If You Don't Like the Story, Write a New One

We walk around telling stories in our heads.  You may not even realize that you are doing this, but kids aren't the only masters of a good story around here. 

Start paying attention to the stories you tell yourself, the narrative that runs in your head. It is fascinating how frequently we are talking to ourselves.  Why are we telling ourselves these made up stories that make us feel bad?  

I'd been attending a class with great business coach and we were talking about the stories we create, often in a negative light.  

For example, if you email/call a customer and they don't get back to you what do you tell yourself?

That they don't want to work with you.
They're not interested in what you are offering.
They think you're too high priced.
They found someone else/different product to purchase.

Why do we go first to the negative reasons they aren't getting back to us?  We aren't basing this on facts.  

We are just making ASSUMPTIONS based on our own self doubt.

Why don't we naturally think:
They've been busy and haven't had a chance to get back to me.
They never got the message/email. 
They really want the product but forgot to get back to me (cuz we are all a little scattered sometimes)

Since this discussion I've been having a ball with this new mindset.  

Rather than jumping to a negative story, I've been writing some fabulous fun ones.  

When I don't hear back from someone, my first go to is that they have been really busy and just haven't had a chance.  Maybe they've been traveling to exotic places and haven't gotten through the mountain of emails from while they were away.  Or maybe they've been sick and things are piling up on their desk (I know a lot of people with illness right now).  

I like to think of actual times that I've meant to get back to someone and it just got lost in the shuffle.  Then I take it a step further and remember a time that someone followed up and I appreciated it.  It reminded me to take steps to follow through on something I WANTED!

I need to follow up with my customers when I don't hear back from them in order to give them the best service.

This is NOT being annoying, or badgering.  If they aren't interested, they just just have to say so and I'll stop.  

When I owned a coffee roaster I remember doing this with wholesale accounts.  Sometimes I'd talk with a buyer and thought things were going well.  I would start freaking out (internally of course) when a week went by and I hadn't heard back.   I would tell myself they don't want my product.  

But then I would follow up and the most common statement was, "oh yeah I've been meaning to get back to you!"  And low and behold, I just scored a new account.  Because I followed up.  Because I made a new story that they did want my product and were just short of time.  

I'm sure I'm driving my husband crazy because "write a new story" is my new favorite line for everything.   But he's probably happy I've moved past "put a bird on it."  Anyways... Anytime we don't have facts for WHY things are happening, we are the ones who get to make up the story.  

I remind him constantly to write a different story.  He tends to write the darker, bleak stories so I have to challenge him to lighten it up and think from the other side.   I'd say 8/10 times the happy story is closer to the real one.  

Which means I'm right.  And nothing is better for your marriage than being right ;)   

The bleak story causes a crazy amount of stress, worry and self doubt.   So even if it is true in the end, why bring it upon yourself before it is a fact?!  

If the story you're telling yourself doesn't end happily ever after, The best thing you can do for your psyche and your business is to write a new one.  

Soon the happily ever after will be the default to your stories.  And that is just a happier, healthier place to live.