How to change

The actual factual events are such a small part of the story. Everything else is interpretation.
It’s never too late to change a story.

Derek Sivers, The past is not true

A few weeks ago I had a conversation with a distant family member. And this family member told me a story, which they believe, about me. About who I am and why certain things have happened in my life.

It was an interesting moment. Sometimes the stories people have about us are not obvious. Because it’s not typical for someone to call you up and say: Hey, here’s the story I have in my head about you.

More often, the person simply acts and speaks based on the story they believe. You react to their behavior and words.

If you want to change how someone treats you, you might say: Don’t talk to me like that. Don’t treat me like this.

If you want to change your own behaviors, you might give yourself rules and boundaries: I will do X thing. I will not do Z thing. I will say this. I will not say that.

We’re attempting to pull off top-level behavior modifications. But we’re not seeing the source, the justification, the place where these behaviors originate.

That’s the story.

Until we change the story, all behavior modifications are temporary. We become desperately uncomfortable when internal things don’t match external things. We need equilibrium. And we will find a way to get it. We will end up making a different version of the same choices we made before.

Change the story to change the choices.