Blair Enns is a sales educator whose course I participated in a couple of years ago. In one of the lessons, Blair recommended taking the time to identify your underlying drives. Then before a sale’s situation, you tell yourself, “I don’t need it,” whatever “it” is.

For example, if what you want deep down is for people to like you, you might make concessions in a sales situation that you shouldn’t. So before you hop on a call with a lead you tell yourself, “I have enough friends. I couldn’t possibly fit another friend into my network.”

Those deep drives govern much of our behavior. One way this manifests is that you might be pursuing growth as a form of validation. For example, it’s common for small businesses to have $1,000,000 annual revenue as a goal. Under a million and you haven’t “made it.”

Serving these drives can be dangerous and lead to self sabotage. Even worse, the goal you’re chasing cannot and will not satisfy that drive through its achievement. Crossing a million in revenue won’t resolve imposter syndrome.

When I was in Trogir, Croatia a couple of years ago, I stumbled upon a latin inscription carved into the lintel above one of the doors of a small palace. It was almost hidden behind cafe umbrellas, but I was curious and I took a picture of it and looked it up later. It read, “Nosce te Ipsum.”

“Nosce te Ipsum” is the Latin version of one of three “Delphic Maxims.” These maxims were carved into the walls of the foyer at the Oracle of Delphi in ancient Greece. Translated, it reads, “Know Thyself.”

If your desire to grow is tied to some unrealized need, it’s far more effective to recognize and address that directly.

Do you know your motives to grow? How concrete are they to you? If they’re vague, it’s a sign your subconscious may be dictating your path.

Featured image is of the inscription I spotted in Trogir. It’s the one on the far right.