The First Month
The first month of this course is all about unlearning the lies we’ve been taught to believe about ourselves and unblocking limiting self-beliefs that hinder your gifts and potential. This month – along with the self-reflective questions I’ll be posing in these worksheets – I ask that you read Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly concurrently and fill out her reading guide found here. [download the free PDF under “Reading Guides” called “Daring Greatly: It’s not the critic who counts”] If you’ve already read it, please read it again to integrate her essential teachings all the more! Starting a business takes a great leap of daring and vulnerability.
Take your time, write as much as you want. Some responses may occur to you after your first attempt. Revisit them throughout the week!
Go back in your mind deep into your past.
Can you locate times in which comments or events - whether intentionally harmful or not - made you believe that you were somehow less than others?
What first comes to mind?
(prompts: were you made to feel unintelligent, unattractive, or that your worth was based on being attractive? Were you put in a box because of your race or class? Were you made to feel invisible because you were x,y,z?)
How did you internalize these ideas to the extent that you didn’t take risks later in life?
Can you remember specific examples?
(prompts: did growing up poor lead to you believing that money was bad or that you don’t deserve it and therefore you take on low-paying work? Do you believe that your value as a woman depends on looking good or being agreeable, and therefore you weren’t given a certain opportunity because you were ‘ugly’? Or inversely, do you feel you got a job only because you are attractive? Do you drop projects before finishing them because you feel unworthy?)
Was there ever a time somebody else’s judgment made you stop doing or trying something you enjoyed?
Explain how it made you feel and why you gave that person the power over you to shut you up.
(Prompt: “In grade six a girl told me that my body looked weird when I ran, so I avoided running and still do to this day.”)
From the things you have listed above, or based on other negative beliefs you have about yourself, re-write them one by one and reverse them like so:
“Just because I was made to feel like I am ‘x’ because of x does not mean I am ‘x’. The truth is I am x.”
For example: Just because I was made to feel stupid because I got bad grades in school does not mean I am stupid. The truth is, my mind is unique and entirely capable to take on any challenge.” Once you have written out your list, read it out loud, and read it out loud to yourself every morning.
The point of these exercises from an entrepreneurial perspective?
If you don’t locate and unlearn your self-limiting beliefs, you stand a far greater chance of not making it past the first phases of a new project.
For example, I had a friend who wanted to be a YouTuber. She was thrilled when one of her videos went viral but it was flagged for music copyright infringement, and despite all the positive comments, she also listened to the trolls. These two setbacks triggered her deeply held beliefs that she was incapable and unworthy, and the discouragement was enough to keep her from getting back up and going at it again. Had she known on a fundamental level that she was capable, worthy, strong and resilient, she would have.
This week, read the first two chapters of Daring Greatly and the accompanying Reading Guide questions.
I encourage you to join other students in the online community to discuss your experience and revelations as you work through these exercises!