The Stories We Tell Ourselves. What Do We Know To Be True?

Cheryl Strayed

I’ve been having an issue with time lately. I’ve felt like I haven’t had enough time. Each week goes by and I wonder why I didn’t get more done. I wonder where all the time has gone. I stop and look back at my week wondering what I did. It’s not as if I did nothing each day. I’d look back at my week and have a long list of things I’d done. What I was noticing was that I wasn’t spending time doing the one thing I really wanted and needed to do which was write.  This was why I felt unaccomplished and questioned my productivity.

Why wasn’t I writing? I’d try blocking out time, dedicating hours throughout the week to it, only to find that I didn’t do it. Why didn’t I do it? I’d analyze and justify what happened, describing all the interruptions or critical things that came up. I’d think, it was really important that I dealt with that issue instead of writing. I started to notice, it wasn’t that I didn’t have the time. Instead, I noticed that I didn’t have any boundaries around my writing time. I let all sorts of interruptions take precedence. I let the needs of my household, which currently includes three other people, rise above my needs. None of these other needs were urgent either. Some had slight time sensitivity but most could wait until my daily writing time was over.

I had been telling myself a story for weeks that I didn’t have enough time. The more you tell yourself something, the more you believe it to be true and the more it comes true. As each week went by, I felt more and more, “I don’t have enough time”. When I finally stopped telling that story and asked “what do I know to be true,” I got a different answer. When I asked, “What do I know to be true,” I heard answers like, there is an abundance. Sometimes I head more factual information such as, you chose something else instead. This was true.   Yes, I could have spent time writing but I did something else instead. Yes, I had time to write but I chose differently.

We often tell ourselves stories. Maybe they’re given to us by someone or maybe we’ve made them up. Either way, if the story isn’t serving you, you have to ask, “What do I know to be true”. This is a similar question to Byron Katie’s work and her question “Is it true”. If you’re unfamiliar with her work, I highly recommend it.

What stories are you telling yourself that no longer serve you? What do you know to be true? Can you release that story? Can you ready to be free of that limitation?






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