Our lives are filled with stories. We tell them all the time. We use them to justify our actions, our experiences and a myriad of other reasons that occur in our everyday lives.
For example, I recently attended a weekend seminar where we got to delve deep into what makes us tick. One thing we had to do in preparation was to decide what aspect of our lives we needed to work on over the weekend.
After much thought I decided that although I seem to be able to communicate quite well with my writing, I didn’t feel that I was communicating orally very clearly. So I came to the conclusion that I needed more work in that area and off I went to the seminar.
When I shared my issue with another attendee, the response was that I was being ridiculous, that if I could write a book, then there was no real reason for me to think I couldn’t communicate well with the spoken word also.
It didn’t even take one day for me to work out that I’d been telling myself a story about being a poor communicator. I stood up in front of over one hundred people —strangers most of them and spoke quite comfortably plus I got my message across.
So I had to ask myself the question regarding my thinking. Why did I think I wasn’t any good at communication?
Looking at that, I realised the story part of it was true and that the rest was ridiculous. But I’d been using that story to justify why I wasn’t doing well in other areas of my life. It seems that you don’t even have to tell yourself the story very often for you to believe it. For it to become fact.
Seemingly it is very easy to believe the negative stories in our lives, often they only need one small trigger to set us up in that story and we tell ourselves it is real. When in fact it has evolved from — in my case — a simple set back that had me believing my story.
Now for some inexplicable reason, we don’t seem to take the positives in our lives and turn them into awesome stories. I’m not sure why not. Maybe it’s related in my case, to my mother telling me not to brag about myself. Being told that talking about myself in that way is just not acceptable to others.
Perhaps I’ll never know, but I’m now in the process of looking at other areas of my life that are quite possibly stories that I can eliminate also.
What stories do you tell about yourself that just maybe aren’t true? Where do you tell yourself ‘I can’t do that because…..’