Some people tell stories for a living.
Actually, we all tell them, all of the time.
Some of them are useful.
Some of them are dangerous.
Find out if you’re falling into a story-trap and how you can use stories to feel better about EVERYTHING!
Stories, stories, everywhere!
They happen every single day but you might not notice them.
Here’s a story I’ve been telling myself for years:
“They probably won’t have the food I want to eat or I might get stuck on the way there, so I better take a bag of supplies with me”
I’ve managed to resolve that one in the last couple of months and life has become easier! More on that process in another message.
What do you recognise?
Here are some other everyday stories we sometimes get into a habit of telling ourselves – see if you recognise any…
- I’ve never been to that place so it’ll be hard to find
- I can’t tell them how I feel because they’ll get upset
- I’m no good with money, people, small talk, maths, exercise, dieting, reading, being bored, hospitals, writing, children, etc. (fill in the gap)
- I can’t get a dog, it would be on it’s own all day
A bit of a surprise!
Well, this last week, I was speaking to a group of councillors. One of whom came into the council chamber and pulled out a chair next to him, and onto it jumped his little dog Max. (photo below)
Max goes everywhere with Peter. No collar, no lead and impeccable manners.
In fact, I love this particular bunch of councillors (hello lovelies!) for their chutzpah and passion, it meant that Max was actually the best behaved in the room 😉
Now, not everyone could get away with taking dog to work, I can’t imagine a surgeon popping into the operating theatre with a Jack Russell or a poodle in tow. But it’s a great example of challenging the stories we come to believe rather than stories that would serve us better.
Rewrite your stories
Let’s take that list above and re-write them, see if we can make them more useful.
I’ve never been to that place so it’ll be hard to find
ALTERNATIVE I’ve never been to that place, there will be a way to make it easier to find I’ll print a map/make a test run/ask someone to come with me/use a sat nav/look at the satellite photo so I know what it looks like. (you choose which solution suits you)
I can’t tell them how I feel because they’ll get upset
ALTERNATIVE I need to tell them how I feel, I’ll find a way to be as sensitive and supportive as I can.
I’m no good with money, people, small talk, maths, exercise, dieting, reading, being bored, hospitals, writing, children, etc.
ALTERNATIVE I want to get better with (fill in the gap) I’m going to try a new strategy/get help/ask someone to do it for me/go on a course/stop worrying about it.
Notice what’s going on
What goes on in your head – the stories you tell yourself – can make a huge difference to the choices you make and, ultimately, the life you experience.
Some stories hold us back;
“I always feel nervous in a new place”
or “I’m never comfortable with change”
Some stories might help you ‘go for it’;
“I need to show them what I’m capable of”
or “I’m an adventurous person, I’m always off doing something exciting”.
How to do it
The answer lies in two things; Noticing what stories you’ve got going on, checking what you might have thought was truth but turns out could be just a story you got really familiar with.
And then choosing a new story, one that serves you better, makes you feel stronger, clearer, more confident, better skilled, a kinder person or perhaps more adventurous. And if at first the new story is a bit unfamiliar, fake it til you make it. Don’t stick with an old, unhelpful story, just because it’s familiar.
What story will you choose for yourself?
You can’t change the story so far but you can choose to change the next chapter
A new story
I hope that you can find at least one new story to tell yourself this week. Perhaps about being ‘allowed’ to have what you want, say what you need to say or be how you would like to be.
One of the most powerful negative story I was inadvertently telling myself was that I couldn’t be consistent in seeing projects though. The new powerful story I’m learning to tell myself self is this:
“I AM capable of seeing something through and maintaining it”.
It applies to the health of my body (weight loss and exercise) and my business (development and marketing to new customers) and it’s proving to be the best story I’ve ever written. Well, in terms of it’s usefulness anyway!
What story would be the most useful to you right now?
Write it down and keep telling it, in your head and out loud until it starts to seem believable.
Who knows what your most fabulous next chapter might look like?
Have a great week – there’s another story!
Lots of love
DO YOU NEED HELP TO SWITCH OFF AND CHILL OUT so you can enjoy your time off?
I can’t wait to share my techniques with you!
If you’re registered and can’t watch it live, you’ll get the recording by email to watch whenever you like, as many times as you like 🙂
If you’re not yet signed up and want to know more, have a look here.
If you want to see Max the dog delegate, here’s just below. Cuteness!