When someone says, “Get over it” we generally sink into our emotions instead of rising above them. How do you get over what you feel about something? Tell your story. You can make better decisions and get over stuck feelings by telling your story out loud to someone you trust.
Neuroeconomics is the study of what goes on in the brain that influences decisions.1 Most of these factors are subjective. Without conscious deliberation, your brain tilts you in one direction or the other due to your expectations based on your memories (will I be hurt or happy?).
The decisions are further influenced by your reactions to what just happened to in the last hour, including the emotions you just felt that relate to:
Even if you know the facts, they aren’t the greatest motivation for action. You act on the stories you recall more than on facts you are given. The stories that guide your decisions and actions remain unconscious unless someone asks you about them. Telling your story gives you a chance to reflect on their relevance to you now, which could lead you to change your mind if you want to.
Conversely, if you don’t tell your stories, you act by habit and history. Your stories define you.
Byron Katie repeatedly asks her clients: “Who would you be without your story?”2 If you are willing to look at your story with the eye of an observer, you might be able to shift what you believe is true and make new choices for yourself.
The following guide will help you reflect on your story to better choose what’s next. Then I will share a few tips for you to help others who are stuck in their stories but hope to move on.
Organizational Change expert, Dr. Richard Boyatzis says, “You can’t see outside of the box until you see the box.” You must be aware of what you believe, assume, and feel about a situation before you can determine what else is possible.
By putting your story and emotions on the table and looking at them, you can choose to move on. What you observe, changes.
Psychologist Erich Fromm said we must hold our darkest sides up to the light of awareness instead of holding onto blame. Are you willing to put your story on the table? Are you willing to name your emotions and explore where they came from? You can release the grip your story has on you by telling it.
If you want others make new choices and actions, you need to be willing to listen to their stories without judgment and giving advice. People will not tell you what is on their mind if they don’t feel safe. Especially if you have more privilege or power, you need to get over your discomfort with what they reveal and let them describe their views of reality. Stay present and respectful as you:
Listening with compassionate curiosity to your own stories and the views of others is the start of living into new stories.
With over 36 years of coaching experience, Dr Marcia Reynolds became one of the first 25 people in the world to become a ICF Master Certified Coach. She was also one of the first 25 people to join the Profitable Leadership Coaching Network. If you enjoyed this article, do visit our blog to read more articles by Dr Reynolds, our founder Tony Latimer and many other coaches on our network.
For more information about Dr Marcia Reynolds, please visit her website.
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