What Stories Do You Tell Yourself?

Are you conscious of the stories you tell yourself - especially the ones that might serve to limit you?

Are these stories even yours - or are you just repeating someone else's story?

The "I'm bad at _______" story is one of the driving reasons why I wrote Analogical Geometry - Book I. Over the years I've had so many people tell me that they're bad at math. Rather than simply accepting this narrative, I've often decided to go digging by asking the individual how they came to that conclusion.

As it turns out so many times (many, many times) the person I was talking with recounted an experience with a teacher who told them that they were bad at math. Which is a total and utter tragedy. Because the teacher (or other adult) was in a position of perceived authority, these individuals trusted their perspective and assumed that they were bad at math. While math is an easy target, the form of this story pops up everywhere:

I'm bad at sports.
I can't cook.
I can't write.
I'm bad at relationships.
I'm bad with money.

The list goes on and on. What's worse is that these stories aren't even true - given that majority of life's activities are learnable if we open ourselves up to being coachable. Of course, one needs a coach who will see us through as well.

While this assessment might make logical sense, I've found that it can be incredibly challenging to simply eliminate a story, without developing another more correct, honest story to replace it with.

Good storytelling requires one to tell honest stories:

I don't know how to _____
I'm not sure I can do _____
I don't want to fail at _______
I don't want to look stupid __________
I'd like to learn __________, but don't know that I can.

Search your heart and find out whether any of these types of statements ring true. When we say that we're "bad" at something, this script can act as an insulator against failure.

The only problem is that it can also serve as a barrier to learning — automatically eliminating the possibility of success.