The Quadruplets of Discontent – Mind-game Specialists

change ahead

The Quadruplets of Discontent are 4 little “darlings” which will mess with your reinvention so it’s important that you are aware of them.  I’ve had intimate conversations with each of them, which is why the cartoons are meant to resemble me (albeit with less wrinkles and a fitter body!)  Sometimes we’re best friends, which seems great at the time – commiserating in our illusions of what will never be – and other times, now that I know what they are up to, I’m soooo not buying what they are selling.

You will notice the Quadruplets of Discontent (aka the Quads) popping up just when you least expect it.  You will likely also have a predominant Quad at any given time.  A few years ago, when I had my pity party, my predominant Quad was Victim.  She doesn’t pop up at all now but I know she could, if circumstances change.

Introducing the Quadruplets of Discontent

Victim smVictim is the baby of the family.  She never gets heard or seen.  It’s always about everyone else.  If Victim was in the Brady Bunch, she would be Jan.  “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia”, is what Victim would say.  Victim feels powerless to change her situation.  She just can’t (imagine saying this with a whiny voice).  She doesn’t have enough money; she has children she needs to put first; her partner wouldn’t approve and when it comes to her work there is no way she can change anything there.  Victim constantly complains, she tolerates what doesn’t work for her and she whines about her situation.  She also finds boatloads of evidence to prove she is a victim who is powerless to change.  The most annoying trait of Victim is she is an “Askhole” – she consistently asks for help and advice yet she does exactly the opposite of what you tell her.  Her friends and other “siblings” see her as a little girl, unwilling to do what she needs to do to change her situation.


Saboteur01 smSaboteur
is perhaps the most dangerous because she excels at looking good but inside she is a mess. Saboteur is all about destructive behavior – she is the one who will destroy your chances of success. Saboteur wants to keep you exactly where you are at because Saboteur is scared of change.  When you have a deadline, Saboteur will give you an arm-lengths worth of distractions and excuses so you either miss your deadline or are so time-deprived you do a crappy job. Saboteur will also push away your girlfriends and other support people when you need help the most.  Saboteur is like Alexis Carrington, from the TV show, “Dynasty” except instead of trying to destroy someone else, she is attempting to destroy you and your chances of success.

Saboteur is popping up every time I sit to write this blog post – oh, I should check Facebook to see if anyone has liked my last post – and while I’m there, perhaps I’ll engage with my friends – you know, so my popularity increases along with my Klout!  Oh, Saboteur, get out of my head, I have work to do!

Hypocrite02 sm


Hypocrite is going to take all the advice and recommendations you receive – the ones the you get through after Victim says she doesn’t know how to answer and Saboteur tells you why you don’t have time to answer – and then tells you to ignore what you’ve uncovered.  Hypocrite will tell you not to do stuff which is congruent with your core values and convince you to do things against your core values.  Hypocrite will have you telling the world you do things one way but you really don’t practice what you preach; and Hypocrite lets your little girl run the show instead of being in your power.  Hypocrite and Victim are best buddies because they play off each other so well.  Hypocrite is like Sandy from the movie “Grease” – she had her values yet she changed everything about herself for Danny.



Fraudster01 smFraudster
is going to mess with you as you progress through your journey.  After you manage to navigate through Victim’s whining about being powerless to change and Saboteur’s attempts to derail you and Hypocrite’s manipulation in an attempt to take away your power, good old Fraudster will pop in for tea to say you aren’t good enough to do what you want to do.  Fraudster will say your success is a fluke and you haven’t got any real talent.  Fraudster will say you are scamming people because you don’t deserve to be a leader in your chosen field.  Fraudster will even say you aren’t good enough to do what you do.  Fraudster will pop up every time something good comes your way and she will smack you down.  She’s quite a talented little b’yatch, skilled at keeping you uncomfortably comfortable . Fraudster has another name which isn’t nearly as cool – Imposter Syndrome – which many of us can relate to.  I initially struggled to find just the right Fraudster but then it came to me – Fraudster is Alexander “Alex” Owens – the welder / exotic dancer who aspires to be a ballet dancer in the movie Flashdance.

What lessons do you take from this post?

Share your thoughts below in the comments …

About the Author

Carol Wain is the founder and leader of many brands which help leaders to create more profitable businesses that transform lives and positively impact our planet. She is an author, speaker, trusted advisor and mentor who won Entrepreneur of the Year in 2003.

Carol is passionate about reinventing business to become a force for good — positive businesses which respect, appreciate, encourage and support the right employees who voluntarily use their discretionary effort to bring the vision, purpose, platform, personality, passion and core values to life; businesses which create useful, meaningful and valuable products, services and experiences which improve the lives of people; and businesses which support communities, take a stand and have a higher purpose.

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