I have a therapist and I’m not really afraid to admit that. There is nothing wrong with admitting you have problems and attempting to fix them. During a recent session she introduced me to a concept of Truth versus Belief as far as human thinking goes. I’m sure there is probably some name for this concept but I’m no psychologist.
The idea is that there are some people who react to situations based on the truth of the situation with no regard for beliefs. Some people react based on a belief they have and exclude the truth. Smart people can use both truth and belief to asses a situation and make their decision from a position of knowledge. Another way I like to think about this is facts vs feelings.
The people strictly on the ‘feeling’ side of this diagram I think of as those with empathy or you may say they are over emotional. The people strictly on the ‘facts’ side of the diagram tend to be my bosses. I’m half joking but they seem to only consider the facts of a decision without regard for feelings. The people who can harness both facts and feelings can make decisions based on the reality of a situation. My therapist says that I tend to be on the ‘feelings’ side of this diagram and I agree. She wasn’t the first person to point this out to me.
I also tend to think the type of people who are strictly stuck in the feelings side are the types of people who could be considered to have impostor syndrome. I’ve actually thought that I may have this. Basically if you have impostor syndrome you think that you are awful. A failure. You only got where you are because you are lucky. You wake up everyday expecting to be fired. Most people when given a self-evaluate tend to rate themselves highly. You underrate yourself. The reason you think like this is because you can’t see the facts. You can’t see the facts that prove you are not an impostor. You disregard that there are no facts proving that you are an impostor because the feelings overwhelm your freaking brain.
Last winter I took a business development class known as 30×500. It’s a class about developing and selling products. Not only that: it’s a class about developing and selling products that people actually want to buy. It was started by self proclaimed ‘product crusader’ Amy Hoy. If you don’t know Amy I suggest you check out her website unicorn free.
Anyway, the reason I mention Amy is because she was actually the first person that pointed out I live in the land of feelings (long before I saw a therapist – send me a bill Amy!). I was struggling with audience selection. I couldn’t decide what market I wanted to start researching. I sent several emails to the mailing list for the class with excuses and barriers to why I couldn’t choose an audience. She pointed out that everything I mention was a feeling. You see everything in 30×500 revolves around cold hard facts or evidence. You find evidence that someone is having a problem. You find evidence that it’s a huge pain point in their life. You find evidence that these people will actually pay for a product. You use the evidence to come up with a product to solve this terrible problem. There are no feelings except for the feelings of pain that your customers have. When you connect the facts that you discover with the feelings your customers have you can deliver a real killer product.
Several of my classmates have had overwhelming success. Some have not yet but I can see they are on the path to success. I haven’t shipped my first product yet but I am one step closer because I am starting to understand that the only barrier is myself.
P.S. I ran out of sweet venn diagrams to draw. In what part of the chart does your thinking usually occur?