Is the story you’re telling yourself making you happy? Is it helping overcome challenges? Or is it making you feel stuck, low, useless, angry and unhappy?
We all like to frame our experiences in a story. And understanding this is the first step to freedom. Let’s take a simple example. Suppose a company is downsizing and planning to lay people off. John might frame this with future thought experience with this narrative: “Oh no, what if I can’t find another job and then don’t pay the mortgage? Our family is ruined.”
While Pam in the same job, same mortgage payment, same expenses, same size family, same love of present job might think “This is just what I needed. I needed a little push to find a job better suited for me. I wonder if anyone is hiring at XYZ company. I’ll give them a call today. Have always wanted to work for those guys.”
Not that difficult to guess which person is more likely to land on her feet. With the added benefit of being happy along the way.
Holocaust survivor Victor Frankl and author of one of my favourite books A Man’s Search for Meaning said ” Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” Remember, you get to choose the story line, no matter the experience. Will you find that space to allow this moment become an opportunity for creative, carefree expansion or take the excuse route and curl up in a ball? You already know which choice I’m rooting for.