Here’s what I mean by “What is your story?” Have you ever noticed that each person you know has a certain theme or story that they are always telling in one form or another? For instance, you may have a friend who is always short on cash. Her story might be “I never have enough money.”
Or maybe you have a friend who always tells the story of the guy who cheated on her. Her story: “Men always cheat (on me.)” Or maybe you know someone else whose story is more broad-based where somehow he is always the victim of some transgression. We are often blind to our own stories.
So what is your story and more importantly is it serving you well? Could it be that your story holds the key to living the life you really want? Let’s explore….
As I was reading through Facebook the other day I noticed that some people had a theme and a story they were always telling. For some people their story is positive, uplifting, and supportive of their life. And some people it seems have a storyline that seems all about limits, disappointments, and things that hold them back from a fulfilling life.
So then I thought “What is my story?” Do I tell a story that limits me? I think I sometimes do. My limiting story is “I’m so busy. I never have enough time.” I hope that I also have positive story lines too, but this story is the one that holds me back.
Changing My Story
Using my story as an example, how could I change it to empower my life instead of limit it?
“I’m so busy. I never have enough time.”
This could become:
“I have enough time to do the most important things in life. Because I prioritize, I always do those things that are most valuable to me. I choose quality over quantity and I savor the good in my life. I have enough time.”
Maybe I could condense that:
“I have enough time. I only spend that time on activities that I value.”
I could use this new story to improve my life: Each time I consider doing a particular activity I can run it through a filter so that I can either
- recognize that it is valuable even though I might not want to do it.
- determine that it doesn’t support my new story, and I should not do it.
Valuable or Not? Filter
- Taking out the garbage (non-fun necessary tasks)- yes valuable because I like to have a clean odor-free home.
- Reading a Catalog (mindless activities)- no, because I have all I need and I don’t want to spend money unnecessarily.
- Writing before I do my little errands (top priority tasks vs low priority tasks)- yes, this is one of my most important activities. The errands will get done in time, but if I do the “errands” and little tasks first then my big priorities won’t get done.
How Can You Change Your Story?
If you don’t already know your story, that one that is limiting your enjoyment of life, then spend a few days listening to yourself as you talk to others. Listen to what you say to yourself in your head.
In order to change your story you must be honest with yourself. If you story is one of the following examples, here’s what you might want to consider:
“I have no time.”
Maybe you are short on time because you have many things to do, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have any time or that you can’t use the time you have more effectively. Your new story could be “Because I use my time effectively, I always have enough time for people and activities that are important to me.”
“I gain weight so easily.”
Maybe you gain weight more easily than others or than in your younger years, but guess what? You can change that and remember that you always have the control! Don’t let go of the control. Watch your net calories each day. Commit to it and you can change your story to “I am in control of my body and little by little I am changing it to what I want.”
“I never have enough money.”
This is like the weight loss one. Regardless of your income, you still have control over many things, namely how you spend your money. Really examine needs vs. wants when it comes to spending. What expenses can you cut which will make your life lighter for a while? Cable TV? Your car – if you live in the city or if you can use a bike. Eating out?
Make a commitment to budgeting. In fact it might be that you just need to learn how to budget. Learn that and do it. Invest your savings. Your new story could be: “I have enough money for my needs, my life is full, and I am building a nestegg for the future and for rainy days.”
“People always let me down; I am always a victim;”
Everyone has disappointments, betrayals, and transgressions committed against them. Some have more. Some less. Some are bad and some are atrocious. At the same time we all have good things in our life. We must change our perspective and focus in on the good. This is a Habit that can be developed and strengthened, just as focusing on bad experiences is a Habit.
Watch your thoughts and if you want to be happier, change your focus to the good in your life. Remember: just because someone betrays you or lets you down doesn’t doesn’t have any bearing your worth or specialness. You are still wonderful. Release bad experiences to the past. The more you do this the easier it gets. Your new story could be “Regardless of life’s challenges I am blessed with many good things and I am continually moving towards more good things that I know are coming my way.”
“Drama. Drama. Drama.”
Some people live in a world of constant drama, upheaval, and unbelievable calamities. Why is this? There is a high that goes along with all this drama. It’s called excitement. We feel the drama through the rush of adrenaline and for some people this high is somewhat addictive. Maybe it drowns out something else they would rather ignore.
The bottom line is this: if this is you and you recognize that too much drama detracts from your life, then you must be honest with yourself and set up new ways of handling daily life that lead to more stable outcomes. In the past, whether you realize it or not, you have put yourself in the center of these dramas, and you have the power to keep that from happening going forward.
Choose to be on time. Choose to treat others the way you want to be treated. Choose to let go of things that don’t support your life. Let others handle their own mess. You don’t need to get in the middle, no matter how much you want to help. Your new story: “I choose a life of peace. I avoid drama and seek excitement in things that serve my life well.”
What Do You Think?
What is your story? How can you change it? I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments and who knows you may help someone else who is having the same challenge!
Please share if you found this valuable! Thank you!