Tell Me A StoryDec 08, 2021
Storytime is over. It is time to wake up!
What is a story? When I think of a story, I think of a fairy tale. Fiction. Made up. Entertainment. The truth is, we tell ourselves stories every day. Narratives in our minds about who we are and what we are capable of achieving. Sometimes our stories are rooted in reality. Like most fairy tales, however, there’s a lot of fiction that gets added to the mix.
Me? I hadn’t read a book in 7 years. Sure, I had studied for board exams and read journal articles, but a book for pleasure or to learn something new? I don’t have time for that! I went to the gym for marathon lifting sessions with the goal of getting more muscular, but I wasn’t a bodybuilder. That would be ridiculous! I took French classes for years and could carry on a conversation with a native French speaker, but there was no way I was fluent. Colleagues came to me for advice, but I wasn’t an “expert.” My kids cheered and screamed with excitement when I walked through the door every evening, but I wasn’t a “good dad” because I worked too much.
So, where do these stories come from? Our stories are just the thoughts we have told ourselves about ourselves. We have said the same things so many times that they become our reality regardless of whether or not they are true. They help to protect us, so that it stings less if we fail. Stories serve to insulate us from self-judgment and the judgment we perceive from others. If I tell myself that I don’t have the time to do something, then I don’t have to feel the pressure of one more thing on my To-Do list. If I get home late, it isn’t because I didn’t manage my time better, it is because work was too busy. If I am not losing weight or making gains in the gym, it doesn’t matter because that wasn’t my goal. You get the point. But what happens if we don’t evaluate these stories? What if we never uncover our truth? What if we don’t make the time, learn new things, exercise, practice what we love, and live our lives? You guessed it! We fail. We fail to explore our strengths and evaluate our weaknesses. We fail to learn new things about ourselves. We fail to excel and achieve new heights. And we miss out on the joy of succeeding in all of these amazing accomplishments. We lose ourselves. We waste our precious time. We fail because we never even tried.
With the assistance of coaching, I have started recognizing my own stories and limiting beliefs. The things I have always told myself about myself. It turns out, I do have time to read! I have been reading a new book every month and it has been great! Negotiation tactics. Habit formation. Time management. Vulnerability. Perfectionism. Imposter syndrome. All of the things I never knew that I never knew. Coaching has helped me to realize that I can be a great doctor and still have other interests. And time! When there are more things to accomplish, we become so much more efficient with our time.
So, what are your stories? What is holding you back? What is preventing you from achieving everything you are capable of doing? Do you know? If not, maybe it is time to find out! If you want to chat about your stories, schedule a complimentary discovery session to see if physician coaching might be right for you.
PS. I get a lot of inspiration from music lyrics. Many people use inspiring quotes (and I may too), but music lyrics really speak to me. I hope you find inspiration in the lyrics too.
Radiohead - Creep
Link to the lyrics:
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