Check your stories TM
Learn to recognise the limiting stories you’re telling yourself, the stories that move you away from being the best version of yourself.
Watch my TEDXUniSA talk | Check your stories
Storytelling is a fundamental part of being human. We have been telling stories for as long as we’ve been communicating.
Stories can help us make sense of the world, understand ourselves and others. Think about creation and origin stories like the ones told by Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the 100 or so mythologies from around the world.
Stories can help us to define who we are and create a roadmap to lead us to the best version of ourselves, identifying opportunities as well as potential hazards to avoid along the way.
And it is our stories that create our feelings, and our feelings that create our responses to the situations we face.
Sometimes our stories about ourselves can be negative, unhelpful, limiting, and invasive. They can erode your own sense of value, your own self-worth and confidence, and cause you to step away from your goals and dreams, and from being the best version of yourself. These stories can sound like:
I don’t deserve to be here.
They’re going to realise that I’m not as smart as they think I am.
What if no one likes what I have to say
What if no one thinks this is an idea worth spreading?
I’m not good enough to be here.
I’m so stupid. What was I thinking?
I can’t do this.
Sometimes our stories about others can be just as negative, unhelpful, limiting, and invasive. These stories often take up psychological space, lead to feelings like anger or frustration. Sometimes how we respond to these stories can get in the way of productive relationships, and sometimes, how we respond can get in the way of someone else being the best version of themselves (as well as moving us away from being the best versions of ourselves). These stories can sound like:
How dare you/they....
By understanding and managing your stories, you are more likely to be able to have more control over your feelings, and therefore more control over how you respond.
And while this is a very simple idea, again backed by decades of research in cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), it takes consistent, and deliberate practice, and a commitment to being the best version of ourselves.
If you would like to know more about how stories might be holding you and others back from being the best version of yourselves, I would love to hear from you.
Equally, if you would like to share your own stories, or the strategies you use to manage your stories,
I would love to hear from you.