We are great at putting the different pieces of our lives together into timelines that become stories we tell about ourselves. Stories like “I’m not a morning person, I never have been” or “Even as a kid I didn’t like to run and play so I’m just not meant for exercise.” These stories can be a great way to share information about yourself and a way to form bonds with others that have similar stories (more elaborate stories than my examples above.) But these stories are dangerous.

The stories you tell yourself reinforce your actions each time you tell them. They create an attachment between you and a way of being. They don’t allow you to be anyone other than the person in the story.

These stories are also loosely based in fact. We have a way of only remembering some of the data about our lives because our memories are not perfect. We remember most days of our childhood sitting inside reading books but we may completely forget about those summer vacations when we were able to run free in nature and loved it.

So don’t trust your stories. Reevaluate them often, especially the ones you tell the most. Especially your favorites.