What Story Do You Want to Tell?
A client called us a few weeks ago to share that his company was being bought by another company. While the news was good in various ways, many of his staff were caught off guard and were naturally feeling victimized by the sudden news.
He wanted additional support for his staff during the transition and asked us to facilitate some workshops and coaching. We gladly said “yes.” This is a company we have worked with for many years and consider him, and his staff, friends as well as clients.
During the workshops, several people said they were frustrated with all the unknowns and found themselves thinking the worst, even though they had little evidence that any of their negative scenarios were true. They admitted that they were making up stories about losing their jobs, that they wouldn’t like their new colleagues, or their office would be moved across town.
As we were wrapping up the workshop, a participant who has taught and been an advocate for applying the TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic)® concepts within his own life and his team, spoke up and said, “I have something to share.”
Here is what he shared with the group:
When faced with unknowns, and feel really stressed, I check my focus and ask myself: “What is the story I want to tell about this time in my life? What story do I want to be able to tell in the future about the choices I make today?” I put myself in the future, five years from now, telling someone the story of whatever I’m going through, describing what I did and why I did it. This gives me perspective on what I’m doing today.
Ten years from now when my kids or other family members end up going through a similar situation, how will I be able to advise them? Will I be able to tell them a Creator story about how I walked through this adversity and how I didn’t let the drama overwhelm me?
Twenty years from now, when the stress of the decision is only a faint memory, will I wish I had behaved differently, or will I be proud of how I handled myself? I have learned from the TED* work that I am always at choice. I believe this because I have found through experience that it is true, even if it is only the choices I make about my response to life. It follows, then, that I can also choose the future story I want to tell myself about the choices I make today.
By becoming more intentional about the story I want to tell, I can begin to self-author and create the story I want to live.
We were wowed by his insight. And, from the response of the rest of those present, we could tell he really made a difference for them also. Our colleague reminded us, and his co-workers, that the stories we tell ourselves, and what we believe about them, are the most important things that guide our choices.
We appreciate his point because we obviously value stories as well. After all, David’s two books are fables contained in The Power of TED* and The Three Vital Questions. The stories we tell ourselves about how we relate to others, what is going on in our lives and ourselves are extremely important.
Stories are everywhere. Netflix, Amazon Prime, podcasts and novels fill our attention. The first episode of the final season for the ever-popular Game of Thrones was just released, setting a record for the number of viewers watching its gripping story. We humans love a potent story, but they aren’t just for external consumption—they are also self-created in our own minds.
What story do you want to tell yourself?
You can pause at any moment and hear your internal chatter creating a story about your current circumstance. Do you want to create a story where you succumbed to the drama of the moment, or a story that cultivates your Creator essence?
We appreciate our friend reminding us once again that what we think about deeply impacts what we create.