Most humans have this incredible ability to tell stories. The scariest stories are the ones we tell ourselves because of fear. That fear may be elevated due to a lack of information (rumors of layoffs, etc). Those stories are dangerous but I’m going to focus on the scarier stories…the ones we sabotage ourselves with.
I’ve created identities: I’m not a writer, I’m a speaker. This narrative made it safe for me to ignore opportunities that felt like challenges. And, this story gave me an excuse for material that might not be well-received.
I’ve created negativity: I have no idea what I’m doing. This narrative is just completely false. Clearly, I know quite a bit. So why state this story to myself over and over? Fear of failure and looking for reasons if it happens. This story just makes me feel bad about myself without recognizing any of the positives.
I’ve created drama: What will others assume about how I ended up in this role? This narrative line of thinking makes me focus on things I can’t control. In addition, this riles me up looking for any commentary that validates this fear and I turn in to a defensive victim. I’m creating issues where none may exist.
I don’t have all the answers on how to stop these sabotaging stories we tell ourselves. But a tip that has helped limit these is asking myself:
- would I want my mentee to say that to themselves?
- what am I role modeling?
- am I embracing confident humility (from Think Again, Adam Grant)?
How can you limit these sabotaging stories?