When the stories we tell ourselves no longer serve us


It has happened again to me. I am sure it has happened to you at least once. For me the “IT” are the stories I have told myself over and over again. They come to the surface when I am alone and lost in my thoughts. Or they appear when I look like I am daydreaming. Yet, these thoughts are nothing like a dream. They are very disconcerting and can upset one’s sense peace and equilibrium. Someone perhaps a parent, teacher, partner, or even by ourselves we have ingrained these ideas into our very essence. This thinking does not feel separate and apart from us. Rather these thoughts encompass us. These thoughts are not positive and they certain do not uplift us.

There are all kinds of other half-truths or lies we tell ourselves. I am not smart enough. I am not a good enough spouse, parent, or child to my own parents. I cannot make my dreams into a reality. I am unlucky. I do not have what it takes. The people who do have what it takes are mentally stronger than I am. I am lesser than others. I am not of worthy of whatever I want. To all of this I say slow down, not so fast.

How do you know your thoughts are true? What evidence do you have to support your opinions about yourself? Do you have good and loving relationships with your children, parents, or spouse? Have you stopped dreaming of what you and your life could fully be? Have you tried really throwing yourself into making your dreams a reality? Have you consulted with people to get expert advice to obtain your goals? Have you taken a class just to maximize your potential growth and achievement?

Now let’s say you truly know that you could have a better relationship with a loved one. Perhaps your conversations only skim the surface. The emotional connections and depth you crave are not taking place within this particular relationship. I know what this is like. There was a time when I actually pulled away from someone I loved because the relationship felt shallow and meaningless. I thought that by speaking less frequently we would have more to say to one another when we did communicate. It was a mistake for me because by speaking less often we didn’t seem to have the basis for a true and honest dialogue. I know there are things you can try to make the interactions more to your liking. I have tried them with good levels of success. While not every relationship will grow deeper, from my experiences nine out of ten times with effort, and the right type of effort relationships will become enriched. A good place to start might be to speak to the person more frequently. When you do you could ask them more meaningful questions about themselves and their pursuits. You could also open up more of yourself and be slightly vulnerable about what is going on with you and your life. Taking a genuine interest and opening up both go a tremendous way in deepening relationships. If your relationship becomes more to your liking then you have corrected something important to you. I implore you to update the story you tell yourself to a the newer and better version. If you genuinely exerted energy trying to modify the friendship and it did not workout the way you hoped you also should rewrite the story you tell yourself in a positive manner. In this case you should praise yourself for a valiant effort. When we are dealing with others sometimes we cannot get things to improve. But we should always acknowledge our efforts and growth.

At times the lies we tell ourselves are deeply buried. Sometimes we do not even want to acknowledge that we thought our lives would turn out differently than they have. In a sense, we delude ourselves from thinking about our past and our former passions. I suppose we all have dreams in which once upon a time we thought we would make an impact on the world. I used to think I would be an award winning a journalist. I would uncover situations in which people were suffering, or corruption was going on in the government or in medical care. I thought people needed to know about these issues and I would be the one to break the story. I really didn’t have the bravery that it took to go to war torn parts of the world in my early and mid-twenties. Back then, I was actually pretty timid in unknown situations. I didn’t have the forcefulness to get into people’s faces with a microphone or recorder. I did try on this career while I was in college when I worked at a local television station. I discovered it wasn’t a good match for who I was at that point in my life . It was a dream and I haven’t forgotten that it was my dream.

The wonderful thing about dreams is that they can be revisited and adapted. A new version can come to fruition. I have taken a writing class and I plan on taking more. There is nothing like learning from experts when it is what you want to learn and become. When I was younger there was no such thing as blogging or becoming a self published author. Now they both exist. They are both possible and I have begun to make the updated version of my dream come true possible as a blogger. So far as a blogger I have not interviewed anyone, but; I am sure that if that is an avenue that I would like to pursue I will make it happen. I also had another dream in which I wanted to do something in the helping professions. Today there is a relatively new career which is working as a life and career coach. I went back to school to earn that certification as well.

My point of all this isn’t to say “Oh, look at me. I am fabulous. I can do anything I want to do”. My point is that I have honestly felt that I cannot make my dreams into a reality. I am unlucky. I do not have what it takes. The people who do have what it takes are mentally stronger than I am. I am lesser then others. I am unworthy of whatever I want. These statements are difficult for me to put out into the world knowing that anyone could read them. Yet, I think they are of immense importance to state them because we all feel lesser or overwhelmed at times. We all tell ourselves half truths and even lies about our most precious person, ourself. Often we do not know where or how to begin. Sometimes we do not remember our dreams. There are times we cannot even identify what we want to do with our lives or what we want to be. In those instance we feel frozen or locked within ourselves.

For many years I used to say “I am not sure what I to be when I grow up”. Let me assure I was already very much an adult when I was saying this. I had bills, a house, and a family. I was working but not very fulfilled creatively or professionally. I knew something had to change. For years I didn’t know what direction this would take. I didn’t know if it would ever happen. I do not know if you believe in the universe aligning, God, or using determination and your will to make things happen and transform. I believe in God. I believe in the universe aligning with God. But, mostly in cases where change and tenacity are required I believe in deep down soul searching. I know what it feels like to go through true, profound internal searching that takes us to places where comfort no longer resides. It is from the discomfort that you arrive at the spot that feels bare and almost raw. You then are able to be completely honest with yourself. It is within this space in your mind where you let go of what others will think of you. In this space you realize what decisions mean the most to you. I know it is important to believe that your drive, fearlessness, and backbone will see you through the days in which you say to yourself “what have I gotten myself into?” On those days which I have often, I use my dedication to my goals. I summon the courage of my convictions to myself and to my dreams to stick with it. I do so because living this one life in the most purposeful and dynamic way is my gift to those I encounter and to myself. I also know that I deserve to rewrite my stories which will make me happier and more successful. You are worthy of rewriting your stories too.

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