Lori Gottlieb’s New TED Talk Reveals How Changing Our Stories Can Change Our Lives
Stories are the way we make sense of our lives. But that doesn’t mean that the ones we tell ourselves are good, or even true. Instead of providing clarity, they often just keep us stuck in the same painful patterns. In her new TED Talk, which has been viewed over 600,000 times in four days, Lori Gottlieb—renowned therapist and New York Times bestselling author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone—shows us the life-affirming power we have to change our lives through narrative.
In her years of clinical practice (not to mention years of writing The Atlantic’s Dear Therapist column), Lori Gottlieb noticed that there are thematic similarities to the stories we tell. “Our stories about freedom go like this: we believe, in general, that we have an enormous amount of freedom. Except when it comes to the problem at hand, in which case, suddenly, we feel like we have none. Many of our stories are about feeling trapped, right? We feel imprisoned by our families, our jobs, our relationships, our pasts,” Gottlieb shares.
The problem with attaining the freedom we claim to seek is that it comes with a certain sense of responsibility; responsibility for our role in the story, and the moves we need to make for it to change. “There's something oddly comforting about knowing exactly how the story is going to go every single time,” admits Gottlieb. “To write a new chapter is to venture into the unknown.”
In her funny, honest, and cathartic new talk, Gottlieb opens us up to the possibility that—no matter how scary it may seem—with the right tools, we can successfully rewrite our stories and transform the quality of our lives.
Watch her full TED talk here.
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