“There were many terrible things in my life, but most of them never happened.”~Montaigne
I make up really good stories.
Sometimes they’re based in truth. Sometimes they’re not. But often, I hate to admit, they’re worse than the reality I’m facing. Often the worst things that happen in my life never actually happen.
I don’t know if it makes me feel better or worse, but I’m not the only one who does this. I’ve stopped clients mid-sentence – or at least mid-story – to ask for the reality behind the thing that’s haunting them. I’ve called them out on their fears of the future, their misremembering of the past, and their misinterpretation of the present. On the terrible things in their life that never really happened.
Obviously this misremembering, mis-imagining, and misinterpreting hurts us. It hurts our leadership and it hurts our life. But what can we do about it?
We can find others, like a coach, to call us out on our stories. We can remember that we often make up stories and remind ourselves to focus on, and look for, the truth. We can hold our ideas – and the terrible things in our lives – up to the light of day, decide if they’ve actually happened, and decide to think, remember, and interpret another way.
Where do you make up stories? How have you stopped?
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