The stories we tell ourselves
The stories we make up in our minds to better understand situations are fascinating to me. And especially how they can lead us away from what’s actually happening. Here’s a recent example from our work.
For the last years, we have been telling ourselves that in the month of December everybody is just finishing things up, has no more budget left and is not really thinking about the new year. Then at the beginning of January, everybody will be back at work with fresh money and a fresh mind to start new projects. So we were planning for a quieter December to be ready for the onslaught in January. Makes sense, right?
Funny thing, though. In December, we were super busy until the last day before Christmas. We were still getting urgent calls for last-minute project requests by the middle of the month. Then came the beginning of January and nothing happened. Most people were still skiing or visiting relatives, etc. It took until the middle of this month for the pace to pick up again.
The lesson that I’m taking away from this is to be careful about the stories I form in my head and that I turn into truisms by repeating them again and again. Whenever I think something is like this or like that, I can be almost sure that it will be different next time. Just like the next turn of the year will probably be different from the last one, with perhaps no projects at all in December. That won’t be a problem as long as I don’t try to press reality into my stories but keep an open mind.
We used the available time at the beginning of the year to freshen up our presentations a bit. There are new texts on our website and a new deck to introduce ourselves. Have a look. And if you know somebody who might be interested, please forward it on to them.
Here’s the German version.