A recent article about the wise and beloved (to me) Brené Brown referred to her most helpful “life hack” for relationships: “If I could give men and women in relationship and leaders and parents one hack, I would give them, ‘the story I’m making up,'” Brown told Tech Insider. “Basically, you’re telling the other person your reading of the situation — and simultaneously admitting that you know it can’t be 100% accurate.”

It is a way to be vulnerable and honest and yet also open to the very real possibility that we aren’t quite getting the facts right. It invites the other person to share their version of reality and creates more connection. As a shame and vulnerability researcher, this is Brown’s territory.

I would recommend this life hack not only for your relationships with other people, but also to your relationships with yourself. So much of your own inner anxiety and critical/negative thinking comes from just that: the story that you are making up. What if you could tell yourself, every time you are experiencing stress and upset: The story I am making up is…? Would that help?

Photo by UNE Photos, shared via Flickr

Photo by UNE Photos, shared via Flickr

From my experience in life coaching sessions, this idea opens you up to recognizing that you often basis your thoughts and feelings on a story rather than reality. In questioning the story, you create space for more ease and truth.

Want to explore your own story lines? Schedule a free life or career consultation to see if coaching will help you move forward!