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Climate Change or COVID-19: What’s Your Story?

Many of us feel paralyzed by anxiety in the face of global challenges like the climate crisis or COVID-19, stuck with a simple story line: it’s overwhelming and there’s nothing I can do.

“I’m not anxious. I’m frozen.”

Bob surprised me. He’s a bright, experienced theater director. He thinks through sequences of action and dialogue, skillfully eliciting meaning and emotion from his words and from the actors.

I was trying to get him to reflect on the story he tells himself about what one person can do in the face of the climate crisis. But when I suggested that he could move from anxiety to action on climate change, Bob froze.

Bob is not alone: many of us feel paralyzed by anxiety in the face of global challenges like the climate crisis or COVID-19, stuck with a simple story line: it’s overwhelming and there’s nothing I can do.

Can You Change Your Story?

When did you begin to reflect on the stories you tell yourself? When did you realize that you could change—may have to change—some of those stories?