Have you ever heard a little voice in your head that says, “This is as good as it will get” or

“you’ve reached your peak”?

It’s common for leaders to experience these little nagging voices or feelings. You may have heard it labeled as imposter syndrome or negative self talk. The 5 Destructive Voices in Our Heads, a podcast I came across by, Rob Bell, shared the 5 types of negative voices that play in a loop in our heads and while we agree with the five voices, of course we had to put our own spin on it!  

  1. Inflated Sense of Self. Our Inflated Sense of Self voice often tells us how awesome we are. It elevates us on a pedestal, separating us from everyone else. While self-confidence is good, confidence coming from the Inflated Sense of Sense often shows up as arrogance. This is destructive because it shuts down our humility, and our ability to be open to growth and learning. Ironically, often this voice stems from insecurity and a desperation to be better than others.
  2. The Driver. This is the voice in your head that is hard on you no matter what. No matter what you accomplish, no matter how well you show up in life, it is never enough, there is ALWAYS more to do, because according to this voice, you are not enough.
  3. The Pattern. Any time you desire a better life, or want to go in a different direction, the voice of the Pattern tells you that you don’t have it within you to make the change. The Pattern says, “Today was just like yesterday and the day before. Tomorrow will not be any different. Any positive changes you have made, or any progress you have celebrated, is a fluke and your success will not last.”
  4. The Fearful. The Fearful communicates from a place of scarcity, uneasiness, and fear, believing that you’re not entitled to a better life, and certain you will lose anything good that comes your way. The Fearful can’t find joy in victory for fear of losing it. When you listen to the Fearful, you become someone who is unable to accept compliments gracefully, has a hard time accepting help from others, and believes you are not worthy of this healthy love and abundance.
  5. The Pessimist. The Pessimist tells you that anything good happening in your life is too good to be true, and the other shoe is about to drop any day. This is the voice behind statements such as “I feel guilty, “I feel lazy,” or “I was just lucky.”

While these 5 types of negative voices are never much fun to talk about, it is important to recognize them so we can shut them down and forge ahead when these voices arise. A great way to battle these negative voices is to look over the things you have accomplished in your life.

An exercise I like to do is to write a letter to myself where I describe all of the things I have accomplished in my life, the things I am proud of, the lives of people that I have positively impacted, etc. Then, when I find myself needing to abolish a negative voice, I pull out the letter and read it to remind myself of just how capable I am.

Podcast Episode: “The Changing Tapes”