Today we celebrate Columbus Day. Columbus the hero, the intrepid explorer, the smooth talker, a man of supreme confidence, fearless leader, visionary. Great story! In actuality, Columbus was not the first to know the world was round, he was a pretty good confidence man, he managed to parley some accidents into a general perception of intention, he did not return to his sponsors with what he promised, he was pretty much a failure! But we do not honor the facts, we honor the story. We do the same thing with our own lives. We may have succeeded dozens of times at accomplishing tasks far beyond our skill set, but if we tell ourselves we failed, if failure is our story, that’s the story which counts.
The thing about our stories is we know how they feel, and even if they make us feel lousy, at least they are familiar, and that is a convoluted sense of security. It’s the story we tell ourselves that really counts! We can take any set of “facts” and weave a story about them. In this story we can be the hero or the goat with the same set of “facts.” What it comes down to is choosing to tell our story in a manner which is truthful, (even to ourselves); honest in accepting that we may not have succeeded as we might have hoped, but we are here to tell the story and able to make the changes to see that where we did not succeed in the past, we are willing to give it another try. When we tell ourselves and others only the stories of our woe and fears, we lock ourselves into an inability to give it another try a different way.
Be your own “spin doctor.” The lemonade we make with those lemons might just taste better than we thought! Remember, its the story that counts.