The Stories We Tell Ourselves

The stories we tell ourselves

Hey lovelies


How are you all doing this week?  I hope you enjoyed last week’s blog and managed to find a few things to celebrate and brag about!

This week I have been wearing a necklace that a very good friend bought me for my birthday, it’s a Dalmation crystal which is renowned for helping the wearer feel positive and I have to say it’s really working!  


I have been struggling with pelvic pain lately in this pregnancy and was feeling a bit sorry for myself but after seeing my physio and wearing this necklace, I’m feeling like a new woman!


I wanted to talk to you this week about the beliefs that we hold about ourselves and also the stories that we tell.  


In the nicest possible way, we’re quite often lying to ourselves and making up stories and taking on views that just aren’t true!  


We allow these beliefs and stories to become our reality and we lead from this place and make them our truth.  And some of the time we don’t even realise we’re doing it!

When I say that we make up say stories, I don’t mean we intentionally lie. A lot of the time one person’s interpretation of a story is different to another and the resulting narrative can often be about differing perspective.  


For example, you might have a job where you feel highly supported by your manager and think that you are well-held by her because you are doing a good job and you’re worth the support.  


Another person in your department might think that you need all of this extra support because you’re useless at your job and you get unfair favourable treatment!  

That’s a bit of a dramatic example but you catch my drift!


I told myself stories for years that were mostly detrimental to my progress and my life. 

My parents moved up north when i was eighteen and I didn’t want to go with them as my life was based on where I had grown up.  

Because of this I had to rent a property with my then-boyfriend from a young age as I couldn’t stand living with his mother.  

I stayed in that relationship despite being really unhappy because I told myself the story that I couldn’t afford to live by myself. 

I told myself that I didn’t have the confidence to date someone new.  I worried about where my two cats would go!  

Similarly, I took my driving test three times way before I was ready in an attempt to pass before my parents left.  I then put off trying again for nine years!  Nine years!  

I told myself that maybe driving wasn’t for me and I would probably fail again.  

I backed that up by telling myself that I didn’t really need to drive. After all, I lived in a town with good transport links and amenities but this was a lie because underneath that I was acutely aware that I was missing out.  

Despite being a grade-A student at school with bags of potential I found myself temping for pretty average pay.  

Why?  Because temping interviews were ridiculously easy and informal and the few times I interviewed for a permanent job and got it, I told myself that those types of interviews were far too terrifying and that it was better for me and my nerves to not bother in the future.  

I told myself I would never have the body that I dreamed of because of my sweet tooth, because I didn’t have the knowledge around what to eat and how to use the gym properly.

All of these stories did nothing except hold me back and it took a great deal of work for me to turn them around.

One day I looked out the window of a bus on my way home from a shitty journey, from my shitty job to return to my shitty relationship and I realised something had to change.  

I had to deconstruct a lot of beliefs around my confidence and capabilities and I still have to do that now; I’m a working progress!  Beliefs and stories still rear their ugly heads but I’ve learned now how to address them and reframe them etc. 

It’s more often than not about the narrative that we feed ourselves and we have no idea most of the time that this may be untrue or false.  

It’s often about which of the details you have paid attention to from an experience and how this has shaped your own story.  

Last week I mentioned that humans have a tendency to focus on the negative and when we look back at our day, we don’t always see all of the good things that have happened.  

It’s the same thing with stories; we look at pieces of a situation and create something from it based on the pieces that we have placed our focus on and paid attention to. 

Now again, there is nothing wrong with creating and telling ourselves stories!  We do it all day long!

The issue is whether we have learned to notice when we are telling these stories in a way that may not be beneficial to us (like mine weren’t) and also whether we recognise how these stories shape our lives in so many ways; our relationships and mood. 

If you have a negative story that you believe about yourself, this can obviously impact on how you see yourself, especially if you say it over and over again. 

We so often forget that we can write our own stories!

Here are some examples of stories that I’ve heard from clients:

  • I can’t tidy up my house; I’m just naturally messy
  • I can’t open a shop, I’m not business minded at all
  • I can’t lose weight, it’s my genetics
  • I can’t be emotionally stable; I’m just a fuck up
  • I can’t quit binge drinking; I’ve already tried
  • I can’t leave my husband; I’ll never cope on my own

In all of these examples, it wasn’t that my clients couldn’t achieve the change they wanted to see in their lives, it was the story they were telling themselves that kept them stuck and from achieving their desire!

So how do we change the storytelling?  

First of all, we need to acknowledge that we’re doing it in the first place! 

Have a think about the things you say to yourself about your desires, do you have any that might sound vaguely similar to the above?  Start telling yourself a new one!  

  • I am a tidy person, I can declutter my home
  • I can be healthy if I put my mind to it
  • I’m perfectly capable of managing by myself

Even if you don’t believe it to begin with, your subconscious brain doesn’t know the difference between whether it’s real or not; act like it is and your brain will come on board.  I promise you! 

Then follow these new stories up with consistent action that doesn’t overwhelm you.  

If you have a whole house to declutter and tidy, see if you can commit to just 5% of that task; tidy one room or set a timer for thirty minutes.  

At the end of each day, congratulate yourself on what you’ve done and if you have a setback, don’t slip back into telling yourself that you knew all along you couldn’t do it and that you’re useless!  

Tell yourself you’ll start again tomorrow because you know you can get back on track and do this.

See if you can start to notice the things you tell yourself.  If you have a story that makes you feel good then great!   

But if you have one that holds you back or makes you feel icky, just try sitting with the story, notice how it’s making you feel, and then notice if you have any physical sensations in your body. 

Notice that you’re caught up in the story. But try not to act on it, just stay with your awareness.

Combining the awareness of these stories with the reframing I showed you above can really help to make a difference in changing the belief system you hold for yourself!

I would love to know which stories you tell yourself which stop you from moving forward towards your goal.  Let me know in the comments!  

 

Until next week, much love

Lu x

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