This post is a tagalong to my most recent FB live video on October 9th you can see here.
Nope, I am not talking about getting stuck into the Hunger Games trilogy for the second time (hey, I totally support that!). I am talking about those fun but oh-so-destructive stories we tell ourselves - and others - that keep us low and stuck.
A story can be something you think or say over and over such as:
I will just never be good at sales. It has been that way since I can remember. My aunt used to make me work in the stock room because I was always so terrible at closing the deal. I actually liked it there better in the back of the store anyway. It was so cozy and safe, and who wants to deal with people all day anyway??
It is impossible to find high-paying clients. I always attract the kind of clients who want things for cheap or free. It is so frustrating!! I just want to go live on an island and hang out with cute, fuzzy monkeys. I bet they would pay me more than these cheap-ass clients. Maybe they will pay me in yummy bananas. Mmmm, I love bananas...
I tend to think of 'stories' as animated, full-colour narratives of our beliefs. They paint a glorious picture of what is really going on below the surface. And these stories can be addictive -- addictive to think about AND to talk about. Over and over again we tell them to anyone who will listen, because usually they get us sympathy or attention, and most importantly, they prove our beliefs to be true. And as humans, we loooove to prove ourselves right as often as possible. These stories are evidence that yup, we should just be hanging out with those damn monkeys. We may secretly dream of jetting off on a speedboat as far away from Monkey Island as possible, but nah, that is just impossible. I will stay right here where I am and keep choosing to stay married to this (often stupid) story. That way I can prove that "Ya, I suck", or "No, I can't really ever attract awesome clients" (hellllloooooo, self worth issue calling!! - and um, ya, you need to call me).
As mentioned in my FB video, all of us tend to really commit to our stories and then hammer them home whenever we get the chance. This blog post is simply to tell you to stop. Shut that down. Please and thank you.
But -- how can you get out of story time when you may not even know you are doing it?
It really is all about developing awareness. You have to start listening to your words and your thoughts. This is not always an easy task, and personally, I think this is the number one reason to work with a coach. I know in my experience, I made HUGE shifts in my business - and life - when I let go of certain stories I didn't even know I was married to (ummm... think Monkey Island).
But even without a coach, if you stop yourself once a day from fully engaging in a negative story, you will be setting yourself up for success. As soon as you notice yourself back in boo-hoo storyland, change the narrative - and for pete's sake, stop talking! I like to have a go-to positive statement to snap me out of my woe. I usually choose "I am strong, able and calm" which I took from an old Robin Sharma book. While generic and non-specific, it sweeps me back into a happy, positive headspace. Alternatively, you can choose something more specific such as, "I attract high-paying clients like a moth to a flame", or go uber minimalist with something like "Cancel, cancel!" Choose anything that is easy to remember and will tell your brain that "Oops, I didn't mean to get caught up in the Monkey Island story again - forget I said that!"
Once you begin to be aware of your stories, trust me, major goodness will start to unfold in your business - and your life. Remember: our thoughts become your beliefs and your beliefs dictate your success.
And on that note - to your brave success!
Photo: Angello Lopez