I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the shit we make up when we have missing bits of information about a particular situation and the impact that can have on our emotions, general well being and our ability to progress on areas we want to focus on.
We all do this by the way, it’s part of the way the human condition works. We look for information to make sense of a situation, and when we can’t find any we simply make it up to fill in the gaps.
Now this may seem fairly basic but what I’ve come to realise is that we never seem to call ourselves out on the rubbish we’ve been making up after the event has occurred, we just move onto the next story and start the process all over again.
Humans generally don’t like uncertainty or not knowing, and its usually this that causes the story to start to play out. In my experience these situations can be a catalyst for what can be for some, a rollercoster of emotional turmoil.
What if we actually sat down and reflected on the story we were telling ourselves and confirmed whether or not the story was true. It’s highly likely that the story you were telling yourself didn’t actually materialise. The wasted time, energy and focus lost aggregated over your life is likely to be immense.
Imagine if you could call yourself out every time this unhelpful pattern kicked in and you could quickly refocus and move on with what you actually wanted to get done. Instead of becoming caught up in an internal story that wasn’t actually true.
I believe that over time if we recorded these instances and begin to prove to ourselves that the stories we were making up and becoming consumed by aren’t real, we’d soon be able to rewire potentially unhelpful habits.
So, here’s my invitation to you. Grab a pen a paper and the next time you realise you are making something up about a situation in the future, document exactly what you’re thinking in that moment and the impact it’s having on you, and how it’s making you feel emotionally and physically.
Once the scenario has past, go back to what you documented and review whether or not your story was true. I’ve almost turned this into an internal sport now and slowly but surely I’m building my mindset to call out my wonderfully creative story telling dialogue.
A friend and fellow coach I admire shared a wonderful question that may provide some additional insight in these situations. Asking yourself, what else could be going on here? is a great way to delve inside and explore the story in more detail.
If you’re up for it, I’d love to hear about your stories and the results from the invite above.
Keep exploring, developing and growing.