visionary emotion. I scramble to keep up while I swallow the intent and the promise.

Time, wasted or used until it’s wrung out. How will I approach this Gift? Will I fully utilize the time I am given today with thanks, with passion, with love, with __________?

What about you? How do you approach your day? How do you look over your accomplishment and utilization of the time you’ve had at the end of the day? I’d love to hear your thoughts and strategies.



About Lorraine: I am a professional, certified coach specializing in communication and personal development. I help people improve their relationships and reach their dreams. I am available via phone or email.