I will be mindful of the stories I tell myself.
Quick quiz. Who is happiest?
Meet Tina. I ask her how her week was. “Good thanks. It’s a busy time at work; we had a strategy away day thing down in The Tron. It went pretty good, good to be out of the office for a change. Put me a little out of routine, but I still made it to spin twice this week. I’ve been dating you will be pleased to hear! I’m investing a bit of time in the online dating thing, and I’ve had a couple of nice dates already…”
Meet Toni. She tells me about her week. “It’s okay. Super full on at work, and we had this away day thing in The Tron. Those three days out of the office got me so out of routine and now I’m really behind at work. And it meant I only got to spin twice. I’ve been online dating, and that’s such a time suck…I’ve seen a couple of guys but that’s just taking time out of my week too, and neither of them were right…”
Now obviously Tina and Toni are one and the same smart and gorgeous girl. I knew you spotted that little trick question a mile off (you are astute, and a deep thinker, I can see that from here). The message with my little ruse is this:
Our emotional state is defined by the story we tell ourselves. Perception is reality. Like in politics. That’s why they work so hard on the spin. The story you tell yourself defines how you feel about your day/work/body/life.
Let me be clear, this is not a case of doing Fake News with yourself. The fact of the matter is you went to spin twice. Two sessions in a week = fact. The point is you can either feel good about that fact. Or, you can feel bad about it. You can either use it as positive fuel to plan differently next time you are away, or you can use it as negative confirmation that you have let yourself down and to feel bad about yourself.
One will make you feel happier and more motivated, and one will make you feel like you have failed yourself. You can’t change the fact, but you can decide how you want to feel about it and the story you will tell yourself about it.
What is that phrase about there are three versions of the truth? What he said. What she said. And what really happened. It’s kind of the same game we play with ourselves in our own heads. There is what happened, and then there is what we tell ourselves about it. Our emotional reality is defined far more by what we tell ourselves about what happened, than by what actually happened.
So, we are all kind of a mix. No one is all good headspace. Or all bad headspace.
But being more mindful of the story you tell yourself about different life circumstances will massively and speedily alter your mood.
Our brains are story-telling machines. They are always going to create a story about what goes on; that’s how they work. Something happens and we ascribe meaning to it. It’s up to you if it’s more fairytale than nightmare. You get to decide the lens through which that story is told. The stories we tell ourselves are the most important ones of all, so be mindful of how you spin it if you want to feel good more often.
Rose tinted will always feel better than shades of grey.
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