We are moving back into our house after a looooong period of renovating. What’s becoming crystal clear is that while I now prefer a minimalist approach to interior design, my partner is exactly the opposite. This week we have begun selecting which furniture to bring back into our house and discussion has been warming up!

As well as moving into the house this week, I did some professional learning about Crucial Conversations where I discovered the Three Clever Stories we tend to tell ourselves: 

  1. Victim stories – In these stories we are innocent sufferers. ‘It’s not my fault’
  2. Villain stories  These stories demonise others with labels and judgement. ‘It’s all your fault’
  3. Helpless stories – These stories convince us that we have no healthy options for taking action. ‘There’s nothing I can do’

Watch what happens when I checkout the stories I’ve been telling myself about setting up our house: 

  • ‘I’m stressed about the move, because of my partner’ (victim story) 
  • ‘He won’t get rid of any furniture’ (villain story)  and,
  • ‘He doesn’t like change’(villain story) plus, 
  • ‘He has no care about aesthetics’ (villain story) and I know that:
  • ‘He won’t listen’ (villain story) and,
  • ‘The whole thing will be a drama I’d rather not be a part of’ (helpless story). 

See the pattern?

Yep, I’m living with a villain! 

When we get stuck in telling these stories, guess what we don’t do? We don’t look for our part in the problem! And why would we? It’s so much easier to blame circumstances or other people. But it’s not empowering. It keeps us stuck. 

I want to encourage you to become aware of the stories you tell and perhaps any patterns that might be there. 

Once you become aware of the stories you might like to experiment with my favourite Jerry Colonna question: ‘How am I complicit in creating the conditions I say I don’t want?’

Oh yeah, if you’re thinking this might suck, you’re right, it might! But remember, we can’t change others’ habits, patterns, thoughts or actions, we can only change our own. 

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