If You’re Going to Make Up a Story…

Has anyone ever not returned one of your calls? Not responded to an email, a text or private Facebook message you sent? Have you ever extended an invitation and not gotten an RSVP? Sent a contract and not heard back with an approval? Been on the receiving end of a strange comment or look from a co-worker? Or perhaps you have felt ignored or overlooked in a social setting or business meeting? 

And did you make up a story in your mind about WHY any of these things happened? 

I have learned from a long, successful career in sales a simple mantra that I say to myself almost daily. It goes like this…

If you’re going to tell yourself a story, you might as well make it a good one.

Here’s an example from my own work.  

A few weeks ago, I sent a private message through Facebook to a potential client asking for her email and address so that I could invite her to an event for women that I am hosting this fall. I sent the message on a Monday morning and on Thursday, I realized I hadn’t heard back yet from her.  

Here’s where I have a critical choice.  

I can choose to think, “She is probably SO annoyed that I reached out to her about this. She has a very busy, important job and probably gets requests like this all the time.”


I can choose to think something like this: “Dang, she must be as busy as I am and my message got buried in her phone’s endless dings and notifications. I should check back so I don’t miss a chance to get her information about the event. 

The fact is, either option is just as likely to be true.

The difference in the impact on me, however, is significant. One story feels draining and causes me to doubt myself and lose confidence. The other story helps me move forward with more boldness, joy and energy. 

Remember, if you’re going to tell yourself a story, you might as well make it a good one.

Wondering what happened with my potential client?  

I checked back with a second light-hearted message letting her know my deadline was approaching and that I would love to include her. She responded almost immediately saying she was so sorry, she’d been out of town on vacation and away from her phone as much as possible. She said she would LOVE to be included in the event and had actually been looking for something like this as an opportunity in the fall.  

Again, the alternative could also have been true. She could have thought my message was a nuisance and annoying, and she could have been intentionally ignoring me. That’s always a possibility, but in the end, I can’t control her response to my request. I can only invite each person with the most pure intention of serving and providing value to those I am meant to serve. How people respond to me is completely out of my control.  

So, a reminder and a word of encouragement to those of you out there making things happen, taking initiative and creating something new, remember…

If you’re going to tell yourself a story, you might as well make it a good one!

Leave a Comment