Listen to the latest episode of the Escape from Cubicle Nation Podcast!
When you decide to start your own business, you might find yourself plagued with all kinds of negative self-talk like:
- I am a terrible salesperson
- I don’t have the self-discipline required to be a successful entrepreneur
- I will never be able to start a business because of my low credit score
- All my competitors are more talented/experienced than I am
I am not saying that all of you will feel this all the time, but there will be moments of fleeting, and sometimes not so fleeting, insecurities that will make you feel terrible if you let them. Most importantly, they sap the energy you need to build and market your business.
In this podcast episode, I share some helpful advice from two good books: Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the life you were meant to live by Martha Beck and Loving What Is: Four questions that can change your life by Byron Katie.
Martha talks about a distinction between your essential self, your true personality which is filled with natural desire, and your social self, which is shaped by your family, educational background, popular media and community environment. She describes them this way:
"The essential self contains several sophisticated compasses that continuously point you towards your North Star. The social self is the set of skills that actually carry you towards this goal. Your essential self wants passionately to become a doctor; your social self struggles through organic chemistry and applies to medical school. Your essential self yearns for the freedom of nature; your social self buys the right backpacking equipment. Your essential self falls in love; your social self watches to make sure the feeling is reciprocal before allowing you to stand underneath your beloved’s window singing serenades."
When your essential and social selves are in harmony, you experience peace of mind and happiness. In the podcast, I refer to 25 questions Martha writes in her book for testing your social-essential self connection.
Rate each question with the most accurate response: "often," "sometimes," "rarely," or "never."
- My life feels like a great adventure
- I feel sure I can solve any problems I encounter
- I have fun
- I laugh out loud
- I feel overwhelmed by gratitude
- I spend time in comfortable solitude
- I am fascinated by things I am learning
- I feel deeply understood
- Things just seem to work out for me
- I get so involved in projects I forget to stop
- I use my imagination
- I do things I loved when I was a kid
- People seem to enjoy being around me
- I play
- I feel perfectly safe
- I get excited when it is time to go to work
- I feel mentally sharp and alert
- I have really cool ideas
- I love my body
- I’m flooded with love for other people
- I do new things, or old things in new ways
- I do what I want to, even if it is scary
- I’m completely relaxed with other people
- I feel intense physical pleasure
- I am very pleased with myself in general
Martha’s scoring: If you didn’t answer "often" to every one of the questions, you could stand to be in closer contact with your essential self.
Sound wildly optimistic and unreasonable? It’s not, really, as long as you begin to do your personal work.
The other thing I reference in the podcast are the four questions to ask of your negative self-talk from Byron Katie’s book. They are:
- Is it true?
- Can I absolutely know that it’s true?
- How do I react when I think that thought?
- Who would I be without the thought?
Hope you enjoy it – test some of these things out and let me know what you think!
Subscribe to the podcast here.