This is a Metaphor for those elements of a system which resist change. Under the assumption, which is very useful in Coaching – that a human being is a closed system – gremlins are elements which defend the status quo, disturb the process of change. One can say that they are the elements of the system that sabotage change.
Speaking in more detail, gremlins can appear as anxiety habits, Internal dialogue or limiting beliefs.
We encounter gremlins in the moment of transition, when The client does not yet feel the benefits of his new situation and is still stuck in the old one. In other words, when change is in process.
Historically, gremlins was a name given to malicious creatures before World War II. The name was popularised by the film “Gremlins” in 1984.
The first step in dealing with gremlins is realizing, that they exist and not identifying with this element of the system. It is important additionally not to fight them, but rather to use the mechanics of their system.