What’s Your Story? A Car Incident

What’s Your Story? A Car Incident

A couple of weeks ago, another car side swept my new car! I was in the right lane waiting for a slow moving line of traffic to get going. My car was caked with road salt due to a recent snowstorm that had hit us in Ardmore, and I couldn’t wait to get the car cleaned up. However, that was not to be the case this particular morning. The driver behind me—impatient to get to his destination—pulled to the left, attempting to squeeze into the lane with faster moving traffic. I heard the crunch and scraping of metal against metal. Annoyed, I immediately jumped into Survivor mode; I felt my body tighten, getting ready for a battle. I felt a rush of adrenalin and cortisol surge through my body, preparing me for what was to follow.

I was in Survivor Mode! My story: my car and I were being attacked and I needed to prepare for conflict. I flashed back to my own past experiences and to numerous stories of people arguing after traffic incidents, defending their positions and desperately trying to convince a police officer it wasn’t their fault. As the other driver—a tall and muscular college-age male—and I—much older and less able—opened our doors and began to walk toward each other, I was sure misery was to follow.

“Hi, my name is Dan and I’m sorry for my screw-up. I was in a rush and didn’t pay careful attention to your car. I’ll take care of everything, it was my fault!”

Needless to say, it was not what I expected. Dan was in Navigator Mode, he was in control and taking full responsibility for the accident. I was in Survivor Mode and prepared for battle. His story and mine were different. He simply recognized his role in the incident and accepted his accountability for what happened. I, on the other hand, was captured by my own dramatic story of attack and defend. Once he acknowledged what had happened and I realized I was dealing with a Navigator, I immediately relaxed and shifted into another story! It was just an accident!

So, what’s your story? Have you stepped into a Survivor or Victim story lately? Do you know how to shift into Navigator mode? In future blogs, I will write about how Navigators think and act and how they create stories worth experiencing.

If any of you are interested in learning more about our work, give me a call at 610-642-4873 ext. 23, email me at center11@verizon.net, or check us out at www.navigatingforsuccess.com.