The narrative trap

When something bad happens, what’s your response?

What’s the story you tell yourself about the situation? It is overly personal? Do you shift the blame to others? Do you reject reality altogether?

I’ve been told by a few friends that I have a unique story-telling ability. When I first heard this, I didn’t believe it. I brushed it off as flattery. Over time, as more people told me I started to give it more weight.

As someone who has the power to create a compelling narrative, one of the questions I’m constantly asking myself is: what story am I telling myself? Is it true?

When you have the ability to spin up a narrative about everything, it’s easy to avoid the Truth. I can quickly rationalize actions and make others believe in my rationalizations.

The only way out has been incessant questioning and a conscious effort to be truly aware of what’s happening.

To avoid the narrative trap, assess the facts of a given situation. Create multiple stories of the same situation instead of blindly believing the one that comforts you the most.

As a general rule, Truth is likely to evoke an emotional reaction.

When you find yourself moved by something, dig deeper.

Why did it affect you in that way? What weakness did it surface? Then put in the work to be a better observer of the present.

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