I recently taught a webinar called How to Fail at Business Without Really Trying and I wanted to share a key takeaway from my talk that transcends business and is important for getting out of your way so you can make more of what you want in life.
Which is… What’s your root story? The story you tell yourself that you consciously know isn’t true but when you get activated, takes over and drives you to make choices and decisions that you don’t like.
(Yes you probably have more than one but let’s focus on the story that recurs the most often.)
For example, I’ve learned that my recurring business mistakes (or learning opportunities as we named them in the webinar) come from a root story that “I’m stupid.”
My “I’m stupid” story was formed very early when I couldn’t learn to read.
Much later, near the end of college, I’d discover I have learning differences but that gave me two decades for my story “I’m stupid” to take root.
But now you know you have a different kind of brain Jen, why does this story still drive you to over provide, over create, over give, and hire people you think are smarter than you and have the answers?
Because rooting out a root story (sorry I couldn’t resist) is a practice.
It takes outside helpers, repetition, self-compassion, and the tenderness of beginning again when I find myself seemingly in the same place (which it never ever is, my friends, we are always learning, just never as neatly and quickly as we would like.)
So what’s your root story? What behavior, choices, reactions, learning opportunities, does it drive?
Discuss with a trusted friend or partner. Journal about it. Start seeing it in action, not to make it go away forever (not possible!) and never in the spirit of self-improvement but to link the choices you may make that you don’t like to what you believe about yourself…
So you can gently, tenderly, begin again and again to untangle them.
And if you wish to learn more about root stories and how they drive our choice, I talk about this idea throughout the webinar. The replay is here. It’s high-energy, goofy fun, and chock full of ideas I think you’ll find very useful.