The Story We Tell Ourselves

thinking positive
You are what you think.

I write a lot about how important our belief systems are. They need tender loving care and continual upkeep. This is especially true in a world of great uncertainty. We tell ourselves stories about what we believe our abilities or limitations are. Those stories help us to take on the world or cringe in fear.

I find that reading about great people and how they handled their challenges is not only inspiring but critical for reshaping my own thinking. The first thing I take away from reading about the exploits of Lincoln or Jefferson or Kennedy is that my problems are little. The second is that problems can be overcome if one can persevere through the uncertainty. The third is that because someone else has done it, a solution is possible.

I tell my kids that there is always an answer and they have a choice to go and find it. It’s a habit and we repeat it a lot in our family. We want the story we tell ourselves to be around winning.

Those are the differing scripts I find people play out – winning or losing. When I hear lamenting or complaining without solutions, I hear losing. It’s a form of laziness and fear. They won’t reach for an answer or attempt it. They want someone else to. I try to get away from such people. They are like a drowning victim that doesn’t want to be saved and can pull you under if you try too hard to help.

It’s better to be around people that want to be helped and are in the fight. It’s even more rewarding to be around people that encourage and inspire. They are telling themselves a story of winning and overcoming.

Life is hard and the last thing we need is to be dragged down by our own thoughts. We are all telling ourselves a story of some sort. If you listen to your own thoughts, you are either winning or losing. Try taking some time and simply analyze what goes through your mind. Is it more about despair or solutions?

Listen to others as well. Do they speak like winners or losers? You are who you hang out with. You are your thoughts. Guard both carefully and fill your mind with stories that will help you develop stories that will help you win.

What are your thoughts?

Published by Don Dalrymple

I partner with founders and entrepreneurs in startup businesses. I write and consult on strategy, systems, team building and growing revenue.

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