The (False) Stories We Tell Ourselves

Shereeza Ibrahim. B.A.Psych, M.S.W, R.S.W.
Clinical counsellor and Author
GTA Wellness Consultation

We all have beliefs about ourselves and the world around us. We treat it as fact, and act on those beliefs with passion, anger, infatuation and fear. But what if we are really just telling ourselves false stories?

A woman comes home, feeling exhausted at work. In fact, she has overworked herself trying to prove herself to her manager of Toronto’s most successful interior design agency, who only seems to give negative feedback.  As she barely enters the door, her children run to her with complaints about what she had packed them for lunch. Her husband can see that she looks stressed, and consoles her with a hug.  Yet, it seems every day is the same thing. 

“I studied hard and sacrificed all my life, only for everyone to be disappointed with me.  I’m a failure as an employee and as a mother.”  This is the story she tells herself.

However, she seems to neglect the part of the story where she plays a role in making her agency one of Toronto’s most successful companies in her field. She overlooks the fact that she has an understanding, compassionate husband and healthy children who know they can put their trust in her to alleviate their grievances.  She forgets that her manager is quite dismissive and critical towards other staff.

The story is her own, but she has told herself an inaccurate version.  What story do you tell yourself? Are you the victim or the hero? If you’re feeling defeated, maybe it’s time for a re-write.

In your new version, incorporate your strengths, successes and new learnings.  Acknowledge those who are your supports and resources that hold you up. 

Your story is your own.
You choose your version!

Shereeza is a clinical counsellor and author.  She works within the medical professional, and offers low-cost clinical telephone counselling (647-334-4556).  In 2019, she published a therapeutic Muslim children’s book now being sold worldwide.  She has been with the Islamic Institute of Toronto community for over 8 years and is now a regular contributor to the IIT Newsletter.