Years ago, I was at a posh little restaurant on the fancy isle of Nantucket.

 

“You’ve got to get their Big Mac!  It’s the best thing ever! You won’t believe how much it’s just like a real Big Mac!” implored my friend and island host.

And it was.  If you had blindfolded me and given me the two — the real deal and this replication — I wouldn’t have known the difference.

Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onion, on a sesame seed bun.

Except one I usually consume (often in secret) late at night, in the dark, sitting alone in my car, wrapped in greasy wax paper and guilt.  It cost me nothing but my self-esteem and $3.99.

This one, on the other hand, was a $26 privilege that I was not just consuming in public, but congratulating my fancy schmancy gourmand self for it as well.  And it was not just me; we were all raving about it, texting friends, bragging on Instagram.

So I got to thinking, what was the difference?  What set this hoity-toity burger apart from the lowly one that was its inspiration?  Sure, there might have been some difference in the quality of ingredients, and there certainly were white linen napkins in exchange for the wrinkled paper.  But the point wasn’t to make it fancy. The point was to make it exactly the same.

We not only enjoyed it, but we also congratulated ourselves for enjoying it.

Why?

Because of the stories we tell ourselves about it.  We told ourselves a story about what was valuable, what we’d like, what we deserved.

So, what about you?  What stories are you telling yourself about what you can do, should do, must do… and what you can’t?  What is the tape playing inside of your head that tells you that you aren’t good enough, you aren’t worthy enough, you aren’t ready?  What is holding you back?

Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onion, on a sesame seed bun.

The only thing that was different was the story we told ourselves.

If a Big Mac can be a gourmet meal, can’t you be the best version of yourself, too?

Tell yourself a better story, and I guarantee you’ll be congratulating yourself on the outcome too.