What’s the iceberg floating in your story?
Updated: Aug 22
We all have many stories. One we share with the world, one we share with our inner circle and loved ones, and one we only share with ourselves. There is always a story behind the story…. this is called the Tip of the Iceberg, and this is normally a story we only share with ourselves.
Imagine you are floating along in a boat, and far off in the distance, you catch a glimpse of an iceberg. What do you see? A mass of ice floating in the water. What you can’t see, is that underneath the iceberg an even larger mass of ice hidden and invisible from view keeping the iceberg afloat.
The Iceberg Concept refers to the fact that sometimes we only deal with things that we can see, and the rest goes unnoticed…just like an iceberg floating in the water. The top of the iceberg is visible and what we allow the world to see (the conscious part of the information), but there is also another hidden story underneath (the unconscious part).
We are all like icebergs. If we relate this metaphor to our lives, this unseen and not talked about story is the mass of an iceberg under the surface. Our concerns, frustrations, and annoyances are the effect or the tip of the iceberg, what you show to the world or what is visible to you. It’s not the real problem or cause.
This hidden untold story (the story behind the story) is the cause of our many of our current personal problems and issues. The below-the-surface story is invisible and has been smoldering over time, and sometimes we don’t even remember when it started.
Our behaviors are above the surface visible to others, and the things that drive our behavior are hidden below the surface and invisible to others. What we show the world are our words, actions, body language, and gestures. Underneath all of our actions and behaviors, we are being driven by our beliefs, values, biases, experiences, fears, dreams, and feelings. Consciously or unconsciously we are driven by what lies beneath the surface, the untold story behind the story.
Some of my client’s concerns or issues (the tip of the iceberg) include relationships, buying a new house, getting a new job, losing weight, making more money, or even allowing themselves to take a vacation. Of course, these are concerns, but there is a story that continues in the background to limit them and create a ceiling over them.
Buying new stuff, going from place to place, social media influencers, continuing to numb ourselves, or whatever our vices might be won’t help in resolving the issue or fixing the problem until we address what’s hiding under the tip of the iceberg.
The story behind the story of these examples above is a chronic unsatisfying relationship with no easy fixes. (i.e. childhood, marriage, parents, trauma, abuse, feeling unloved, etc.) There are no simple solutions to complex problems. Sometimes we don’t have the courage to face the story behind the story. Sometimes it is much easier to cover up the problem, pretend it’s not there, or buy something to create the illusion that the problem is solved. As many of us have come to see, short-term fixes create long-term problems.
Many people find themselves in circumstances they would rather not be in, not where they saw their lives going, or feel like they run out of options to change their situation.
All circumstances or situations can be changed, upgraded, and what we want to have in our lives. The only factor that matters is the willingness and ability to do something about it and make a commitment to consistently stick with it. This reminds me of a quote by John Heywood. “Nothing is impossible to a willing heart.”
· What’s your quit factor?
· What is your perseverance factor?
· Do you have a can-do-it mentality no matter what?
· Can you choose to get out from under the hidden story?
· Have you finally had enough & ready to make a change?
Some people will quit when the going gets rough, or think they can have a redo or do-over, or think someone will save the day for them.
For others, they see it as a wake-up call or call to action to make the move from where they are to where they want to be. In some situations, there are no do-overs, so this is where the quit factor, perseverance, and get-it-done mentality come into play.
Sometimes we feel like we have no control over the circumstances we find ourselves in or we have been pushed into circumstances that are not our fault (illness, addiction, etc.).
But, it is our responsibility to get out of our circumstances. A client of mine once said, “Just because I’m afraid, doesn’t mean I not gonna do what I need to do.” Simple yet strong words.
Like a moving iceberg, it can be difficult to change behavior without understanding the hidden story and shifting what is below the surface. It can also take just a slight shift below the surface to have a large or immediate impact on everything above the surface (relationships, family, career, life, behaviors).
If we are looking to change or upgrade something in our lives, this goal needs to start with understanding what drives the behavior, including our beliefs, our values, our thoughts about the world, and our thoughts about ourselves. We are a human magnet, constantly attracting what we speak, think, and feel.
What’s Your story behind the story? Trying to navigate the story behind the story may be difficult to do alone. Contact me today to set up a time to help unravel your story and get out from under the iceberg.