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Today I woke up with a slightly stiff back. The explanation I give myself will change a lot about how I feel about it and the whole day.
- That happens when you’re over thirty. I will just have to live with it.
- My muscles are tensed up, I should see a chiropractor.
- Maybe I got cold during this snowy night. Let’s see how I feel in two days and decide then.
- Why always me? I hate seeing doctors all the time.
- I may have made an usual movement during soccer practice.
Each of these explanations has very different consequences:
- Takes power away from me. I can’t change my age so I can’t change the hundreds or thousands of ailments coming for me.
- This is a solution focused explanation which takes the problem seriously without feeling sorry for the self in a wimpy way.
- Similar to number two, but more patience.
- This also takes power away from me in a ridiculous way, as if the universe were out to get me.
- Encourages me to think things through coolly.
Same trigger, very different explanations. When in doubt let’s take the issue seriously while choosing the most empowering story to tell ourselves.