Ever feel like your stories are trying to kill you?
What’s your story? And can you change your story?
In my world, your story is the set of conditioned beliefs that you believe to be true. These are the beliefs that you inherited from countless generations before you, that you absorbed from your community, and took on from your peers. And actually, by the time you are hitting your stride in your mid-30s, your story is firmly in place. These conditioned beliefs are driving the bus, and your sweet, well-intentioned conscious mind is virtually powerless to override. Sometimes it can feel like the bus is awfully close to the cliff’s edge.
And if you are human, having a human experience, then I hate to break it to you, but most of your story is total BS, as are the beliefs that create your story. And your story might even be trying to kill you.
OK, maybe that’s a little extreme. Our stories aren’t really trying to kill us, are they?
We have so many thoughts each day, and a great many of them are really not helpful, now are they? It can be crazy making, I know.
But not just crazy making. In addition to bringing us way down, these stories can actually be damaging our health.
When we go down the Habit Hole, and get on the BS Belief Bus, we are sending powerful messages to our Central Nervous System. Messages that down-regulate our immune system, our digestive system, our circulatory system, all of it! And instead, it ramps up our “fight or flight” response, gives us a stress belly, and diminishes our ability to rest and repair.
And just because I help people fix their stories, heal the damage (physical, emotional, and psychological) the crappy ones have wrought, and move on to create powerful lives, it doesn’t mean that my own stories don’t creep up in my life. They do. All. The. Time.
Examples of stories (aka beliefs) that are out to get you:
Your friend doesn’t message you back.
The Story: I must have done something wrong here. (I am a bad person.)
The checking account is running on fumes.
The Story: Life is a struggle. I’ll never feel financially secure. (I am not enough.)
You (I mean, I) don’t sleep well for a few nights.
The Story: What’s wrong with me? Do you think it’s a tumor? (I am broken.)
Your boss doesn’t give you feedback right away on your presentation.
The Story: I must have missed something critical, and she doesn’t know how to tell me I really messed up. (I am bad.)
What do all these stories have in common? The stories that are out to get us will always limit our potential, and they also cause a stressful biochemical response in the body.
The stories that affirm and empower us will always make us feel lighter, more expansive, and full of possibility.
Want to know how to change your story?
I’m so glad you asked!
Step One: Practice Awareness
We’ve got about 70,000 thoughts running through our grey matter each day, most of them below conscious awareness, and worse, about 70% of them are limiting or self-negating. Start paying attention to what’s going on under the hood.
Pro Tip: Begin to notice your emotional state. Reverse engineer the situation to find out what thought(s) or experience(s) triggered the emotional reaction, or physical body sensations.
Step Two: Practice Acceptance
We can’t outrun or hide from our story. We do a great job of numbing, distracting, or otherwise resisting the painful or shadow aspects of our story, but these tactics never work for very long, and they usually escalate into more damaging and increasingly self-negating strategies.
Pro Tip: Once you become good at noticing what you are feeling, you will naturally stop resisting or trying to hide from those feelings when you invite them to the table. I talk a lot about this here in my series on confronting our fear. What we resist will only persist, so make a little space for the discomfort and then watch it dissipate.
Step Three: Change Your BS Stories
The stories that have created the deep-seated patterns in your life sometimes need to be rewritten. The cool thing is, you get to be the author! Pay attention to patterns and knee-jerk reactions that have become habitual for you. Look at your relationships, your finances, your love life, your work life. What can use a rewrite? Become the observer to what’s happening at a meta level in your life, and then start to break the stories down.
Pro Tip 1: Use The Work (Byron Katie) to question your beliefs.
Pro Tip 2: Work with a Master PSYCH-K® facilitator (that’d be me!) to shift those beliefs, change your story, and get the bus heading to where YOU choose.
Curious about Mindset Mastery and how to change your story and your life?
I wrote a post on Mindset Mastery just for you! And reach out for a complimentary call with me to learn more about PSYCH-K®, how it works to change lives, and what you can expect from working with me.
And just in case you think perfectionism helps you be the best version of yourself, read this.