Why The Stories You Tell Yourself Matter
I love getting lost in a good story — I was a sociology major in college, worked in marketing and am an avid reader (book recommendations welcome!). Hearing or watching a great story unfold transports us to another place and time and allows us to get lost in another world. I believe there’s a special kind of power in storytelling — especially the stories we tell ourselves.
As a Mindset and Leadership coach, I often talk with my clients about the stories they are telling themselves and why they matter. You know the ones I’m taking about… the stories on repeat in our minds and the scripts we seem to have memorized when we talk about them with friends, family or colleagues. For example: “I’m not a good public speaker” or “ I’m not smart enough to get that job” or “I’m a bad communicator”. The words we use and the way we tell our story are usually almost identical (seriously — if you’ve never noticed before, you will now!), getting further and further engrained into our psyche. As a professor of mine once shared, “Practice makes permanent, not perfect.” The more we tell ourselves this story, the more permanent it becomes and the harder it is to break.
Here’s the thing — our stories are our thoughts, mindset and outlook relabeled in a prettier package. And as I’ve shared in earlier posts, our thoughts create our reality! When you find yourself thinking or speaking aloud a negative narrative on replay, it’s time for a mindset shift.
It’s time to start telling yourself NEW stories — ones that benefit you, boost your confidence and honor your value, worth and strengths.
For example: instead of stopping short at “I’m a bad communicator”, how can you write another chapter? Perhaps it’s “I haven’t always been a great communicator, but it’s given me a great opportunity to learn something new and hone in on where my growth opportunities lie. At the end of the day, my desire to better communicate with my colleagues has made me realize how important strong relationships and connections are to me — especially at work.” Or, perhaps it’s something entirely different. The point is that we can just as easily benefit from the stories we tell ourselves and others rather than put ourselves down or suffer as a result.
How are the stories you tell yourself a disservice to your growth? How can you rewrite the script?
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