The idea that an entrepreneur would have to tell themselves a story (or myth) to get things done is interesting. I wonder how much of our economic activity results from or requires us to tell ourselves stories.
"As an author, I rely on self-delusion as much as I rely on my laptop, Wi-Fi access and excessive caffeine. For authors nowadays, each book is the equivalent of a startup company. You have to figure out your consumer, your unique approach, your budget, your marketing strategy.
And as with every startup founder, I spent some mornings during my last project battling pessimism and despair. Well, actually, most mornings. I was writing about my quest to be as healthy as possible. I’d wake up feeling the project was too big, too unwieldy. I had too many squats to do, too many diets to test. I’d never finish the manuscript.
My solution? Deception. I tricked my brain. I’d force myself to act in an optimistic way."
"This is not pseudo-scientific blather spouted bunkum-filled books like The Secret. The idea that your actions alter your thoughts is one of the foundations of cognitive-behavioral psychology and has been studied since the 19th century (both William James and Charles Darwin wrote about it).
Force your face into a smile, you will be happier. Sounds creepy, but it works.
A raft of studies have backed this up, including a recent one in the Journal of Psychological Science that showed fake smiles (or even holding a chopstick in your mouth to mimic the shape of a smile) lowered your heart rate in stressful situations. The book The As If Principle by psychologist Richard Wiseman cites plenty of other research, including how your posture affects confidence and risk-taking (a powerful, chest-out stance boosts esteem)."
"For instance, during the year, I had a friend in the hospital, and I really didn’t want to visit him. I hate hospitals. But I said, what would a good person do? And then I acted AS IF I were a good person. And when I was at the hospital, some part of my mind said, ‘I’m at the hospital. I must be compassionate.” And I became a little more compassionate. I tricked my own mind."
So if you tell yourself a myth (that you are a good person), then it affects your behavior.