We often repeat to ourselves stories at which we should take a second look.
One of my clients came to me concerned about her relationship with money. She was torn between two opposing viewpoints. One was a general feeling that everything would work out and that she shouldn’t worry. In fact, she worried about being what she called ‘too graspy’, which meant that she was paying too close attention to her money.
On the other hand, she also worried about not being responsible enough. This was the thing I heard the most concern about. Yet here are the things she was doing:
- She has an agreement with her husband that if either of them intends to spend above a certain amount in a month that they confer with each other first.
- She records everything she spends, so she knows where her money is going.
- She has saved enough money so that she will be fine if she doesn’t work for six months.
To almost anyone, including financial planners, I would imagine that this sounds pretty responsible.
When I simply reflected back to her all the responsible things she was doing, I saw a look of lightness cross her face.
“I guess I should revisit the story I’m telling myself,” she said.
For years I told myself (and others) that I was horrible (or on a good day, barely adequate) at anything to do with computers. Yet I’ve been involved with work where I was the first person to take on addressing computer issues. At a non-profit with regional offices, when we were assigned to create somewhat standardized websites, I was the first person at any of the offices to work with the developer and get our regional office website up and running by a wide time margin. In other work, I’ve been able to learn the systems and do basic maintenance on my own site, which a lot of people won’t touch and pay other people vast sums of money to do.
The truth is, computer stuff is not my wheelhouse and I get impatient with it quickly. But that’s a different story than being ‘horrible’ at it.
What story are you telling yourself? Is it flattering? Is it unfair? Are you judging yourself accurately-or harshly?
May we pursue our paths, revisiting our own stories so we can free up our own energy,