#061 Interpretations and the Stories We Tell

How you interpret things and the stories you tell will determine whether you are the victim or the hero of your story!

“You are not at the mercy of your circumstances. You are at the mercy of your interpretations.”
~ Jim Fortin

Interpretations are Just Thoughts and Stories.

Most people think that their interpretations are facts, just the way things are.

If they were facts, they would go in the circumstance line of the model.

Fortunately for us, interpretations are thoughts. This is the best news ever because it means that you have the power to choose your interpretations.

You can look at your interpretations in the model and see how they impact your ways of BEing. How do they make you feel? How do they make you act? What results do you get from your interpretations?

Since interpretations are thoughts, how you interpret things will determine what you look for, where you put your attention, and how you think.

If you’re not intentional about your interpretations, your interpretations will create results in your life that you are not happy with.

Why Intentional Interpretation Is SO Powerful.

Interpretations are just your stories of how you perceive circumstances around you. How you interpret life around you determines the stories that you tell yourself in your own head.

So, when you have an interpretation, it shows up in your thought line in your model. As a thought, your interpretations create the feelings that drive your actions which create your results.

This is HUGE!

If you don’t like how you feel, or you don’t like your actions, or you’re not happy with your results, choose new interpretations.

Here’s an example that I use when I coach football.

Look at being physically exhausted.

Most people interpret being exhausted or tired as meaning that you need a break, you need to slow down and conserve energy or that something has gone “wrong” and that it’s bad to be tired and exhausted.

Most of these interpretations take place on the subconscious level. You don’t even realize that you are thinking this way.

In football this causes athletes to take plays off and slow down to conserve energy.

When I coach, I change my team’s interpretation of being physically tired or exhausted.

I teach my team to interpret being tired as simply our internal indicator that the other team is tired. I teach my team to understand that it is human nature to want to rest, slow down and conserve energy when you’re tired.

When we are tired, we know that the other team is also tired, and this is a good thing for us because they are more likely to make mistakes. And, when they make a mistake, we’re going to be ready to take advantage of it.

I teach my teams that being tired is simply a physical reminder to step up and take advantage of the other tired team. We play our best football when we’re tired. We get sharper, we pay attention to detail, and we take over games during the 4th quarter. We love being tired because it gives us a huge advantage.

Games are won and lost when people are tired. This is what we’re preparing for.

How to Be Intentional With Your Interpretations.

First, you have to be aware of what your interpretations are.

To do this, practice awareness throughout the day. When you notice an interpretation, identify and label it. “This is an interpretation.”

Thought downloads are also powerful tools to help you identify your interpretations. Any time you find yourself saying things like, “It’s not fair,” “My teen’s lazy,” “I’m not good enough,” or “This is bad.”

These are all interpretations.

Second, once you’ve become aware of your interpretations, you can start to be intentional about how you interpret things. When you identify and label your interpretation, intentionally more your attention to your desired interpretation.

It might look like this.

“My son is lazy. Wait, that’s an interpretation. I move my attention to the interpretation that my son is doing his best.”

Boom!

We identified the unintentional interpretation and moved our attention to an intentional interpretation.

This will impact the rest of the stories that we tell ourselves.

Third, as you do this, practice new intentional interpretations by doing models. In the first step I invited you to do thought downloads. Once you’ve done this, you can do an unintentional model and an intentional model based on the thoughts and interpretations that you identified in your thought downloads.

Call to ACTION!

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