Let's LEAD - November 2021

'Geez, take a breath!'

We all have that one friend who, once they get started, has trouble coming up for air. You're looking for the opportunity to interject, when they launch into their next long-winded story.

It's exhausting.

Now, let's say that chatty friend is your own mind. That internal 'friend' often repeats the same old stories, over and over again. UGH!

Here are a few of MY stories on a regular loop: 

"It's not good enough! You know it can be better."

"You're being helpful when you step in...AND you don't want your team to be overwhelmed."

"They're doing it wrong, so just do it yourself. It's so much easier!"

"Your knowledge and skills are what you bring to the table. Just focus on that."

While I welcome my well-honed instincts that keeps me safe, I don't appreciate the inner voices that keep me stuck. 

The Voices in My Head | Motivation

In my August newsletter, I introduced you to 'The General'...my internal Judge who pressures me to ignore my better judgement and just push through.

Unfortunately, the General has a few buddies who ride shotgun...'saboteurs' with their own very specific agendas. 

First, there's the Puppeteer...she wants it done 'her way' and can be highly skilled at convincing me that it's the ONLY way. 

Then, there's the Taskmaster...she demands perfection and order! Nothing less will do. 'Come on, Camille...you know a spreadsheet or checklist would be perfect for this.'

Finally, there's the Over-Doer...she needs to prove her value and do more than others to feel good about herself.

In the past, these storytellers served a purpose and at times they still do. They get $#*! done.

Unfortunately, they can also keep me a state of doing vs. being.

The question is...at what cost

Because they tend to show up when I'm not at my best (think stressed, tired, overwhelmed...you get the picture), they can be hard to resist. 

Again...at what cost?

As leaders, following our Saboteur's lead has an impact...on you AND your team: 

When I want it done my way, where is the opportunity for others to step into THEIR ability and creativity?

When I want it done perfectly, where is the opportunity to learn from their mistakes?

When I want to constantly prove my value by always saying 'yes,' where is the opportunity to focus on what's REALLY important (and in MY lane)?

Now I get to imagine what life would be like without these 'friends' whispering in my head...

'I see you, I hear you...but I'm going to choose differently this time.'

How do you want to choose differently?  

3 Tips - Quieting the mind

Knowledge Awareness is power. Once I became aware of these unhelpful belief patterns, it became easier to notice when they were trying to exert their power...and choose differently.

Am I successful all the time? NOPE! It's like a mental muscle I need to strengthen...it takes practice.

Here are a few tips to quiet those internal voices that no longer serve you:

  1. Acknowledge them. Denying they exist doesn't make them go away! In fact, I would suggest that they get louder and more pronounced in their determination to get your attention.

    And some good news...the sooner you acknowledge them, the less power they have. It's like the Wizard of Oz; as soon as the curtain gets pulled back, he's just a man with a microphone.

                      Wizard Of Oz GIF

  2. Look for clues and trends. My inner voices don't yell...they whisper. So, I've learned to notice my negative emotions as a clue that something is trying to get my attention. For example, if I'm feeling resentment, what is the source? Did I allow myself to get sucked into an old pattern of 'doing' when I had no business taking on more than I already am? What was my motivation for saying 'yes?'

    I can also see how there's a common thread across all my internal stories...they're all focused on doing...doing it MYSELF, doing it ALL, and doing it PERFECTLY. Because I have such clarity around this theme, I can create strategies to intercept them sooner rather than later.

  3. Find your 'compassionate center.' Last month I mentioned that I was re-reading Susan Brady's book, Mastering your Inner Critic. In it, she describes two specific aspects of the Inner Critic:
    • When I'm in grandiosity, or 'one-up' - my judgement is pointed OUTWARD toward another person or situation, OR 
    • When I'm in shame, or 'one-down' - my judgement is pointed INWARD toward me.

The goal is to move toward 'compassionate center,' that neutral state that is neither one-up nor one-down, AND acknowledges my worthiness AND yours.

To do that, she shares four (4) key steps:

1. Become aware of the fact that you are either in one-up or one-down. For me, this is noticing any negative emotions I'm feeling toward me or someone else.

2. Pause to avoid a reaction. Take a few deep breaths or wiggle your toes...do something physical to shift your perspective. 

3. Channel compassion for yourself or others. Is there a neutral or maybe even a positive way to think about the situation?

4. Get curious about what's going on. Remember that your judgement is YOURS...based on YOUR values and beliefs. Which value or belief is getting triggered?

Imagine what's possible when we quiet the internal voices that keep us from being the leaders we're meant to be...and the impact not only on us, but the people around us!

What stories are you now willing to release?

Cool Resources

What I'm reading (articles, books*):

This article is completely unrelated to the topic at hand, but it's top-of-mind nonetheless! Check out Harvard Business Review's Who Is Driving The Great Resignation? by Ian Cook. It includes a few tips organizations and leaders can use to improve employee retention.

*I use Amazon links (no affiliate relationship); please check with your book retailer of choice


“When you stay in your own lane, there's no traffic.” -- Unknown

...and something more:  

My brother passed away two years ago this month, and when I think of him, I remember him as a teenager, hanging out in our San Fernando Valley garage listening (loudly) to Neil Young. This song came up in my soundtrack recently...

Great memories of a 1956 Volkswagon with a stereo system that cost more than the car!  

Coming up...

No newsletter in December...I'm taking some time to consider how I stay in touch with you as we move into 2022.

I have NO IDEA what that means right now...so stay tuned! I'll be back in January...

Happy holidays! 

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I look forward to connecting!

Camille McKinney
Leveraged Leaders