I envy people who say they have an inner voice. There’s a whole committee in my head, with sub-committees, and half of them are whiners.
Maturity is often about choosing which voice to follow. Leaders must recognize their “inner whiner” and develop to skill to talk back to it.
The first thing to understand: Your inner whiner is a spoiled brat. Richard Foster points out that “Spoiled children need discipline, not indulgence.” Talking back to your inner whiner is fundamentally about self-discipline, which at the core of self-leadership. You must lead yourself before you can lead others.You must lead yourself before you can lead others. Click To Tweet
The second thing to understand: Your inner whiner only cares about the short-term. Your inner whiner wants immediate gratification – comfort, recognition, ease. Your inner whiner is the ultimate rationalizer, blamer, and excuse-maker. It says things like…
This can wait until another time.
You deserve a break.
You’re being too hard on yourself.
They shouldn’t expect so much.
You should get more credit on that project.
You did your best considering everything else you had to do.
You shouldn’t have to do that. It’s not your job.
It’s not fair.
It wasn’t your fault.
You should look out for Number 1, because no one else will.
It isn’t worth doing something hard where you’re likely to fail.
Of course he’s better because he’s naturally gifted and you’re not.
They’re just jealous, and you can’t learn anything from them.
Poor thing, no one appreciates you.
Any of those voices sound familiar?
Talk back to your inner whiner. Don’t give it an inch. Resist. Stand firm. Fix your attention to the inner voice that says…
I am responsible. I own results and the processes to get them.
I have high standards, and make them higher.
I can do much more than I think I can. When the whiner starts talking I still have plenty of fuel in my tank.
I have skill and experience, so I know I can always improve my craft.
I am humble so that can learn from anyone.
I like the uncomfortable because that’s where the growth happens.
I’m not the center of the universe. I think “mission first, then the team, then me.”
I have a bias for action rather than procrastinating and wasting time.
Mistakes are learning opportunities.
Fear of failure is a positive force to be prepared and to work hard.
I’m here to make a difference, a big difference.
This is an ongoing battle in a long war. It’s a battle that makes you mentally tougher so you can successfully tackle more and more difficult work. Welcome to the leadership adventure!