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  • Ruth Schocken Katz

Coaching Snippet - on Noticing the Story



“Don’t believe everything you think.” (- Attributed to many)

Bridging the gap between the stories we tell ourselves and reality creates an a-ha moment of awakening.

This conversation illustrates the moment that a client is suddenly aware of the narrative that runs in his head, and the gap between it, and what is actually happening — aka “reality”.

Becoming more aware of our tendency to tell those stories and their presence in our heads means that we can stop being controlled by narratives that don’t reflect reality, but rather feed a judgemental voice and a scarcity mindset.

It is this muscle that we are trying to train, to become more aware, and therefore more creative and selective with our stories, to propel us to where we want to be.

This snippet shows how this is done:


INT. Office. Day.


ADAM’S image on the computer screen is going in and out of the sunlight in his room. His stubble makes an audible crunch as he strokes his face in contemplation. Suddenly his face lights up.


ADAM

I forgot to tell you! I noticed!


ME

You noticed.... What?


ADAM

I noticed the story. I think I got what you’re always talking about. I caught myself telling a story.


ME

And what was it?


ADAM

I was cycling on my way home, and it was raining, when I suddenly saw this old station wagon, like the ones from the 80s.


ME

Oh yes, I remember those...


ADAM

There was this woman there, and the back of her car was packed with lots and lots of logs. And I thought to myself: ‘Look at her, she is going to her second home in the countryside... while you? You don’t even own a flat!’


ME

And?


ADAM

And then I noticed, that I made up this story about this woman, which is really a story about myself. I made this an opportunity to tell myself off when really, she could be transporting logs because she has no money for central heating!

We both laugh. And then it subsides.

ME

I love this example. It really captures what I mean when I say 'notice.' And of course we all do this. We all find ways to judge ourselves, and it is often in relation to or comparison with other people and their stories. Or to the stories that have informed what we think is good, worthy, or valuable. But they are just stories.

ADAM

I always told myself that I must own a property by the time I am 39. And now I realise that this is just a story.


He pauses


ADAM (CONT)

But it became so real, that the longer it takes me to get to this goal - who said that should even be one’s goal? - the more I use it as an opportunity to tell myself that I am no good.

ME

So how does it make you feel now?


ADAM

I feel like it’s an unimportant goal.


ME

And what else?


ADAM

And that if I take it away from the ‘story’ - I am actually not doing so badly

!

ME

Why is that?


ADAM

Because I am a published author, I am working on my Ph.D. I have good friends and a family that I love and who love me back. I was measuring myself against something that doesn’t really matter that much.

ME

And what else?


ADAM

It makes me think of my goals differently. And of what I want to achieve in life. There are so many things I think I ‘should’ be doing. When actually... I question them now.


ME

I hear that you are questioning your goals now. And so this is an invitation. To reassess what you always thought was important, what you always thought were your goals.


ADAM

Yes. And it feels like this huge relief. Like I can just let go of these shiny end results and concentrate on what’s happening now. It’s like this loud voice being turned down in my head. And it feels so... spacious.


*names and places have been changed to honour privacy


Illustration by Evie Fridel






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