Change The Story You Tell Yourself, And You Change Your Life
“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” – Norman Vincent Peale
Yesterday, I saw this quote by accident in a bookstore near where I live. As I was walking to a bus station, a nostalgic feeling popped up from when I used to think that everyone around me was happier, smarter, and wealthier than me. It was a story I kept telling myself, and as long as I continue doing that, I continued being not enough. It took me a few years until I was able to open my eyes and change my story.
Literally, you become, and you receive what you tell your unconscious mind you deserve and think to be. The present state of your life is a direct result of the stories you tell yourself, and what you really believe to be possible. By changing all limiting stories you tell yourself, you will be able to change your life with time.
I came to realise the fake reality we often tell ourselves and its damaging effect. It took me years to break free from this, but I know there are others who are still stuck in their own made reality wanting to break free as well. So, let me share my five-steps guideline on how to change the story you tell yourself and your life.
1. What Stories Do You Tell Yourself Right Now?
The reason for this question is for you to identify limiting stories you tell yourself.
So, what is the limiting story you tell yourself? Common stories are: I’m never going to find love; I’m never going to be successful; I’m too shy to give a speech in public; I’m not going to college, because I’m not smart enough; or I’m too lazy to go to the gym. Maybe, you’re also thinking you aren’t enough.
As mentioned earlier, the present state of your life is a direct result of the stories you tell yourself. So, your perception of reality is determined by the stories you tell yourself. This does not necessarily make them real, except for the fact that you believe they are. Your story creates and orders what your attitude and how you respond to life. This is what you need to break free from.
The difference between you and the people doing and having the things that you’ve always wanted is the story you tell yourself. Changing that story is one of the most important steps to start changing your life.
2. Change It To An Empowering Story
When you have identified your limiting story, you have to change your old limiting story into a new empowering story.
Let’s take my old limiting story of not being enough as an example. For me, deciding that I am enough was my new story. As easy as it may sound, it’s not, because a new story by itself is not going to sustain. This new story needs to be fixed in my belief.
When I decided to change my story about myself, I looked around at my life for evidence whether my new story was true. For example, do friends and family think I’m enough.
3. Support Your New Story With Emotions
Supporting your new story with facts will help you believe it, but what really anchors it into your life is associating it with positive emotions and positive thinking.
What I do every morning is, I visualise how my day would look like. I visualise going to the gym and have a great workout for an hour. I visualise myself setting a cup of coffee with the sun shining brightly through the window. I visualise how I would engage readers this time with what topic and style of introduction.
By visualising and rehearsing in your mind the positive outcome will make you feel joy and look forward to what you plan to accomplish every day.
“Imagine a new story for your life and start living it.” – Paulo Coelho
4. Make It Happen
Visualising isn’t enough to make change happen. You make it happen by taking action and that’s where you really start to see change happening. Now that you have a new empowering story about your life, you’ll be able to see more opportunities in your life. You’ll also have the courage to try things that you never did before.
You will start challenging yourself more often and see things from a more positive perspective. Sometimes, you might fall back into old habits, but remember that making the effort will get you a step closer to your ideal than you were before.
“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.” – Michael Jordan
5. Don’t Beat Yourself Up
Changes won’t come as fast as you want it to be. What will happen, though, is that you will recognize the opportunities that will get you there.
Don’t be mad at yourself or others if it doesn’t happen fast enough for you, or if you fail to make the changes you want. Making slow but steady progress in the right direction every day will get you where you need to be. It’s important to be consistent.
Don’t beat yourself up if you fall back into old habits. We are often our biggest critics. Just pick yourself up and start again. It’s the ability to continue moving forward that will get you to your goal.
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