Be careful of the stories

Posted by Callum Vallance-Poole, on March 31, 2020.

Do you love a good story?

Do you tell a good story? Can you keep an audience engaged and on the edge of their seat? Can you captivate emotions and feelings as you take your listener on a journey? Can you remember a story someone told you where you hung on to every word, desperately waiting to find out what happened next?

As with all things in life, stories can be both helpful and unhelpful in equal measure. Especially when it comes to the stories we tell ourselves. 

You see, whatever your feelings about the stories you’re told by other people, the ones you tell yourself seem to be the ones you believe the most. And sadly that’s the case, however true the story actually is. And this can be a very unhelpful, limiting situation for each and every one of us. 

At the moment especially, a lot of people are telling themselves stories. Stories which aren’t that helpful to them, and aren’t even necessarily true. They are often stories based on what someone else said, or what they read online or what they have dreamt up themselves in a moment of despair. 

We have to be really careful about these stories. They can lead us down a very dark road. Of course, in some cases they might be true. Things might be that bad. Bad stuff is happening all around us, especially right now. But, so is plenty of good stuff. The stories just have to be fact-checked, that’s all. 

If you find yourself saying things to yourself, whether out loud or just in your own head, like; “this isn’t going to work” or “we’re not going to get paid” or “people aren’t buying anymore” or “every opportunity has dried up”, then you have to properly question how true these things are. Go and look to find out if the opposite of this story is actually happening to someone. Before you believe these things, check if other people are experiencing the exact opposite. Make sure it’s really true, before you accept it as so. 

In almost all situations, you’re going to find that there is someone experiencing the direct opposite of the story you’re telling yourself. Sometimes that’s just because they’ve decided to tell themselves that alternative version of the story. “This is going to work”, “We will get paid”, “People are still buying”, “Opportunities still exist”. This is the story they tell themselves and because they believe it to be true, 9x out of 10 it comes true. 

This is the power of stories. 

It’s easy to get sucked-in too! I’m talking from experience. Only yesterday, I found myself talking to myself and my team about our current situation (story) and then within an hour after that conversation I realised one of our customers was experiencing the exact opposite of that story. And if they were, then others were too, which meant my version of the story wasn’t true! It meant my story was limiting us. Leading us down a dark, miserable path. It was preventing us from believing a better option exists. That’s the dangerous thing with stories we tell ourselves, we not only believe them to be true, but we then automatically believe they’re the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and nothing else is possible. When in fact, it just might be! 

Please let my experience from yesterday, be a helpful reminder for you to be careful about the stories you tell yourself, just like it has been for me. Stories can change the world, but they can change it for both the worse as well as the better. As Jim Rohn said; “Stand guard at the door of your mind.”

Callum Vallance-Poole

Marketing Coordinator - Based at our UK HQ in Banbury, Oxfordshire, Callum is responsible for promoting Water Management Systems, Attenuation Tanks, Treatment Plants, Rainwater Harvesting Systems and more!