Examining the stories you tell yourself from moment to moment and recognizing whether they are serving you or not is an incredibly powerful method for understanding how to resolve issues that "drive you crazy"
We all tell stories about all that goes on around us. Sometimes consciously, some times just below the surface. They are the internal stories that define how we perceive the world around us, and influence, moment by moment how we will behave as a result. 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 stories as the basis for our behavior. Consistent stories become the foundation of our beliefs. If we tell the story long enough it also become the heart of how we see right or wrong, regardless of whether they actually are 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, 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 most 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 head 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:
Two Types Of Stories
In our model, we recognize two types of stories:
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 some extent in our heads.
We regularly rehearse our stories, especially the ones that don’t serve us without realizing it!
We also interact with people based on the stories we’re telling ourselves:
And this interpersonal, insider story telling brings us to the next level of pain and frustration… These silent stories drive our perceptions of people and situations structurally, and often negatively. The resulting behavior that follows creates exactly what we don't want, And guess who else is doing this? Everyone around you.