Rewriting the Stories We Tell Ourselves

Self-talk and imagery inevitably affect our performance. A renowned coach offers five ways to change our stories from hindering to helpful.

People continually create stories in their heads that are not based on reality but rather on our fears, dreams, concerns, and doubts. Most of these stories are harmless and the impact is negligible. In situations when we need to perform well, however, these stories matter a great deal. What we feel and how we react affect our ability to perform. When the margins for error are small, an errant belief can both undermine effective execution when it matters most and zap the enjoyment from what we are doing.

This makes noticing the stories we tell ourselves, and the sensations or feelings that arise from them, crucial. We need to take conscious action to "change the plot" if the stories are undermining our performance.

Dr. Peter Jensen offers five ways to rewrite the stories we tell yourselves: challenging what we believe; reframing inner dialogue; breathing; staying “left of our ‘but’”; and questioning our self-talk.

Smith School of Business

Goodes Hall, Queen's University
Kingston, Ontario
Canada K7L 3N6

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