The Story We Tell Ourselves

How do you see luck?

Darren Matthews


Photo by Hanson Lu on Unsplash

Kimi Raikkonen (the F1 driver) once said: “It’s always the same question about bad luck. It’s nothing I can change.”

The words reveal much about Kimi’s mindset. When he references the question about bad luck, he resolves it with one defining statement. It’s nothing I can change. He knows there is nothing he can do about bad luck — you’ll notice it isn’t even his bad luck. It’s the randomness of life and he knows we are all exposed to it.

How we cope with it becomes clear with the story we tell ourselves.

We all have a narrative — that is, the words we use define us.

‘Can you believe what just happened…’? When things don’t go our way, we look for excuses, we fail to grasp that life is a series of random events. We become the victim.

It is more than we can do to accept that we make decisions with incomplete information, not understanding that luck will always play a part.

Regardless of whether you’re a pessimist or an optimist, you’re making choices based on your perception of how luck treats you.

This negative and positive mindset leads us to focus on the things we can’t control. We fool ourselves into believing we are either lucky or unlucky.

Our decisions begin to suffer as we focus less on what we can control. The influence of previous luck appears. Now, information that offers no relevance to our decision begins to spoil the choice we face. Confirmation bias leaps into action, nudging us to accept assumptions built on previous beliefs. The clear-thinking detective has long gone.

The story we tell ourselves isn’t a good one. It’s full of false information and vibes which reduce the quality of our decision.

It’s why the story we tell ourselves matters.



Darren Matthews

I’m utterly curious about decision-making | Sharing lessons learned from the thousands of decisions I’ve studied and made | Founder