There’s a part of me that knows the way things are. That thinks about itself and the world and other people in a specific and unique way. It thinks it has understood what is right and what is wrong. That judges, evaluates, accepts and makes decisions. This part also knows exactly which places it is better not to go, what things it is better not to do, where it is particularly dangerous. When it’s time to retreat or rush ahead with my sword raised. Possibility Management calls this part, which can perhaps also be described as personality, belief system or comfort zone, the Box. There is also a part of me that has been specifically developed to secure and protect this Box. It is very important that this part is functioning continuously, because behind it is the survival strategy that developed when I was a small child. That means that this part of me (called the Gremlin) made sure that I survived and that I am still here. Example: As a child you had the experience that nobody cares about what you want. You have learned to hide all wishes, all desires, everything that is important to you and not to express it. If one of your wishes stands next to the wishes of others (for example, because your family is wondering what to do with the 100k you won in the lottery), you submit. Your Gremlin says, “It doesn’t matter what you want … it could be dangerous to say it … your husband might think you’re wasteful or a spendthrift. Let him decide, then you are not responsible if it goes wrong later!”
For about two years, I thought my Gremlin’s name was Blood. That he’s a wild guy who tears apart and devours small animals for breakfast. Who uses very coarse and very aggressive language and insults other people. He enjoyed that I perceived him that way. That I originally had entirely different assumptions about him. Besides, I would have preferred having this cool wild guy. Just like that, this part — the Gremlin — was able to cheerfully keep the upper hand while I did not recognise it. It’s like when someone says to you, “Look, the train is coming!” (And they even point in the direction the train is coming from, but you look exactly the other way.) Because you don’t admit that you don’t see anything, you say: “Ahh … yes … I see it!” (Incidentally, this is dangerous — the example with the train shows how dangerous it is not to look in the right direction! Think of all the things that can happen with a train that you don’t see.)
Anyway, my Gremlin’s name isn’t Blood. His name is Anton. Anton is an administrator. A very German character. An inspector. He is conscientious, punctual, loyal, well educated, talented and keeps track of things. He likes to remove the hair from my brush (every single damn hair) and aligns the carpet with the gap between the tiles. He thinks hierarchically. If there is someone in the room who is superior, he likes to hide. If, on the other hand, he thinks he is superior, he acts up and appears a bit arrogant. Anton hates parties and when the next step is not clear he becomes nervous and impatient. Then he tends to get loud and upset. Or he pretends to be bored. In reality, he is scared because he doesn’t know what’s going to happen next and consequently cannot do his job as an inspector.
I’ve only just started getting to know Anton. How long does it take to get to know another person? I think at least a few months or a year or two. So it doesn’t happen overnight. By the way, I gave Anton a job (it’s better if I tell him what to do. Otherwise, he’ll do his job and prevent me from leaving my Box): He tracks down other Gremlins and points them out to me. He excels at that, because it suits him very well. So it could be that Anton also gives me an indication of where your Gremlin is and what job it has been doing for decades to prevent you from leaving your comfort zone (Box). But that’s just by the way …