Aug 142012

Can You Outwit Your Demon?

In 1938 Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, wrote the book Outwitting the Devil. It was kept from being published, until recently, because his family and advisors considered it too controversial. It offers a look at how we turn our fates over to the forces that become our self-made obstacles to reaching our goals: fear, procrastination, anger, and jealousy.

In the book Hill conducts an interview with the Devil, and given it was written when we were emerging from the depression, it has a relevance to our current economic and political uncertainties.


We have two sides of ourselves, the side that strives for our highest potential and positive, and the side that allows fear and doubt to control our actions. We can make personal choices to succeed and resist fear, or succumb to negativity and failure by accepting limitations we set up in our own mind.

If we let a negative mind set and self-doubt control us, they will become obstacles to our success.  If we let the gremlin inside of us overtake our thoughts and dreams, we become our own worst enemy.  Doubting ourselves can lead to indecision, allowing our dark “self” take over and keep us from success.

We will always have those gremlins around us, telling us “you can’t succeed,” “why do you even try, you’ll fail,” “you’ve got more important things to do,” “nobody has ever done it, what makes you think you can?”  These negative thoughts keep surfacing from within ourselves or those around us, and soon we start to believe them, leading us to give up on our quest or goals.

It’s important to distance yourself for those thoughts and individuals who always seem to be in negative mood.  Nothing is stopping you, but YOU.  Hill writes in his book: “Live gives no one immunity against adversity, but life gives everyone the power of positive thought, which is sufficient to master all circumstances of adversity and convert them into benefits.” If you don’t imprison yourself and fight for what you want and don’t give up, you will usually win.

Our demons control us with “fear.” The “fear” of failure, the “fear” of criticism, the “fear” of being laughed at, the “fear” of looking like a fool, the “fear” that no one will buy from us, the “fear” that others will be jealous, and the “fear” of ___________________________ (you fill in the blank).

Until we learn to recognize the gremlins that try to control us, we will be fighting a losing battle.  They will keep attacking us with fear tactics and we will keep self-limiting ourselves.  These fears will never completely go away, so we have to learn to recognize them and deal with them.

One way to deal with our gremlins is to think positively and stay confident.  Perhaps easier said than done, but it’s something we have to continually strive for.  We have to develop positive habits and positive thoughts that we can use to squelch the demons when they start to surface.

Another way to combat our gremlins is to think for ourselves.  When we think for ourselves and ignore the negativity of what others are saying, we can break the grip these gremlins have on us.  Think about what’s happening in our country today, where people don’t think for themselves and vote against their own best interest because they follow blindly; fearing their circle of acquaintances will ridicule them and ostracize them.

Napoleon Hill stated in his book, “The person who is not master of himself can never be master of others.”

I have coached individuals who have successfully learned how to face their gremlins and conquer their fears. The Ascending Leader’s Program™ also includes a module on developing confidence.

If I can help you to develop a more confident you, please contact me.

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