When you leave your true path and start heading away from your North Star, your essential self will use any or all of its skills and tools to stop you. If your social self won’t pay attention to mild warnings, the essential self has to get more and more dramatic. As a last resort, your core self will simply hijack the controls you use to direct your own behavior. You may be blithely oblivious to your own discontent until the very moment you find yourself weeping at a business luncheon, or punching your son’s first-grade teacher. Fortunately, you can avoid such unpleasant situations if you learn just one “word” in your essential self’s nonverbal lexicon: NO.

Martha Beck