On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.
I receive a daily dose of inspiration from bestselling authors and coaches Marc and Angel Chernoff. In yesterday’s email, they shared this advice:
Many of the biggest misunderstandings in life could be avoided if we simply took the time to ask, “What else could this mean?”
A wonderful way to do this is by using a reframing tool we initially picked up from research professor Brené Brown, which we then tailored through our coaching work with students and live event attendees. We call the tool The story I’m telling myself. Although asking the question itself—“What else could this mean?”—can help reframe our thoughts and broaden our perspectives, using the simple phrase The story I’m telling myself as a prefix to troubling thoughts has undoubtedly created many “aha moments” for our students and clients in recent times.
Here’s how it works: The story I’m telling myself can be applied to any difficult life situation or circumstance in which a troubling thought is getting the best of you. For example, perhaps someone you love (husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, etc.) didn’t call you or text you when they said they would, and now an hour has passed and you’re feeling upset because you’re obviously not a high enough priority to them. When you catch yourself feeling this way, use the phrase: The story I’m telling myself is that they didn’t call me because I’m not a high enough priority to them.
Then ask yourself these questions:
• Can I be absolutely certain this story is true?
• How do I feel and behave when I tell myself this story?
• What’s one other possibility that might also make the ending to this story true?
Give yourself the space to think it all through carefully…
Challenge yourself to THINK BETTER.
Challenge the stories you subconsciously tell yourself and do a reality check with a more objective mindset.
Note: I highly recommend subscribing to Marc & Angel’s website.