The Stories We Tell Ourselves
Updated: Jan 18
One of my favorite things to talk about in coaching, are the stories we tell ourselves. I’m going to be honest, for most of my life I had been telling myself stories that were not only not true, but were beliefs that were limiting me tremendously. And I had no idea I was doing it (or that it was a thing I should even be aware of!).
We all picked up stories from our families, society, and the media back when we were children. When we are young, impressionable, and definitely not discerning, we pick up the ideas that are conveyed by those around us. Maybe you grew up in a family where mom and dad fought all the time so your unquestioned belief is that love is hard and doesn’t work out. Maybe you grew up in a family where there was never enough money and so you believe that you are just the kind of person who is destined to struggle financially. Maybe you had teachers in school that didn’t honor the type of learner you are and so school was a struggle and now you believe you aren’t smart and can’t learn. My stories were that I’m not the kind of person who can have a lot of money and that life is a struggle.
However, once you become aware of your stories you can take a closer look at them and see if they still feel true to you. When you have identified stories that, in fact, don’t hold up to the facts or beliefs of your life, you are then free to rewrite new stories that are more empowering and uplifting.
Let me use the example of my false stories to illustrate how this works. If we look at my story about not being the kind of person who can have a lot of money, I start to ask questions like:
Is it true that I have never had a lot of money? Well no, there have definitely been times in my life where I had a lot of money and it was great!
Has there ever been a time that a lot of money has come to me easily? Yes, there have been many times in my life when money came to me easily, and often just when I needed it.
Now that I have started to investigate these stories (that I had previously blindly accepted) I can see that they do not actually ring true and I can start to rewrite my story in a more empowering and uplifting way. If we go back to my example of not being the kind of person who can have a lot of money, I can rewrite my story as:
Money comes to me easily and I welcome financial abundance into my life.
What old, outdated stories are you telling yourself that are holding you back?
Here are the steps to recognize your old stories and replace them with stories that serve you better:
Step 1: Identify your false stories
Step 2: Question these stories. Dig around a little in the story with some probing questions. Do the stories hold up to investigation?
Step 3: Write a more empowering and uplifting story.
Step 4: Notice when your mind starts telling you the old stories (It definitely will!) and automatically replace it with your new, more empowering story.