This is a strategy for meaning-making that we humans use all the time. It’s a strategy that serves us so well that we often forget we’re doing it. That’s when the trouble starts.
Mindlessly accepting the first story we tell (which is often the most damaging, frightful version we can imagine) leads us to live out that story. If I tell myself a story about how my ideas are always rejected, I begin to see every critique or resistance as rejection.
I’ll anticipate that rejection and begin avoiding sharing new ideas because I expect them to be rejected, and thus produce the same result regardless of what’s actually happening. I’ll reject them myself before somebody else does and, in doing so, create the reality in which my ideas don’t matter to me or to anyone else.
That’s what I mean when I say, “the stories we tell are the stories we live.” What stories are you telling? What stories are you living? What story do you _want_ to be living? What story could you be telling that might lead you there?
[image description: a dark blue square with light blue arrows forming a circle. In the top right is the text, “the story we tell”, and in the bottom left is the text, “the story we live”. In the center of the circle is the t question, “will you choose a virtuous cycle or a vicious one?”]