The 4 Steps to Finally Challenge the Stories That Hold Us Back

Stories are powerful. Stories are how we create meaning and relate to the world. The stories we tell ourselves define us. One of the most effective decisions we can make is to challenge the stories we tell ourselves.

1: Get Clear on the Story You Are Telling Yourself

The story we are telling ourselves might be harming us. And they might simply not be true. Before we can challenge our stories, we have to get to know them. And we have to get to know our honest, raw, unedited and probably unsharable stories.

Brené Brown describes that process as writing our Shitty First Draft (SFD). Just write down the first things that come to mind, however unreasonable, cruel or unrealistic that might seem.

2: Get Curious And Question Your Story

Now it is time to get curious. Ask lots of questions. What more do I need to know about the situation? What more do I need to learn about the people involved? And: What more do I need to learn about my part in the story? Asking questions helps us to change perspectives and framing and give us a more complete picture.

3: Unearth the Learnings

Once you digged deeper and discovered new information and perspectives, you can unearth the learnings. Compare what you have learned to that SFD, the first version of your story. What is the delta, what is the difference. There you get the learning.

4: Integrate the Learnings

After you have identified the delta between your SFD and the learnings you can choose how to integrate the learning into your life. What can you change? What can you see differently? What is one thing you can implement in the next 24 hours?

One Event – Multiple Stories

Let us not forget, that everyone is a hero in his or her own life. The hero in one story might be the villain of another story and vice versa. We need to question our stories to see the bigger picture. A very helpful tool is to challenge the roles we appoint to us and others in our story.

Did you ever challenge the stories you are telling yourself? If so, what did you learn from it?

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