• Mel Butcher

Tough Love: The Stories You Tell Yourself

In the book titled Indistractable by Nir Eyal, there's a little exploration of research revealing something I've had a hunch about for a while.


In Chapter 8, "Reimagine Your Temperament," Eyal describes how the concept of ego depletion (the idea that humans have a finite amount of willpower) is a myth. In earlier days, multiple peer reviewed publications made the rounds seeming to confirm ego depletion findings. However, a meta analysis later found that there was a *publication bias. Numerous other studies that yielded different results than those confirming ego depletion didn't make it into the journals.


Eyal also notes that the studies of Stanford Psychologist, Dr. Carol Dweck; she found that the early ego depletion experiment findings could be replicated in a specific sub-population. Essentially, people who believed that they had a limited amount of willpower would indeed appear to sustain ego depletion in the research testing setting.


People who did not hold the belief would not show the same, seeming, depletion.


This is both alarming and powerful.


One takeaway: The beliefs you hold about yourself directly impact how you perform and interact with the world.


So, a question we might ask ourselves is - what belief do I cling to that holds me back from the life I most wish to live?


What narrative of lack has the outside world told you over years of messaging that you've internalized?


What narrative do you tell yourself and others about your limitations?


I'm not good at _____...


Now, what are you going to do to change it?


It can be very difficult to let go. The stories we have in our minds can become intertwined with our identity.


What we get to do as adults is to make the choice. We can choose to do the work to let go of stories about limitations that no longer serve us.


One way to start might be to envision the version of yourself that you want to be. Imagine that it's true. And make the choice and put in the hard work to show up as that person tomorrow.


You won't get it perfect every single time. But with every dedicated day and action, you will move closer to what you want. I'm certain.

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Aside


My best friend is a man called James.


One time, James sent me this little personalized meme (tap through 4 images to see):



James actually told me that he has specific friends he'll go to hear something comforting, to hear what he wants to hear. And then he'll come to me when he's ready for candor.


I'd like to think my interpersonal communication skills have improved to include a gentler approach to such conversations, but one can only be so objective about these things.


Anyhow, thank you for reading and going on this blog journey with me.

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