Feeling Kind of Stuck? Maybe it’s time to change your story

Feeling Kind of Stuck? Maybe it’s time to change your story
August 22, 2017

This is not an original title, it’s been used before. Change the story, Change your life. The first time I saw this in print I wasn’t too impressed and asked myself,  “What story are we talking about here? What’s the story?”

That was more than eight years ago, before following my passion to understand the power of our thoughts over our reality.

Everything is perception, everything. Perception is like beauty; it’s in the eye of the beholder. By learning to change the stories we tell ourselves about what’s happening around us, we can create positive emotions, which in turn improve our wellbeing.

Think about someone who feels like a victim (hopefully, not you). This person is blaming others or their circumstances for every problem in their life. Their misery is the fault of the government, their boss, the economy, their spouse and children or anything else except themselves.

But, if they can pause for just a moment and recognize what is happening around them – mostly out of their control – is just their perception, that can be a game changer.

Albert says A-ha!

My client, Albert, hired me to help him with job hunting, which was not going well. Instead of focusing on why everyone else was wrong for not hiring him, I brought up some of his perception issues. He wanted me to focus on his resume, and fought me on the perception thing.

The story that Albert told himself went something like: “You are too young for a director-level job. People are not taking you seriously. The economy will make it impossible for you to find a job. You are really not that experienced. Whom are you fooling? Don’t forget that your former boss betrayed you and now you can’t trust anyone, blah, blah, blah.”

Eventually, Albert had a revelation: He recognized he has a choice on how he perceives and reacts to events out of his control. He came to the conclusion the victim story he was telling himself was affecting his emotional health, his relationships and even job-hunting efforts…directly.

Once he evolved the story to one that was empowering regardless of the situation, his situation (or his perception of it) began to shift. Albert began to experience a surge of positive energy just by changing his story.

I believe many of the difficulties we face can be linked to the stories we tell ourselves about events outside our control or about the actions of people around us. The stories feel real and protective. I get it, I had a bunch of them myself, but none of my stories or Albert’s stories were producing any desirable results or getting us closer to what we wanted.

Time to Change Your Story

Here’s what I suggest:

  1. Awareness. Be aware of that voice in your head. (I call mine “Mini Mari”)  It doesn’t matter where it originated (cultural, a teacher, your mother). Just notice and learn to identify whenever that victim voice in your head is doing the talking.
  2. Listen. The voice is there to make you feel excused, safe, guarded and I suggest you listen versus shutting it down. What’s it saying? Mine used to sound like this: “Why would they listen to you? You are too old or perfect enough.” Albert’s was more like: “You are too young, nobody will take you seriously, people don’t want to pay for your services.”
  3. Give it a rating. Yes, rate your Mini Voice anywhere from empowering to totally disempowering.  Empowering helps you get closer to your goal and totally disempowering makes you think “Why bother?”  Be real here, don’t let the voice fool you back into victimhood.
  4. Shift your perspective. Ask yourself, “What if the opposite is true?”
  5. Change the story! This is not about telling yourself a lie or a bunch of positive cheesy thoughts and affirmations.  Tell yourself an empowering story. Tell the story as if the opposite were true.
  6. Own the new story. Yep, it’s yours, so own it! Say it, write it, share it. I promise you without a doubt that if you commit to this exercise at least once a day you’ll soon be closer to your goals.

My new story goes like this; “Mari, you have a powerful message and you are passionate about it. It will not resonate with everyone and that’s OK. But those who do relate will thank you for having the courage to share it.”

Evolving my story has been a game changer for me. It didn’t happen miraculously, it took some practice and the belief that I had the power to change my reality.

You do, too.

 

 

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Posted in Mindset by Mari Pizarro | Tags: , ,