The stories we tell ourselves

When Karine was in her early 20s, she narrowly avoided being kidnapped in the Phillipines. She was being threatened, and had to flee the country with the FBI’s help, travelling under a fake name.

When I reflected back on our conversation, this point fascinated me. A young woman who had survived a terrifying experience was seemingly bravely moving on with her life, and still many years later she recounts this as cowardice. How could that be?

Recent work has shown that explicit memories are re-consolidated each time we recall them. This means that the act of remembering something makes the memory temporarily changeable again.

So why did I spend all that time explaining it? Because understanding the fundamental ways our brains work can help us identify when they’re being less than helpful, and what we can do to get them more on our side.

So the reason I say it doesn’t matter whose perception is ‘right’ is because right doesn’t matter to our brains as much as the story that we invest our mental energy on. That’s why the stories we tell ourselves are so important.

Rochelle is smiling at the camera while she takes a selfie. She’s outside and trees can be seen in the background

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Founder of Her Leadership Way. Guiding and supporting women to step into leadership roles at work so they can make a bigger difference.

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Rochelle Marie

Rochelle Marie

Founder of Her Leadership Way. Guiding and supporting women to step into leadership roles at work so they can make a bigger difference.

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