Mental Model

As we go through life, we collect stories in our minds that ultimately limit our growth and happiness. These stories may have been true at some point (or not!) but no longer serve us. We have a way of accepting these stories as facts and they attach to us like barnacles. We carry them through everyday life and overlook how they cloud our judgment, and create blind spots. The stories can provide excuses as to why we don’t do not reach our full potential in work and life. We must adopt a mindset that explores and challenges these self-limiting stories. Detach yourself from these stories that are not accurate, while accepting our responsibility in situations where we blamed others.


    The core of this strategy is gaining a deeper self-awareness to “unknow” these parts of us. It’s this exercise of examining the accuracy of these stories that can be freeing. Our view of the story may be distorted or we refuse to accept the role we have in the story.


    1 – Explore the stories of your life.

    Write down a one-liner for the stories that continue to occupy your mind.

    Think deeper about why these stories continue to play.

    What are you carrying from the past into your thinking today?

    2 – Seek the truth and embrace the change.

    Examine the accuracy of the story in an unbiased way.

    Identify the facts that contradict the story.

    Come to terms with the role you had in the story and why you continue to cling to it.

    Embrace the fact that you no longer need to replay the story.

    Understand that these stories do not define you.

    3 – Let go of self-limiting beliefs.

    Live your life to the fullest and not the story you have convinced yourself about your life.

    Catch yourself to turn off the story if it attempts to re-enter your thoughts.

    That chapter is closed.

    Experiment With This

    • We are all shaped by our past but at some point these experiences or memories no longer serve us. The art of unknowing yourself is letting these go so you are no longer constrained by these thoughts or characteristics of your persona. What am I holding on to my past that I am not aware of that is limiting my growth and happiness? What is the evidence that makes these stories untrue? Why are you clinging to these stories?
    • How are you going to take responsibility to move past those stories? Is there a storyline that I continue to let play because it’s comfortable and does require me to change?
    • Scan your journal for stories that you may be telling yourself.


    Lori Gottlieb — The Power of Getting to *Unknow* Yourself (Tim Ferriss #415) – the discussion about “unknown yourself” starts 22 minutes into the podcast.

    Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed by Lori Gottlieb