Watch Season 1 Episode 4 of Conscious Business Leaders TV featuring guest Joan Sotkin of Prosperity Place as she speaks on the “3 Keys to a Successful Business and Life.”
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Excerpt from 3 Keys to a Successful Business and Life
Indigo: When it comes to ideas like success, your experience really has run the gamut of different types of success. So what I’d like to start by asking you is, “What is your current definition of success?”
Joan: Well, I’m a kind of person that didn’t always have smart goals. My goals were feeling goals. I wanted to be able to have a level of peace of mind that I didn’t always see as prevalent among entrepreneurs. I didn’t want to be in a space where I’m pushing all the time and working. God knows how many hours and just going after the money, because I really wanted to be able to follow my spiritual path. At one point I had given everything I owned away and sat and meditated for many hours a day. And I like that inner space and that inner quiet, and so I wanted to be able to combine the two. And I think I’ve done that and at the same time, I have a flow of money that keeps me comfortable. I live a very comfortable life, and I think that definition is gonna be different for every person. And so success to me is defining a life you’d like to lead, getting rid of the longing for more and enjoying what you have.
Indigo: Hmmm…What do you think is the biggest thing that sabotages people so that they are not able to do that?
Joan: Oh that’s a big story! Bottom line, I think people bring to their business a lot of issues that developed in early childhood and the emotions that they developed, the habitual emotions they developed, they are still acting out through their business and their money. And until you look at that and examine why you’re creating the life stories you are creating, you’re always going to be in a familiar but not necessarily comfortable emotional space.
Indigo: I like that. It’s familiar because it’s just what you’re used to; that doesn’t mean it’s functional.
Joan: That’s right! And the problem is we develop our emotional habits very early in life. Like in the womb and the first few days out of the womb and how your mother bonded with you and then what kind of trauma you had in your life. What kind of abuse, neglect. Any of those things. There are studies now that that really show how those affect us. And the studies are showing how adverse childhood experiences, A.C.Es they’re calling them, affect a person’s health and well being and the decisions they make. But I really look at how it affects business and financial outcomes. And so you can actually see how very specific things that happened to you in childhood affect your life now and what I’ve done in “Build Your Money Muscles”, my book, I’ve outlined the five basic feelings that people opt out through their money, which are shame, anger, deprivation, aloneness and the sense of being trapped.
Indigo: So let me get those and I’m gonna try to type those. So shame…deprivation…
Joan: Shame, deprivation, aloneness, anger and a sense of being trapped.
Joan: And most financial dysfunction or financial discomfort… First of all, it’s never about money because what you are feeling… like if you look at your bank balance and you go, “Oh my god! I should be making more money than this at my age, and so and so is making so much money than I am,” that’s not a logical statement, that’s an emotional statement and that statement has nothing to do with the money. It has to do with how you feel about yourself. And that’s why money is such a great method to use for finding out about yourself and your feelings. Okay. (both laughs happily)
Indigo: I agree so much. I always say like you can use different bio feedback mechanism for how you’re doing with your spiritual and psychological… just your self-improvement … and it’s like you could use help but I wouldn’t want to play that game.
Indigo: But you can use money
(Joan and Indigo laugh together)
Joan: Money! It’s a window into your soul. And what’s important to you and how you feel about yourself. And so when… but a lot of people don’t have a good financial vocabulary. So, how do they know what they’re feeling when they looked at their bank balance or they look at a bill or something about money? Well, you just have to learn how to kind of close your eyes and see what you’re feeling inside, and if you’re contracted, that’s not where you want to be. You want to be in a more expanded state, so the first thing to do is to recognize when you feel contracted, you know. And that’s the feeling! These labels that we give feeling like shame and anger and deprivation, those are nuances. But the first thing you have to start with is to understand how to get in touch with your emotional body. And a lot of people don’t know how to do that, particularly people who were abused, if they were alcoholic parents, if there’s any co-dependency. People don’t generally really have a high emotional IQ and it’s… Go ahead….
Indigo: So would you recommend … let’s say that someone realizes that they are dealing with some of these feelings around money, so in terms of healing that, would the first step you recommend be what you’re describing now. Just simply noticing when they feel what?
Joan: Right! The three steps that I use are recognize, release and replace. So the first step in introducing change is awareness. So you have to become aware of what feelings are and what your kinaesthetic experience is in your body-mind. People think that their emotions are in their head, they are not. They are in their body. You have these neuropeptides that attached themselves to receptors in your cells, in your organs. So that’s why you feel something in your gut, why you feel something… you know the tension in your shoulders, your head hurts. Those are feelings expressing themselves through your physical body.
Indigo: So when you think about the word, you know… “feelings” … you feel something.
Joan: Right! And if you don’t express it, the energy of those emotions… because emotions by their nature need expression. They will find a way of expression through sickness, disease, breaking bones, bruises, accidents. I mean, I truly believe that we create our life stories and that our emotions are the creative force behind those stories… that the emotions are the bridge between our internal and external worlds. So the more you know about your emotions and the more willing you are to learn how to express them in appropriate ways (chuckles), then the better able you will be to create this life that you want.
Indigo: And that’s the releasing part, right?
Joan: Well. In expressing it… And there’s different techniques you can use and then the replace part is.. “Okay every time I do such and such, I feel disappointed”. That’s an emotional habit that has nothing to do with the situation itself because ten people in the same situation are gonna feel ten different things. So you say to yourself, well, what would I rather feel? I would rather feel satisfied. Well, do you know how to feel satisfied?
You may have to teach yourself how to feel satisfied or empowered or enough. So many people have that I’m not enough. They use low self-images an excuse for not moving forward. Well that low self-image becomes your protective device and so you have to be willing to replace that with something else, and so how do you become more confident? So it’s not that you’re looking to let get rid of the feeling of not enough. What you’re trying to do is develop a feeling of confidence. Do you see the different focus?
Indigo: Yeah! Absolutely… You can’t create a negative.
Joan: That’s right! How do I get rid off? You don’t get rid off. You replace it. You express it and replace it.
Indigo: And what that looks like in the moment is outside what’s familiar to you.
Indigo: It’s not what comes naturally.
Joan: Right! And in my book, I introduced the concept of “The moving stupids.”
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