"What’s your story" can be interpreted as a complete and utter pick up line, or, in this case, an introductory statement to open up a very important conversation…. here it goes.
So many of us are walking around this bright and interesting world clouded because of the negative and unproductive stories that we are telling ourselves about who we are. The huge problem is that, often, we believe our stories to be true over the reality of what truly is. Even if everyone around us see’s a kick ass, successful, driven, interesting, loving, got it all going on kinda person, and YOU don’t see that about yourself, your story “wins,” even though it sucks and is false. Your belief and conviction in your own personal story will always triumph over anything else. You will live and play out your story, not your true potential when you give your story full energy and power.
With that said, be weary of your confidence and sense of self mainly coming from external validation. The reality is that when our own self worth is dependent on external validation, it will constantly need to be coming in order for us to stay afloat and in good standing with our own worth. If we seek our worth from the outside, if we seek the story of who we are from the outside, our self concepts will begin to lessen and crack when and if validation stops coming in.
As you can imagine, this can become a bit hairy…....
Another approach that’s a sure thing in terms of honing positive and solid self worth, is to make sure that the story of who you believe you are is a good one. It’s like going to a movie. When you watch a trailer and a movie looks awful to you, my guess is that you're not going to make the effort to go see it. Why would you do that? Why would you sign up to sit in two hours of boring? On the same note, why would you commit to a negative story about your own life? A story that will play out and be your reality because that is what you believe to be true.
In order to turn things around, it's important for us to evaluate what we're telling ourselves. A good compass toward identifying what our beliefs and then stories are is to become more aware of our self talk. For instance, what are we telling ourselves all day long? What are we telling others about our life all day long? What is our inner commentary saying? Is it nice? Totally judgmental? If you discover that your inner voice is anything less than uplifting and encouraging, there is room for improvement.
Changing your story will change your reality. I honor your validating points for your old story, although if it’s not working for you, I’d rather see you put energy into creating a new, positive tape then reinvesting in your old tape that is not serving you or your current or future life.
Learning to be more of a friend to yourself rather than a bully can literally change your life. Consider taking the time to come up with some new, upward and positive beliefs about your life. Try them on. Be mindful to change your automatic thoughts of why things aren’t working for you as they come up. Simply allow them to come up, say hello to them and let them go. This is the work. For many, if not all of us, it takes effort and work to live a good life and keep it positive. If you struggle with a negative story about your life, I truly encourage you to do this work. It’s worth it.
Usually, change happens little by little, piece by piece. So, do your best each day to be mindful of creating new and uplifting stories about who you are, which will effect your future life for the better.
* The above image by Ari Moshayedi, San Diego Photographer.