Your Inner Complainer

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

A lifetime is not a long time. Although we like to think of ourselves as immortal, life has a way of proving us to be foolish to hold these beliefs.”


I was once 8 years old. My next birthday will be my 74th. As I look at my life and the lives of the people I have helped, many have been working from a script that someone else wrote for them, sacrificing parts of themselves to ideas that no longer satisfy.

Everyone has times when their work no longer satisfies them,” you tell yourself.

This group I’ve been a member of for 7 years doesn’t do it for me anymore,” you’ve thought.

I listened to a podcast interview where the under 30 hot shot, talked about his early success and asked himself the question, “This is it?”


It often takes time to figure out that with professional success, we are no more certain of our happiness than when we were unsuccessful. Often, what we experience is commonly referred to as “a higher class problem.”

We move up in an organization and our blood pressure rises from simmer to regular boil. Our kids go to better schools and our bills go up. Our detachment and disappointment increase so instead of happiness we achieve more of the same angst and anxiety we hoped to escape with success.

I read a question on Quora recently from someone lamenting that his work was unsatisfactory yet again (he was a self-described job hopper). He complains that he can be doing so much more than the crap work he’s assigned and he wonders whether he should change jobs.

I speak to executives all the time, high performers with huge egos who say the same thing but in far more polished ways. “I’ve maxed out; there’s no place for me to advance,” is their version of the complaint.

In both examples, these people have abdicated their careers to a “Big Daddy” and/or “Big Mommy” corporation who use them as they intend . . . to do tasks needed and hired for. It isn’t their fault that your career is going nowhere; it’s yours.

You can give me all sorts of counterarguments but it isn’t their job to take care of you and your career.

It’s yours.

For as long as you give away your power, you are doomed to repeat the pattern.

Now stop thinking that this is going to be an article championing self-employment; it isn’t.

“Writing your own book” requires you to take responsibility for constructing your own plot line with all the plot twists involved.

Stuck? Maybe the plot can advance by giving even more to your job, your ideas, your passion, and your commitment. Double your effort! 10X it!

Annoyed at someone you work with? Buy them lunch and get to know them better.

Think the firm is a loser in its industry? Start sending ideas that can help management make better choices. Send 2 or 3 a day with a note that says, “Hi! I want our firm to be successful. Here are a few ideas of things that will help it. No strings attached.” Do that once a week for a year.

Change your attitude. You can’t have any peace in your life or your career until you have inner peace.

Have you noticed that your inner voice that complains about what is happening is seriously wrong in most of its opinions?

Seriously wrong.

Fighting with that voice won’t shut it up; if anything, it enjoys the argument.

However “Your Inner Complainer” finds it difficult to contend with one thing . . . being laughed at.

Kind of like then Governor Reagan during a debate with President Carter mocking him by saying, “There you go again,” and dismissing what the President said, you can dismiss Your Inner Complainer the same way.

“There you go again! Trying to get me angry enough to lash out (or shut down or do something else inappropriate).” Laughing at the voice disempowers it and empowers you.

Now, let me say, you can start a business.

You can become a solopreneur.

Doing so reactively by following the advice of Your Inner Complainer, though, is being tricked into something by its guile.

Plan for a change. Plot it out. Do it on the side. Be conscious with the choice instead of acting on the whispers into your ears of that diabolical fiend.

Winners find a way to win, often by ignoring the Inner Complainer and mocking its call. Losers often find the way to lose, often by believing the IC.

Which would you rather do?


© The Big Game Hunter, Inc. Asheville, NC 2015, 2019, 2024     

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People hire Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter to provide No BS job search coaching and career advice globally because he makes job search and succeeding in your career easier. 

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