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Our Stories

Examining the stories you tell yourself from moment to moment and recognizing whether they are serving you is an incredibly powerful method for understanding how to resolve issues that "drive you crazy."

We constantly narrate all that goes on within and around us.  Sometimes consciously, sometimes just below the surface.  These internal stories define how we perceive the world within and around us. As a result, they influence, moment by moment, how we behave.  We tend to drive our behavior by these stories without really knowing we are doing it.  

Through this internal storytelling, we are interpreting and defining the world around us and using these stories as the basis for our behavior. Consistent stories become the foundation of our beliefs.  If we tell a story long enough it also becomes the heart of how we see right or wrong, regardless of whether what we are looking at is actually right or wrong.

Most people are unaware they are doing this… saying out loud, "It's reality" or “That’s just the way it is”.   But ask someone their story about what is going on in any given situation, and most people can easily articulate what they are thinking, and why, and justify their behaviors, good or bad, as a result.


The Chatter In Our Heads

Why frame this discussion around the concept of stories?  Framing up what is going on through the lens of a story allows us to step back from almost any situation and take a look from a more objective point of reference.  

More often than not, these stories are simply the chatter in our heads that won’t go away… always nagging us about this or that.  Most of us aren't aware of this constant chatter, but you can “hear” it in situations such as right now, when you might hear yourself say, “I don’t have any chatter”.  

Some of this chatter is important and serves us:

  • Fight or flight situations

  • Navigating from one place to another

  • Etc…

Negative chatter tends to focus on:

  • Negative memories of our past

  • Pessimistic views of the future

  • Focusing on problems rather than solutions

Two Types Of Stories

In our model, we recognize two types of stories:

  • the ones that serve us 

  • and the ones that don’t serve us in the moment


These stories occur across a spectrum, some more positive or negative than others. Some are at the heart of our joy, others at the crux of our seeming downfalls. Yet in any given story, you know by the way you really feel whether it is serving you or not. If you are feeling resistant and uncomfortable with a story, it most likely isn’t serving you.  If you feel grounded, and centered, that story is most likely serving you.

We Live Our Stories

Whether it’s our viewpoint of a personal situation or what is happening in the world at large, we are regularly influenced by these stories to a varying extent. We regularly rehearse our stories, especially the ones that don’t serve us without realizing it!

  • What is wrong with me?

  • What is this world coming to?

  • Interpersonal encounters

  • Etc.

We also interact with people based on the stories we’re telling ourselves:

  • "You, liberals/conservatives, are all the same."

  • "If only you were as good a boss as I am."

  • "If you were just a better husband."

  • "Why aren’t you listening to me?!?"

On top of that, when I'm telling stories that don't serve me, the people I'm telling those stories about are also likely to change their behavior! If I'm cranky with someone, they're likely to become cranky with me. 

And this interpersonal, insider storytelling takes us to an additional level of pain and frustration, beyond the actual issue. These silent stories drive our perceptions of people and situations, often negatively.  The resulting behavior that follows creates exactly what we don't want. And guess who else is doing this?  Everyone around you.

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