We tell ourselves stories all day long. When things don't go to plan or turn out the way we expected, we tell ourselves a story about why that is. And when we have a great day and a big win, we tell ourselves a story about that, as well.
And sometimes, the thoughts we have and the stories we tell ourselves are not actually true.
As a lawyer, it was always a challenge to take someone's deposition. By the time we got to that point in the litigation, everyone had become very very attached to their story. And to be honest, the stories were rarely "the truth," The stories were shaped by time, perception, need, fear, anxiety, righteous indignation (that was a big one), a sense of privilege... the list goes on and on.
It's the same with the stories we tell ourselves. So often, the fear or anxiety we carry around shapes the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves. We come to believe something that is in fact, only partially or in some cases, not at all, true.
I've accepted that my truth and other's truth are often not the same. We view the world through the lens of experience and our own unique perspective.
So how do we sort out the truth?
I keep returning to Byron Katie's four questions:
1. Is this true?
2. Can I absolutely know that it is true?
3. How do I feel and react when I believe that thought?
4. Who would I be without that thought?
I'm not sure it's necessary to always know the answer. Sometimes, I find it is enough to simply ask the questions. Because simply saying to myself "is this true?" often helps me realize that I'm telling myself a story that doesn't really make sense.
When you start down the rabbit hole of self-doubt, or anger, or envy, pause and ask yourself "Is this true?". You might be surprised at how the story changes.