Achilles and Ajax

We all seem to have a very specific explanation for why we can’t do something or why we behave a certain way. Often it’s only this story which keeps us from moving forward. We find reasons for being unhappy instead of just doing the things that make us happy.

We look for some external cause or an innate flaw that will alleviate us from taking responsibility for our own choices.

This story does far more damage than any actual event, because the story lives on after the event is over. When we turn that story into a narrative about our own personality, it becomes unchangeable. We make that story a part of who we are, rather than just something that happened in the past.

If you listen carefully you can hear the pattern in others.

“Because my parents…”
“I’m so messed up due to…”
“My anxiety causes me to…”
“My depression, which usually leads to…”
“I have a habit of…”
“I rarely let anything go.”
“Because of my student loans…”
“…not having the motivation…”
“…I can’t though because of the expectations I feel from family and friends.”
“I constantly feel like i have to make up for… “
“My low self-esteem that partially stems from my…“
“My own lack of drive/motivation… “
“There’s not enough time…“
“Because I am lazy…”
“Being an Aquarius…”
“Being socially awkward…”
“I do what I can but everything comes back to how I see myself due to my weight.”
“Worrying about things that really don’t matter….”
“Life in the friend zone…”
“Being a late bloomer socially speaking…”
“I beat myself up for…“


Understanding ourselves is important. We should seek to find the factors that influence our behaviors so we can change them for the better. However, when we start to believe that our own actions today are controlled by some past event or some immutable internal quality, we sabotage ourselves.

What story have you been telling yourself?

Is that story working for you?


Image courtesy Nick Thomson.

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