Are You Telling Yourself Stories You Could Let Go Of?
We all tell ourselves stories. They may be stories of our own or stories we internalize from others. Our personal stories can be a source of strength — or they can hold us back.
Sometimes our inner critic can be really loud and we tell ourselves stories about why we can’t or why we aren’t enough. Often these stories aren’t even fleshed out. They’re simple statements, like:
- I’m not qualified to apply for that job.
- My kids need me too much right now for me to start a business.
- I couldn’t do something so impractical.
- I don’t have time for … fill in the blank for whatever you really love doing.
Maybe somebody told you not to quit your day job when you showed them your photography. Or your parents expected you to go into a certain profession, even though your heart was elsewhere. Or maybe you feel stuck, so you keep saying “I can’t,” instead of “I don’t know how yet.”
What If We Let Go Of These Stories?
So many of these stories aren’t even true. Maybe they aren’t now. Maybe they never were. Next time you tell yourself a story, question it. Maybe the story about your worst failure could be a story of resilience.
What stories could you tell instead?
What stories could you tell about times you were brave or tried something new or jumped — even though you thought you weren’t ready? What stories can you tell about going your own way instead of following what was expected of you?
- Make a list of things you’d like to try or have always wanted to do.
- Say each thing aloud. How do you feel when you say it? What story comes to your head? What story could you tell instead?
Or as you go through your day, notice the stories you tell yourself. If they are negative (and we are wired for negativity), examine it. See if you can find examples that prove your story wrong or look at an experience in a different light. Remember, your stories don’t have to hold you back. They can be your guide and support.
Imagine if you told stories about the times you thought you couldn’t, but did. Imagine doing the things you think you can’t do. Start by telling yourself you can, even if you aren’t sure you believe it yet. Keep telling that brave story, the “I can” story.
3 Steps to Having a Meaningful Life You Love
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Hi, I’m Melanie!
I’m a Journaling and Joy Coach and I believe your story is the key to the life you want.
I guide my clients through intentional processes to find the answers waiting for you in your stories, bringing compassion, deep listening — and fun — to the process.
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