The Mystery of the Squashed Self – Inspiration for the Book

Why this book? And why these characters?


Let’s start with the style of the book.  When it comes to personal and business growth, I am a firm fan of adopting a curious mindset and putting emotions through the rationality filter.For decades I was a slave to my emotions (sounds like a disco classic).

It was when, in later life, I met a business analyst and fell in love in a slow and reasonable way that I understood how I could combine emotion with reason. I think I had feared losing my creative spark if I applied rationality to my ‘feelings’!

Not only did my relationship with myself grow, my ability to have a good relationship with a partner grew!

I am now a member of the rational thinking fan club. I am also a fan of using story to trigger insight, and humour to energise and bring perspective.

Enter the characters and their stories.

The Mystery of the Squashed Self Book Cover

My inspiration for writing this book

Self-Sabotage, Impostor Syndrome, Inner Critics

I have been inspired by my experiences and the stories of my clients and connections.

I am also inspired by the workings of our extraordinary brains and how we are influenced by history and the evolving world around us. I am constantly curious. Here I am in my sixth decade, and I have evolved!

I now recognise the quiet me, the performer me, the funny and the serious me. I recognise the playful me and the businesslike me. I recognise the environments where I feel most aligned and relaxed and the people that I feel mostaligned with and relaxed around. I also know that I am forever curious and evolving.

But this has been a journey, dear reader. I will resist taking you back to my early childhood – suffice to say I share a story in the first chapter of the book – starring my 19-year old, art student self.

My own personal investigation

I am now helping clients who are a few years behind me in this journey.

As client after client and conversation after conversation highlighted similar self-squashing symptoms, I thought it was time to put my findings in writing.

Before this book-writing venture, I was not just learning from myself, I was learning from giving talks on ‘feeling fake’, sharing posts on these challenges and having conversations.

Through sharing I have learned about the cunning tricks our brains seem to play and our human susceptibility to being drawn in by the ‘norms’ and ‘shoulds’.

There was a palpable ‘tipping point’ for me when I invented the character Investigator Lewis. She pops up on LinkedIn every now and then.

This character only existed as a result of beating my own self-squashing!

The Mystery of the Squashed Self Book cover

The Mystery of the Squashed Self



An interview with Dr Jacky Noir

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Audio of the whole interview