Cross-Examine the Narrator

That Narrator.

That voice.

The one who cuts you down.

The one who seems to have a job description to regularly review your faults and past failures and bring a case against you.

We can try to silence the Narrator, but simply recognizing and trying to ignore that voice is not always enough.

During a coaching session we talked about the Narrator, and how often it reminds us of faults or short-comings. And, how when we silence that voice in one area or approach, the Narrator seems to find another angle, another strategy, another way to try to disrupt us.

But there is another way.

Cross-Examine the Narrator.

Instead of just taking in these words, these accusations, maybe it is time for us to examine the evidence, and take issue with these old approaches and rehashing of past failures.

Maybe it is time we put the Narrator on the stand after each statement or accusation that is leveled against us.

“Well you are not very consistent, if you were, you would be more successful. Look at the time you have wasted, and where you could be today.”

Hold on a second, now it is my turn and in my best pretend courtroomy lawyerly voice.

“I may not always be consistent, but part of my behavioral style allows me to be flexible and move quickly which is a strong quality. And as far as success, I am successful and here are the areas that I have had great success. [list of the evidence]”

“Yes, but…”

“So, you agree that I have had successes, but you keep insisting on bringing up old news, or old events. Your honor, I move to dismiss all charges.”

“I object!”

“Object all you want. You have no case. You have no relevant facts, and your accusations are groundless and are more of a distraction. Case dismissed!”

Don’t let the Narrator’s voice go unchallenged.

Speak up and Cross-Examine the Narrator.

Present the evidence.

Be tough on that voice that has been tough on you.

Dismiss the case against you.

Move forward and be free.

The Conclusion

This post will make more sense if you read the original post.

Click here for the original adventure post.

Our oldest daughter’s bucket list had this mountain remaining as we set out for attempt number 2.  She will graduate in a few short days, so it became important to try again before she receives her diploma. For the past few weeks it has been cold, but the weather broke and it became just warm enough to hike, but cold enough to ward off the bugs. Duct tape is now a staple of our packing supplies and there was another round of our youngest’s “dam” jokes as we approached the trail.

There is something strange about trying to achieve something that is difficult when you failed the first time. There was a little more determination combined with a little more seriousness in the plan and the pace.

We couldn’t help but talk about shoes that disintegrated and how the first attempt was not successful. With each passing step the goal seemed within reach. New challenges presented themselves with periodic patches of mud and snow (yes there is still snow here on the trails in April), but we pressed on.

This time we had an adventure without the bonus surprise adventure. Sometimes it feels good to have your plans work out without extra stress that the unexpected brings. Certainly the first attempt helped to prepare for the second and brought with it a focus that was not present during the first try. It was interesting to notice the lack of complaining and an increase in encouraging each other that accompanied this new attempt, even though the route was much steeper than the original.

We are going to make it.

You can do it, we are almost there.

I suppose the conclusion is this:

Our first attempts that result in failure can be what helps us succeed IF we try again. Trying again can be hard, but sometimes the view at the top becomes well worth the effort.

The Mountain Top

When Dreams Don’t Work Out

Let’s face it, not all of our dreams work out.  We set goals, we have a vision of the future and something derails, delays, or simply denies it from happening.  What do we do in the face of this failure?

I suppose we have a choice to make.  We can choose to pick up the pieces, see what we could have done better (maybe), and start to aim towards another dream or goal.  Or, we can become tainted, cynical, and hardened.  Yes, those seem like two extreme views, but by not consciously picking the first, we tend to end up in the second even if we do not realize it.

Life can at times be harder than we imagined.  When I think about life, there are way more long-periods of monotony with brief moments of excitement (good or bad).  What seems to break up the daily routine of life is a dream.  The strange little hope that you can make a difference, do something great, and alter your story and the stories of those around you.

So the next time that dream starts to become just a faded light in the rear-view mirror, stop looking back, look forward and find the next dream…and the next…and the next. Make the choice, and don’t let the hardening of disappointment in…dream instead.