Tips to Challenge Our Stories

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Our blog post for September was about the idea of stories, inspiration and service. Stories are a powerful mechanism that can facilitate, or stifle, growth. Many of us have the illusion that our past is static, fixed in history . . . and yet, memory is really fluid. What we recall, the stories we tell ourselves, impacts what we think we are capable of.

We can take the opportunity to explore our own stories . . .to understand with new perspectives who we are, what we have accomplished and what we are capable of going forward.

What do you tell yourself about your strengths and weaknesses?
Think of sentences that start with:
I always
I could never
I don’t

  • I always finish second.
  • I could never stand up in front of people.
  • I don’t lead – I follow.

Where did these ideas come from? What are the stories behind them?

Are they true today? What other stories could you tell yourself?

Carol Dweck talks about having a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset. A growth mindset recognizes that we can change, grow and develop if we expend the effort. A fixed mindset limits us by thinking that who we are, what we are able to do. . . is static. We cannot change. In her research, she found that people with a growth mindset were able to accomplish more.

  • I finished second, what do I need to do to finish first next time?
  • I haven’t presented publicly, yet
  • We all lead from where we are . . . how do I influence others?

How could you change your stories to change your thinking?


Dweck, Carol S. (2006). Mindset: The New Psychology of Success – How We Can Learn to Fulfill our Potential. New York: Ballantine Books.