February 28, 2020
2 min read

Deconstructing Our Narratives

We often focus on changing others, fixing ourselves, or controlling our environment, but we are not in the habit of deconstructing the concepts in our brain. For instance, if you look more closely at the concept of perfection and the storyline around perfection you may begin to step outside of your mind and see a larger picture. You may even ask yourself: Why can't I be flawed? Who said perfectionism is perfectly perfect? How long have I been living in this box? How do I react to this thought?

When we begin to explore our concepts and narratives, we can begin to deconstruct our belief systems. Psychologist Michael S. Gazzaniga and Neuroscientist Joseph E. LeDoux coined the left-hemisphere interpreter to describe how our brain constructs narratives (Gazzaniga, 1988). The left-brain interpreter relies on a system (i.e., the frontal lobes, parietal lobes, the temporal Lobes, the occipital Lobes, and the limbic system) to construct meaning and interpretation to resolve ambiguity Gazzaniga, 1988).

Neuroscientists have reported that we have up to 70,000 thoughts a day, suggesting we can not solely rely on our left brain-interpreter (Wang et al., 2017). Thus, if we choose to believe our thoughts without curiosity, we may get stuck in the confines of our mind. Byron Katie, author of Loving What Is, identified four questions we could ask ourselves to drop a thought that is causing us stress by being more curious. Her questions are as follows:

1) Is this thought true?

2) Can I absolutely know that my thought is true?

3) How do I react or feel when I believe my thought?

4) Who or what would I be without my thought?

For more information about Byron Katie please visit her website at thework.com. So the next time a thought troubles you, give these questions a try. You have nothing to lose, but a stressful concept or a storyline.