Are You Telling Yourself Stories or Facts?

“The prospect ghosted me so they’re not interested.”

“My boss canceled our meeting twice so I’m going to be fired.”

“Lisa didn’t text me back so she’s trying to avoid me.”

Do you know the difference between a fact and a story?

A fact can be observed, a story can’t.

Fact: A prospect ghosted you. You can observe they didn’t show up for the meeting.

Story: They’re not interested. You can’t observe that. They might have a sick kid or a meeting that ran late.

The problem?

Stories dictate how you behave. And because stories are negative, you go into a spiral and think “Lisa is upset with me. I’m not good enough”, which makes you anxious.

There’s a popular neuroscience phrase that describes this: “Neurons that fire together wire together.”

Same thoughts.
Same behaviors.
Same feelings.

If this sounds like you, here’s some good news. You can change with a small 2mm mindset shift.

Next time you feel anxious, imagine being on a balcony observing your thoughts.

Ask yourself, “Am I reacting to a story or fact?”

I love this exercise because it turns down the volume for me whenever I’m feeling anxious.

If it’s a story, confront it.

Like this:

“Mrs. Boss, I know you have lots going on and need to give the most important things the most attention. If you don’t mind me asking are you concerned about my performance?”

“Mr. Prospect, have you decided to defer this project?”

“Lisa, I’m sorry. It feels like I may have upset you.”

Are you telling yourself stories or facts?

Different thoughts.
Different behaviors.
Different feelings.