Once we have a certain idea or judgment about someone or something…it’s hard not to find evidence that concurs with our thinking. (“She’s so inconsiderate…just listen to how loud that music is!” “He’s so generous with his time, look how late he stays to help Sam with his work.”)
On the flip side we also tend to ignore or miss any evidence that would dispute our theory. It takes a pretty self aware and confident person to acknowledge that the way they’re seeing may be faulty, missing information, or simply different from another person’s point of view…and that that this other view is just as valid as their own.
And all of this is true even with those stories we tell ourselves about ourselves. We find evidence to prove how we think about ourselves – positive or not. Our self talk, our self stories can run from “You’re brilliant!” to “You’re such a dunce!”.
Take a moment to consider how you listen to, interpret, and make meaning when you notice your story about yourself. Does your interpretation change depending on context, mood, hunger, fatigue etc? My experience is it does. This is why checking out our assumptions includes the ones we make about ourselves and the current situation.
I know for me it helps to check out my story (of me or of others) with a witness…a friend, a colleague or a coach. It helps me stay honest with myself …and keeps me from going around in circles. Often it reveals some new angles or approaches to moving through or building on the story that I hadn’t previously noticed.
How is the story you’re telling yourself about you helping you live your ideal life today?