I love a good story. I also love to tell a good story. Actually, I think I am a pretty good storyteller!
How do I know this? Well...I tell myself these unbelievable stories all the time!
Oh, you thought I meant, a fictional story? Yep! That is exactly what I am talking about! And it's not just because I am a writer...it is so much more than that!
The stories I mean, however, are not children's stories - if that's what you were thinking. They are in fact, stories about things I made assumptions about when I was very young.
I have some good news for you though! You are also a great storyteller!
Yes. We all have stories about why things are the way they are in our life. We might call them a belief. Either way, most adults have stories or beliefs that are limiting and that hold them back or get in the way.
I am always broke. My parents didn't love me enough. My art is not good enough. I can't make friends. I don't have enough skills to live my dream. I'm not smart enough to do something different. I am not very good at being organised. I was never any good at maths. I am too old. I am too young. All my love has to be earned. What I think doesn't matter. I'm not ready. I don't have enough time. I will never be successful. If I get too happy or too successful, I’ll jinx myself. I’m not good with money. I’m not self-disciplined. I wasn’t born into the right kind of family. My plate is too full already. I don’t have enough energy.
Any of those resonate with you?
Once you have your story and a belief about something, your mind looks for things in your life - moments, experiences etc - to confirm those beliefs, even if the belief is not serving you.
We believe our story is true. We gather the evidence from the world around us. The evidence we want to confirm our story, all the time rejecting and ignoring any information or influences that might poke holes in it. We are not objective when it comes to the stories we tell ourselves about the reason life is the way it is and then, we get stuck and go around in circles.
The biggest influence on human behaviour is the story we tell ourselves in our head. If you change your story you change your world.
Surrender and own your story. Owning our story can be a hard thing to do. However, it is way more difficult and uses a lot more energy to spend our whole life running from the story we don't really want. Learning to embrace the vulnerabilities we have is a risk but if we don't, we miss out on love, belonging and joy. These are the most valuable parts of our experiences. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light. (Brené Brown) Stop resisting. Surrender. You don't have to quiet the mind to change your story. All you have to do is listen, acknowledge and then let the old story go. If we own the story, we can write the ending.
You can't change your past. We can learn from it though and change our future. When you disengage from the story of your life, the facts of your past no longer determine or limit what is possible for now. You get to choose what your new story will be and you get to edit it as often as you need! There are so many adults that are stuck in the past, holding onto a story based on experience from 15, 20 or 30 years ago. You are not what happened to you. You are what you choose to become. You can choose to use the experience to learn and grow instead of making it your story.
Push the right way. We think if we push hard enough against the things we don't want in life that they will go away. The truth is, anything you give your attention to becomes bigger. So the harder you push against what you don't want, the more energy it creates within you about it and the less likely it is to actually go away. So why not, choose something you actually want and focus on that instead?
The How-To Guide to Changing your Story!
We can not heal what we do not reveal. It is a bit like Dan Siegal's phrase, 'Name it to Tame it'. If we first don't acknowledge the pain of our story, we can't change it. If we feel shame around our story, we need to name it. Shame doesn't like to be named. It thrives on secrecy, silence and judgement. Once it has been named though, it no longer has a life. We kill it with empathy, compassion and love. Whatever your story is, if you ignore it or deny it, it will define you. If you own it, you get to write a brave, beautiful new ending.
Loving yourself through the process of owning your story is the bravest thing you will ever do. The stories we tell ourselves, literally make up our world. If you want to change your world, you need to change your story but you must remember to be loving and forgiving with yourself. Change is always challenging. It can be painful and a little bit messy. Be okay with that. Don't spend time beating yourself up because you had this belief that life was a certain way and you now realise that it can be different. Say thank you to yourself for recognising your old belief and for the purpose it served in teaching you the lesson you needed.
The Truth. You either walk inside your story and own it or you stand outside of your story and hustle for your worthiness. My belief is that we are all inherently worthy of a magnificent life, so it is time to own the stories and beliefs we have been telling ourselves. Everything we know or consider to be true are just stories. We find truth in them. Regardless of the chapter you are in at the moment, you get to find the truth in your own story if you want to. It is time to let go of the limitations and connect with the true story and watch how everything in your life changes.
In order to change a belief or a story, we have to first identify the old story. Pick one area of your life where you feel you are holding back and not giving everything to it. I would encourage you to write it down. Write a list of what you believe about yourself in regards to that area. Example: Money is...., Getting fit/healthy is...., Self-care is...., Applying for a new job/position is...
Then ponder some or all of these questions and write your responses to them and see what flows out.
What is having this belief or story costing me?
Is this a pattern I have seen before in other areas of my life?
What is the truth/ the real story?
What would you do differently if you had no fear around this?
What are you avoiding by keeping this story?
What could your new story be?
What do you have to do differently to support your new positive story/belief?
Until next week...rewrite your story and make it fabulous!
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