As you start your day, you aim to ease into it with serenity, a certainty of peace and the confidence that you are in control. Well, I am here to share that in over 30 years of being a leader, that isn’t reality.

If you are beginning your day believing that you are in control of kids’ lunches, sporting events or meetings at the office, then you are in for a massive wake up call. Being a leader in this current culture is the equivalent of being at war and waking up expecting that there won’t be any gunfire or bombs going off. On the contrary, if there is one thing you can be sure of, it is that the business world and life of a leader is riddled with uncertainty and unpredictable issues.

Our peace, our understanding, and being comfortable as a creative entrepreneur is equal to the expectations we carry in our minds. If our expectations are out of whack, we are sure to remain disappointed and agitated. You will have days where you are in a funk and can’t quite put your finger on the issue or the cause.

Here’s a discipline I enforce:

Tip: When you feel in a funk and are dealing with depression, anxiety and feeling out of sorts, take a moment to write down this question: What about my current circumstances or season am I expecting should be different? Am I “should’ing myself to death?”

Shaming yourself into such self-talk as “I should be more organized at this age” or “I should have more money right now” are ways we bully ourselves and throw our expectations out of alignment. Next, to each expectation you are putting on yourself, write down the truth. If you can’t find the truth, ask your closest friend, talk to your team and be transparent about what you hear internally with your self-talk.

Your peace today is equal to your expectations. Master your expectations, and you’ll be one of the very few creative entrepreneurs that have a grip on their self-awareness at this level. Remember, progress not perfection.

It’s not what is happening to you that’s the issue. It’s how you are responding to it.

I’d love to hear from you by answering the question: When it comes to your self-talk in your head, what do you hear most that you “should” be doing or have by now?

P.S. Share this post with a friend that could use some encouragement!

More Helpful Links:

This blog post is an excerpt from my latest book, 31 Disciplines of Highly Successful Creatives. Click here to get your copy!

Click here to check out pastor Tim Keller’s video on finding peace and joy.