Every day I have women in my community and programs tell me about the situations they find themselves in, the action they wished they’d taken and how they were now stuck and regretted the outcome from their inaction.
The first question I always ask them is this: ‘What stories were you telling yourself at the time?’
It’s not the situation we find ourselves in, but the stories we tell ourselves about the situation, that stop us from taking the action we want to take or using our voice in the way we want to. And our stories are what lead us to living smaller lives than we dream about.
One of the most powerful questions I use personally and teach those I support is this: ‘Is that true?’
Is that true that everyone will think you’re stupid if you ask that question in the meeting?
Is that true that your new startup will be rejected for funding because your idea isn’t sound?
Is that true that you can’t lose weight, get fit, or run a half marathon?
Is that true that you can’t start a blog, write that article, or complete your masters degree?
Is that true that your boss hates you because she walked right past you without saying hello?
Is that true, all of the stuff that goes around and around in your head, every minute of the day?
When we ask this question, we aren’t seeking lies. We’re not searching for truth that isn’t there. We’re breaking the rumination cycle and seeking out alternative scenarios to the one playing out in our minds.
There may be five reasons why your boss didn’t acknowledge you when she walked past. Sure, she may not like you. But is there actually any evidence of that? Or could it be because she just had a bad meeting, lost an important client, or perhaps got a stressful call from home? Highly likely that it’s one of these alternate scenarios and not the worst case one playing relentlessly in your head.
What are your stories? Learn to catch them as they come up. Once you tune in you will realize just how active your monkey mind is, and how much it torments you all day long.
Ask ‘Is that true?’ Seek out the possible true answers to demystify the story you are telling yourself.
Reframe the story. Write a new story that is true and that will help you take the action you long to take.
Confidence is the ability to turn our thoughts into action. Our stories can be what stops us from getting there. Use this technique to get yourself unstuck. I know from my own personal experience and teaching this strategy to thousands of women that it works. Try it for yourself.