Seth Godin recently wrote a post titled “Is this noise inside my head bothering you? ” about the many voices that operate inside our head. Seth characterized the voices in roles varying from an artist to a zombie. Terri Lonier, author of the Working Solo newsletter, added a time component of the past, present and the future in her response “Who’s inside your head?”
This naturally lead me to think, “Who else is inside our heads?” Here are a few characters you are likely to encounter daily, mostly from your past.
Your parents A great deal of how we think about things, has been formulated at the parental knee, the family dinner table through all those years you spent at home. So when you find yourself agonizing over “I’ll never be able to get it done” or “I’m just going to have to hold firm, if I am to get what I want” this may be the voice of your parents (or teachers). As with all humans, they were likely right, about as often as they were wrong. So recognizing when you are playing a parental script versus when you are consciously thinking things through is important.
Your managers Most of us have had the good fortune of having worked for one or more great managers. And all of us at one time had that manager from hell – maybe not pointy-haired – but close enough. So when we deal with people particularly and problems that arise with the powers-that-be, its likely our managers turn up in our heads.
Your hereos We’ve all been faced with tough choices. Be it walking away from an ethically challenging situation or having to make a hard choice between work and personal life or letting go of a co-founder. The more honest among us ask out loud “What would ____ do?” fill in with your favorite hero – Jack, Steve, Gandhi or Jesus.
As entrepreneurs we’d like to believe we are smart, motivated go-getters and we likely are. But knowing that many a times we come up with an answer, it’s worth reflecting who’s voice it is we are hearing.