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What is the story I'm telling?

The first question we ask in the practice of Oh The Stories We Tell is simply, "What is the story I'm telling?" This is typically going to come up when things aren't going the way we want. It can be in regard to what we're thinking, feeling, and visualizing about ourselves or those in the world around us. 

Regardless of the topic, we can define our thinking as a story. This has tremendous value in both creating self-awareness as well as the beginning of self-leadership. When we define stories in this context, as anything that we're thinking or visualizing about a given topic, we create space between a stimulus and our response. As a result, we are much more likely to tell a story that serves us. When we do this, our world is a better place to be. Not because circumstances have changed, but because we are not defining our stories by default. Instead, we are intentional in how we are reacting to ourselves and those around us. The more space, the better.

We start with this question for a number of reasons:

The first active step in being objective about our thinking

Asking this question allows us to separate ourselves from our thinking. We are able to take a step back and observe ourselves more objectively. It's especially effective because it's not a judgemental question. We're not asking with a judgemental approach about ourselves or the situation we're dealing with. Simply, what is the story I'm telling? It creates an easy awareness.

The first step to self-awareness

This is a critical first step in creating self-awareness. Recognizing that our thinking isn't factual, but a story, we have the ability to recognize that we have the ability to understand it and where it came from. We then have the ability to look at whether we want to reach for a more authentic story. It takes practice for the balance of your life and is so worth the result.

Stories are editable

Inherent in the concept of a story is its editability. We can edit these stories so that we're not constantly driving ourselves crazy, living in fear of ourselves and those around us. We get to let go of judgment and trade it in for appreciation. We get to reframe our old stories into ones that serve us and those we interact with. And with it comes a new appreciation for our new direction that begins to show up, especially for the parts of our lives we have struggled with. 

Stories are the scripts of our lives

When we begin to recognize our thinking as stories, we also begin to recognize that they are literally scripts that we are running. These scripts are as often as not, created through our life events, both positive and negative. In most cases, they were created in response to given circumstances, especially the negative ones. Unfortunately, the scripts that we don't like, are the ones that are at the heart of our suffering and as a result relatively easy to recognize.

Stories drive our behavior

This is probably the least recognized result of our thinking. Our stories drive our behavior. Period. Want to change your behavior? Change your stories. It takes regular practice, but oh the payoffs in how we treat ourselves and those around us! The change we want to create in ourselves is really around modifying our stories which, in turn, modify our behavior, both with ourselves and with the world in which we live.

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