Our “stories” –> Fact or Fiction?

Today I just want to share a technique I read about on a coaching forum. Try it the next time you have a “story” going on that isn’t working for you. You know the stories: “I can’t do … because he said blah, blah and she will blah blah and, well, I think blah… and they’ll think I’m blah …”. Got it? You’ll need paper, pen, and 3 differently colored highlighters.

First, take a few minutes to write down your story with all the details.

  1. Take the first highlighter and highlight every statement in your story that is a fact, that is, something that is verifiably true. For example, you did something. This is a fact. What another person said to you (exact words) is a fact.
  2. Take the second highlighter and highlight every statement that is an interpretation. With an interpretation, people might differ. You say “I received a strong response back.” That’s an interpretation. Was it strong or weak or in between? People might differ.
  3. Take the third highlighter and highlight everything that’s a conclusion. A conclusion is any statement that is based on an interpretation and describes something broader than the events that happened. “I came on too strong and I’m still not getting the hang of this.” is a conclusion.

How much of your story is color #1, FACT?
How much is color #2, INTERPRETATION?
How much is color #3, CONCLUSION?
Can you convert all the statements into statements of FACT?
What is left when all interpretation and conclusion is removed?
What do you know about your “story” now?

What is yours to do – based on “the facts”?

What is YOUR wisdom?