The Stories We Tell Ourselves

I can clearly recall the first time that I watched Brene Brown’s TedTalk “The Power of Vulnerability”.  I was immediately drawn into, not only her words, but how she was delivering her message.  She presented as someone I could easily see as a part of my circle of friends. I was intrigued by her research (and I continue to explore my own journey and how vulnerability plays a role in my day to day interactions with others) but more significantly, I was captivated by her gift as a storyteller.  So, like so many fans I was thrilled to learn that Brene had videoed a Netflix special called, “The Call to Courage”.  On the day of its release, I powered off all of my devices, poured myself a drink and watched it.  She did not disappoint me as a super fan. In the several years since her first Ted Talk, Brene has refined her skills as a storyteller ~ painting an even more vivid picture for her audience.  Heartwarming and funny stories involving her family members are told with such emotion that you can’t help but feel like you’re on the dock at the lake or the deck of the pool witnessing what could have been a tragedy, but as a result of putting research into action, ended with triumph.

Individual viewers will take their own pearls of wisdom from the presentation, depending on what their soul is seeking at the time. I firmly believe that our soul triggers what our ears hear.  Today, as I treated myself to a second viewing, I found myself drawn, most profoundly, to the phrase, “the stories we tell ourselves”.  Upon reflection (and to be honest, I didn’t have to dig too deeply) if I were being honest, I’d have to admit that, at times, I am guilty of this self-doubt go-to mindset.   I have typed and deleted about ten examples of how this impacts me on a regular basis, because each example sees trite and petty when I see it in print.

However, in the vein of honesty and vulnerability ~ here’s a few of the deleted examples:

When a colleague walks past and doesn’t engage in a conversation ~ I tell myself that I must have done something to upset them.
When a parent doesn’t respond to an email about a student ~ I tell myself that they don’t agree with the message.
When a task force is created and I’m not asked to take part ~ I tell myself that my ideas are no longer valid, innovative or needed.
When I post a blog and not a single person likes it ~ I tell myself that it was crap and begin to question if I should even continue to write

In rereading this list, it is easy (behind the safety of my keyboard) to provide a rational different story for each scenario.

My colleague was busy thinking about something else.
The parent is fully aware and just as concerned with their child. They are doing their best and not sure how to explain that.
The task force selection committee is aware of my other commitments and wants to share the load.
Not everyone is going to connect with everything that I write ~ it doesn’t mean that I should stop writing.

As Brene cautions her audience, it is so easy to tell ourselves unpleasant, self doubting stories, but we need to rise above it and begin to tell ourselves stories of self-worth, bravery and courage.

My goal this week is to be more aware of the stories that I tell myself.

What about you?  What stories will you tell yourself?

Come write with me……