Change Your Story… Change Your Life
“You can do anything you set your mind to!” Did you ever hear these encouraging words from a parent or teacher as you were growing up? Did you believe it then? Do you still believe it? Or somewhere along the way did you quit believing because you started telling yourself self-limiting stories?
Too many times we’ve replaced the encouraging voice in our heads with ones that tear us down and keep us little. They come from our own fears and insecurities or we’ve actually heard them from other people who abusively denigrate and belittle. We’ve heard it so often that we begin to believe it ourselves.
The self-limiting stories we tell ourselves are usually focused on generalizations, negativity and comparisons with others. You can recognize them, because they often start with statement like these…
“If only I was … I could …!”
“I’m not good at…”
“I’ve never been …”
“Who do you think you are…”
“He gets … because he’s gifted. He doesn’t know what my life is like.”
Just because something doesn’t come easily to you or you’re inexperienced, doesn’t mean you can’t do it well. Perhaps you’re not the most talented speaker today. Your story doesn’t have to be that you’re not a gifted speaker. Your story can be that you want to be a talented speaker and you’re willing to do a lot of hard work and preparation in order to influence people with your message. And that’s a new story you can create for yourself.
This shift begins when you become aware of the self-limiting talk running through your mind. Think of that commentary like a Narrator – the voice in the background that is giving substance to the story. Most people are oblivious to it. But with greater mindfulness you can stop yourself from automatically saying, “No, I can’t”, and just listen to the objections in your mind. Without judgment, write them down in your journal.
Ask yourself if it’s true. You may think, “I’m so stupid!” But you’re not. You many have made a mistake, but that doesn’t define who you are as a person. Evaluate it. You’ll see that the Narrator is only offering one perspective, based on previous experiences. You don’t have to accept what the Narrator is telling you, especially if it’s disempowering. See all the good things you have accomplished.
Affirm what you know is true. Maybe you don’t know how to do something. But you have the ability to learn. We’re all a work in progress, adding layers and layers of experience to our core values. And that experience is valuable. Set your intentions for how you want to live each day. Stay in touch with your values and you’ll stay aligned with your purpose.
Tweak your story. You don’t have to totally reinvent yourself. Take the parts that don’t serve you any longer and overwrite them with choices that create the best possible story. Daily reflect on how your choices fit into your greatest purpose.
It takes mindful effort to process through the stories you tell yourself. But you can change your story and you can change your life. I would love to partner with you as you go through the process. Please feel free to schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation so we can explore your options. I’m happy to meet in-person, by phone or via Skype.