\ Never Say Never | Christina Brandt

Never Say Never

Ten days ago, I was in the Mexico City airport, using a pay phone to call the US because my four year old cell phone didn’t have a global roaming feature.  After finding an operator who spoke English, giving her all my credit card data and my friend’s phone number, I was finally able to connect with my friend to tell her my flight was canceled and I’d be a day late arriving at a seminar we were attending.

As I hung up the phone, I brushed against my cell phone, whose directory I’d just consulted to get my friend’s number (because who remembers anyone’s phone number any more?), and knocked it to the floor.  Of course, it broke into pieces that couldn’t be put back together.  It was the last straw in a seemingly endless day of bad luck.

Yesterday, I finally got myself to the Verizon store, and I did something I swore I’d never do again: I got myself a BlackBerry. No big deal, right?  After all, everyone’s got smart phones now and they come in handy when your flight’s canceled and you need to call a friend back in the States.

For me, though, buying that BlackBerry represented a return to my “old, corporate self.”  That person who had the thing pretty much attached to her hip, waiting to pounce on it the second the little red light started flashing at all hours of the day and night, responding to the latest “emergency” that meant someone couldn’t live without my input.

Really?   Look at that story I was telling myself: Owning a device that I used  in a job I hated meant that I’d again become a version of myself that I didn’t like very much.  Four years ago, when I left my corporate life behind, I swore I’d never wield a BlackBerry again.

How ridiculous. The device is just a bunch of plastic and metal.  The meaning I created about that gadget was not serving me at all.  Doing what I do for a living now, I spend a lot of time each day examining the little stories like this, helping others see where they’re telling a painful tale about a set of facts (in my case, buying a BlackBerry).  I’m grateful that all that practice helps me spot my own stories pretty quickly.

So, I’m now the owner of a smart phone, and I’m happy to report that if it has a blinking red light, I must’ve turned it off because I haven’t noticed it once.  But, just in case I might feel the urge to begin compulsively checking it every few minutes, I’m keeping it in my purse.  😉

What are YOUR “nevers?”  Are you telling yourself stories (a.k.a., lies) about those situations that are preventing you from a positive experience?  If you’re not sure, notice where you’re feeling any kind of discomfort – stress, sadness, anger, and frustration are hints that you’re telling yourself a tall tale – and see if you can spot the underlying story.  If you get stuck, call me.  I’ve got a cool new phone!

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