Recently I have begun to notice that it is the stories we tell ourselves that are often the most powerful.
It had been a busy time but I was keen to visit a really good friend in a nearby town. I had a few things to juggle on the day so I needed to know what time she was free, but it was really keen to see her. The days went by and she didn’t reply to my texts, I began to feel a bit hurt, hadn’t we both said we were really keen to each other, maybe she didn’t really mean it. Soon I began to feel anxious and felt like texting her to say I wasn’t coming. The story I was telling myself was she didn’t like me anymore and even that the friendship was over!
A few days later she rang to say she and her family had been really unwell and how much she was looking forward to seeing me. I was a little ashamed of myself, why had I jumped to the conclusion and worried so much? Storytelling helps us make sense of the world, as you may notice it doesn’t have to be based on reality, it is a bit like fortune telling, as one of my clients call it. It is also about self protection, I was going to end the friendship before she did to prevent rejection.
My little moment of shame has helped me decide that before I jump to a place of defence and storytelling I am going to step back and just wait, asking myself what is really going on. It is early days but it is already helping me feel less worried and a wait and see attitude takes the pressure off.