Why We MUST Separate Facts From Stories!


It was a little over 2 years ago I was sitting in a room filled with a hundred other people of various ages and backgrounds. 👥

We all were sitting quietly, listening to the teacher at the front of the room as he calmly spoke with a distraught person who had come up to one of the nearby microphones set up near the teacher. 🎤

It was the end of September 2017, and I was attending a weekend seminar called the Landmark Forum. It was one of the most mentally challenging experiences I ever had, not in a bad way but in how it really challenged my way of thinking. 🤯

And it wasn’t just me. It challenged all of us who participated that weekend! We were introduced to ideas and teachings which challenged how we saw our very lives and the people within it. 👁️

Without giving the seminar details away, I do want to share with you all a teaching I learned while I there which I’ve held and been using ever since.


In a similar vein as my previous post (http://bit.ly/2ZxwJzR), I want to share with you all a realization that just blew my mind when I started seeing this teaching reflected in everyday situations. 🤯

I share this with you all because I believe this can be applied to so many aspects of your life! 👍

With this teaching, you can save a lot of unnecessary stress, a lot of unnecessary worry, and take your personal self-control to a whole new level! 😁

I want you to imagine for a moment you hear about a nearby shooting on the news. 💥 You hear about the shooter’s personal background, how he ran from the police, and how he led the police on a car chase through 3 town before crashing and being arrested. You hear from the cop’s interviews about how remorseless the shooter was, how terrified the nearby witnesses were, and you keep remembering how close that shooting was to your home. 🏠

The incident passes. The shooter is in jail for a long time. Life goes on for you…but not quite! ☝️

Instead of locking your front door like you use to, you now start unconsciously double-locking it. When your child wants to go outside, you start feeling more hesitant to let him go outside like he used to. When you’re driving in your car, every time you pass by where the shooting happened you are reminded of what you heard on the news. 📺

But wait! The incident has passed. The shooter is in jail. So why has your behavior started to change as if the shooter is still out on the streets..? 🤔


One of the most important teachings I learned attending the Landmark Forum was the teaching to separate What Happened vs. the Story You Told About What Happened.

🌟 What Happened: The facts and nothing but the facts.

📖 The Story You Told About What Happened: The narrative which surrounds What Happened.

What if I told you the news doesn’t tell you facts? 😱 It actually tells you stories around a set of facts. Think about it: Would you really read a news story that just wrote the facts like this…?

📰 “A shooting happened on [STREET] at [TIME]. The shooter was identified as [NAME]. The shooter took off in a [CAR TYPE]. The police chased after him through the towns [TOWN #1], [TOWN #2], and [TOWN #3]. The car crashed. The police surrounded the car. The police arrested the shooter. He is awaiting trial at [PRISON NAME].” 📰

If the news only told you What Happened, no emotional narrative, no witness testimony, no police statements, no opinions, no drama whatsoever, you would be bored out of your mind! I would be too! 😅

The same even goes for my posts! If I just gave you a list of facts, you’d not have much of a desire to read them. It’s why I share stories with you; we as humans enjoy stories. It’s why we’ll go to the movies or read fictional books. There’s nothing wrong with that; it gives our lives more emotions to experience. 😊

So it’s not facts that influence us, rather it’s the stories around the facts that influence us. But the problem is when all the negative stories we hear about on a daily basis start influencing the internal stories in our own minds. 🧠 It’s when they influence us to start locking our doors more often, where they influence us to be worried about the dangers outside our home, where they influence our fears to take over our minds. 😨

Again, the fact is the incident has passed. The shooter is in jail. Nonetheless, your mind has created an internal story around what it heard on the news. 📖

Of course it’s illogical to assume there’s automatically danger still outside your home based on 1 single incident where the shooter was caught. But your emotions are dictating to you otherwise, just as if the danger is still near. 😟


That is why is it so important we distinguish these 2 things!

📌 So we can help ourselves see a clearer look at situations and at our emotions.

📌 So we can remind ourselves through a logical perspective of what to actually be concerned and not concerned about.

📌 So we can crumble the internal stories Fear will create in our heads about situations.

And this doesn’t just happen with news stories either! 😱 Think about situations you have with other people! 👥

🌟 What Happened: Someone says to you: “I appreciate you!”

📖 The Story You Tell About What Happened:

🧠 “They just said that to be nice.”


🧠 “They’re right, I am amazing!”


🧠 “They are weird for saying that! I’m not worth appreciating.”

🌟 What Happened: Your friend says he will be at your house at 5pm. He arrives at 5:05pm. He smiles when he sees you and says “I’m sorry I’m late.”

📖 The Story You Tell About What Happened:

🧠 “5 minutes late, no big deal!”


🧠 “Clearly he doesn’t care enough to be on time!”


🧠 “He just is not a person I can trust to be on time anymore!”

⭐ You don’t remember the facts; you remember the stories you created around a set of facts. ⭐

While I may be hitting the nail on the head a bit excessive here, I do it because I want you to see how much these internal stories run our lives. 👍

So the next time you see hear a story on the news, read a tabloid article online, or have a conversation with someone which fills you with negative emotions, take a step back. 👣


Ask yourself:

🤔 What are the Facts this situation provides? Remember: feelings and opinions are not the same as facts.

🤔 What are the Stories coming out of the situation in my mind?

Because when we continue to develop ourselves, when we continue to become more aware of the Stories we tell ourselves, when they see they are simply stories we will then realize we have the power to change them. 💪

Because who wouldn’t want to have a more empowering story to run their life? 🥰



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