Change the story, change your life!
I’ve had several reminders recently of how powerful the stories we tell ourselves can be. Especially when they’re complete works of fiction!
I love helping people re-frame their long-held negative beliefs, and I’m so privileged to witness major shifts in action as people see things in a different light and make massive changes in their life. Things they’d thought were only possible for other people.
But I’m not immune to sometimes believing things which I “know” to be completely true, when in reality they’re utter nonsense. The effect of that is exactly the same as for my lovely clients – it holds me back from the magic of possibility.
These nonsense stories can make all the difference in stagnating, or moving forward.
I attended a course recently, and unexpectedly had to prepare for one of my biggest fears. Speaking in front of a group of people. For 4 minutes. About myself! (*gulp!)
It’s something I’ve never been comfortable with, much as I love speaking one to one with people. Even though I want to turn my hand at public speaking in time, I was NOT ready for this to be sprung!
I did it of course, just as I knew I would. And yes, I was chuffed to bloody nuts for achieving it. But I finished it believing the only positive I could cling to was that I HAD done it. I didn’t think I’d done it well! I was meant to be inspiring the group with my speech, and I “knew” it was obvious to them during my speech how nervous I was. I’d absolutely nailed the uncontrollable wobbly voice and shaky hands kinda vibe!
In my mind, I could only hear: “well that’s not inspiring any bugger, is it FFS?!”
Later in the day though, one of the people who’d listened patiently and intently while I spoke approached me to tell me how well I’d done. How he ‘really admired me’! Apparently I inspired him as much with my courage as with the speech itself.
In that moment, the nonsense version of my story got binned and immediately replaced with the reminder of how showing vulnerability can be inspiring!
Instant inner story re-write!
Most people know how much I love Frozen, and reminder #2 came after I made the spur of the moment decision to go by myself to see Frozen 2 just after it was released. Until that point, I’d never been to the cinema on my own.
The story I’d told myself for years was “people’ll think I’m weird”, and “I’ll get so many funny looks”. It’d stopped me going so many times, and I missed out on plenty of films I really wanted to see.
The promise of Frozen 2 changed my thoughts to: “stuff what people think, I wanna see it!”
I was NOT sorry! I enjoyed my snack box in a luxury comfy reclining seat in the back row of the biggest screen. And I was totally alone!! Literally! I was the only person in the cinema, and I bloody loved it! It felt super indulgent, and I laughed and cried and fell in love with the second film as much as I had the first!
The whole experience obliterated the imaginary balderdash I’d believed for far too long and I’ve promised myself plenty more solo cinema dates in the future!
Our brains are powerful things.
We come up with stories which we absolutely trust and believe, often to keep us safe from whatever it is we fear the outcome will be – consciously or otherwise.
We must challenge these stories!
One of my mentors (a very good friend) is insanely good at re-framing business challenges I go to him with. He’s done it more times than I can count, helping me overcome obstacles to keep moving forwards.
Just as we challenge other people when we hold a different belief to them, it’s vital to reflect on our own thoughts and beliefs. The nonsense stories we tell ourselves really can be the thing that holds us back in survival mode.
I know these reminders may seem small and insignificant to some, but that’s the beauty of all things life-changing.