Oh, The Stories We Tell…Ourselves.
Fairly early on in my business I was looking for my “so what?” There are a lot of companies out there who do what I do. And while I have, on more than one occasion, been called a “Unicorn,” I had to understand for myself – even if it wasn’t communicated – what was underneath the “why” of my business. What was the “so what?”
Let me explain.
StoryMatters, LLC is a clarity company. We help people make the communications they have, and stories they tell, clear. If it is a story, a presentation, or interpersonal communications, we help you be clear. If it is complex, we pull the clarity out of you.
That is our “why.”
It is not possible to get clear on any of those things unless we understand that stories are the basis of how we, as human beings, think. And until we understand and own our thinking, communication is challenging. And our thinking can have unwanted consequences.
When I was about 10 or 11 years old, my parents sat me down for what I now call “The Patsy Talk.” Patsy was the daughter of family friends who, as a young girl and teen, was very overweight. The jist of the story my parents told my pre-pubescent, chubby self, was that if I didn’t watch what I ate, I was going to end up like Patsy.
My parents meant well. But the story I told myself from that moment forward was that my body was something to be ashamed of because it didn’t look good enough. It was the beginning of a decades’ long eating disorder.
What a waste of time.
I have a friend, who for years has told himself he is not capable of getting close to people because he always ruins relationships. So much so, that he is notorious for not doing what he says he is going to do, when it comes to me. It is a running self-fulfilling prophecy of, “I like you but, I might as well screw this up now. It will be better for both of us.”
The story in his head leads to actions which show up as disrespect for me every time he doesn’t show and doesn’t let me know he is not going to.
He is capable of keeping his word. He’s done it before . But the persistent story becomes the justification. And sadly, his is a kind, over-caring person who craves connection.
So, what is our mantra at StoryMatters, LLC? What is our “so what?”
It is this: Every conversation in our head is a story. It is a story that either tears ourselves or others down. OR a story that builds ourselves or others up. And subsequently it then shows up in your behavior at home and at work.
So, when that story comes through your head, get clear. Which are you doing? Building or tearing? And is the story in your head perpetrating disrespect to others? Or yourself?
It takes bravery to change your story. And a lot of work. Trust me, I’ve been there, done that bought the t-shirt, and burned it already. And there are several areas of my life where
I still need to bust apart the stories that don’t serve me.
Recently, a psychiatrist gave me the following tool when these stories come into my head: “Hear it; Catch it; Check it; Change it.” I would add, “Rinse and Repeat.”
Because the story you are telling yourself, matters.