In this week’s episode of Your Freedom Unlimited we’re talking about how to change the negative stories you are telling yourself. Why? Because these stories take a lot of energy and focus away from what we want to achieve in our lives. To help you turn these stories around I’m sharing practical steps here. As there’s a lot to cover this is going to be a two-part episode.
This episode follows on from Episode 11 where I asked you one of the most important questions I’ve ever asked myself which was: What type of stories are you telling yourself – about yourself and your life?
What do I mean by this?
Every day of our lives we are telling ourselves thousands of stories about ourselves and our lives.
They can be very simple stories – such as if it’s a sunny day it’s going to be a great day because it’s sunny OR if it’s a cloudy rainy day then that means a miserable day.
And they can be incredibly complex stories like I’m not good enough for that job because I don’t have a degree or I’m not good at relationships because I’ve had bad experiences.
Why Is This Important?
Because the stories we tell ourselves actually have a huge bearing on our lives. I’d go so far as to say they determine whether we have a happy or a difficult life.
Why? I explain this in a lot of detail in Episode 11. But in a nutshell there are four reasons:
1. Our stories can carry so much emotional energy that they determine our thoughts, our actions and our behaviours. Someone toots us in traffic … where do all of us almost automatically go?
2. Our stories can trap us and rob us of opportunities. For example, if I tell myself I’m not good at art what opportunities could I be missing out on? I used to tell myself that, but a few years ago I started painting, exhibited my pictures, and even sold them!! I’ve painted a picture of my father when we went horse-riding in the Snowy Mountains and he loves it – because it reminds him of a wonderful family trip together. Every time he looks at it he remembers the time we spent together as a family. So it’s really lucky I didn’t buy into that story of not good enough or I would have robbed us of the enjoyment of great memories.
3. We can slip into autopilot into society’s stories and conditioning – we can get caught up in what society says is right Vs what is most important to us. My interview with Jay Rothman on Episode 3 of Your Freedom Unlimited on his pursuit of the American dream is a perfect example of this.
4. The kind of story that we tell ourselves about one situation can be repeated in many others throughout our lives – an example of this is the story I told myself as a child about my ability to do maths and sport. I found those patterns of not good enough repeated throughout my adult life until I actually got conscious enough to do something about them.
Our Stories Can Set Us Up As Victims
Another reason we must get super-conscious about the stories we tell ourselves, is that very often in our stories we become a victim to some other situation, person or circumstance.
To understand more of the power of our stories listen to Episode 11.
So How Do We Change The Negative Stories We Tell Ourselves?
There are a few steps so I’m going to share the first five here today and then the rest in Part Two next week.
Step #1: Become Aware Of Our Stories
Just becoming aware of your stories is an amazing first step. Simple awareness will help reduce their impact on your life.
Einstein said a problem well stated is a problem half solved and I completely agree with him.
So start to pay attention to your inner dialogue – what exactly are you saying to yourself about yourself? What are you saying to yourself about your life? What are you saying about others and how they are treating you?
Step #2: Understand We Are Telling Ourselves Stories That Don’t Serve Us
Even though our stories may feel like a comfortable old pair of shoes – just like shoes that go beyond the point of no repair – the comfort factor is not serving us. If we stay in our comfort zone we’re not growing or expanding – we can actually contract.
And the truth is – we’re all running stories in our lives that are just no longer serving us. Some are simple and some are more complex.
Have you ever avoided a food just because you didn’t like it as a child? That is me and Kiwi fruit. I avoided them for a long time because I didn’t like how the seeds felt in my teeth as a child – but they are so, so good for you! So full of vitamin C, fibre and lots of good stuff. I had one last week and I said to myself ahhh – they are so good but I’ve avoided them all this time just because of the seeds!
Or maybe you’ve kept on eating food that might not make you feel good but you keep eating it?
Have you ever stayed in a job for too long and then realised later it was no good for you?
So why if we know something is no good for us – why do we keep doing it?
Ironically because of how our brains are wired. Our brain will always take the easiest course of action … we stay comfortable in our comfort zone for way too long with the old story rather than trying a new one on for size.
I’ve found understanding why our brain does what it does really has helped my clients make the changes they’ve wanted to make in their lives.
Step #3: Be Kind and Compassionate With Yourself
When you suddenly realise the number of stories you have told yourself be kind and compassionate with yourself.
There is nothing to be gained by beating yourself up. This is more wasted energy.
I remember my mother saying to me: “There’s no point crying over spilt milk”. She was right! Being annoyed, frustrated or sad puts you into more victimhood. This is a great time to practice self-compassion and kindness.
Step #4: Fully Realise You Are the Creator of Everything in Your Reality
This is a breakthrough realisation because it completely takes you out of victimhood in every single one of your stories.
When you realised you are the creator of your own reality it means you are fully responsible for everything in your life.
If you create your reality, you can make a change to that reality.
This idea is very, very liberating. This is key to the freedom I was referring to when I created this podcast. This is truly about you finding your unlimited freedom.
Yes it can be scary when you realise everything is down to you – but the benefits are so huge when you start putting this into practice that, once you start, you’ll never look back.
Everything can literally change in that part of your life.
Many years ago I started to facilitate corporate workshops – training people in communication, leadership and team building. I loved it. Some of these workshops were 4 day events where you really got to know the people and they got to know you. We had run several of these events and my clients loved them and booked repeat events. Then in one of these events I received really bad feedback from four of the 25 participants.
At the time I was mortified and devastated – I felt a complete victim because the story I told myself that I’d done my best and that my work success determined a large part of my self-worth and value in the world.
Looking back I realise it was the best thing that could have happened. I had completely created the whole situation. In the short term I took the feedback to heart and completely lifted my facilitation game.
In the longer term I realised the situation was completely created by me to give me the bigger picture realisation that my self-worth is nothing to do with my performance at work or home or anywhere! (I’ll talk more about self-worth in future episodes).
This is where you step out of victim into creator of your life. It is an amazing feeling!
Step #5: Understand Everything Is Perfect and Happens Is FOR Us.
If Step 4 was about stepping away from being a victim into a creator Step 5 seals the deal! Everything is happening for us.
You know the saying ‘it’s all good’. That is what this is all about. Everything is perfect and is happening for us – not to us!
Everything in our life, every person we meet, every experience we have has a purpose. There is a deeper meaning to everything – even the hardest things – if we look hard enough.
Have you ever heard the saying “20:20 hindsight”? Meaning when we look back we can see why things turned out the way they did. For example why you took a certain job, or why you moved to a particular place at a particular time, or why you chose to be in a relationship with particular person.
There is some deeper meaning and purpose to all of our interactions – even if from where we are sitting right now we can find that hard to see.
If I can ask you to sit for a moment in your unlimited self – as part of the wider consciousness that I spoke about in Episode 5 – that is where you start to get the bigger picture and see why things are as they are.
If this is a hard concept for you to take on – can I just ask you to open the door a crack to this new idea?
So What Story Are You Telling Yourself That You Are Going to Turn Around?
So we’ve covered five steps today on how to turn our stories around. Next week I’ll share the last few steps in this process.
For today what are the stories you’re telling yourself that you want to turn around?
Please don’t try to overhaul all your stories at once. What is one story that would make a big difference that you would like to turn around?
If you’re finding this is something you want to dig into – or need help to work out what’s going on you can contact me for a discovery call to chat about what your needs are and how we can work together.
To book your discovery call visit jenramsey.com/discovery
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And if you want some free coaching listen in …
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Stay tuned for my episode next week where I share Part Two of How to Change the Negative Stories You Are Telling Yourself.
Thank you so much for joining me today.
Please keep tuning in, there’s lots of great things coming up in the future.
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Thank you so much for your time and spending this time with me today. I look forward to talking with you soon.
About Your Host:
How to be happy and feel more confident to live a truly free and unlimited life – that’s what I’m all about. My name is Jen Ramsey and I’m a mindset and empowerment coach who’ll help you get unstuck and take action on what matters most.
If you’re ready to show up for you authentically. drop your baggage, raise your vibe, feel more confident and create a clear roadmap for your life, business or career then I can help you. Just contact me via this website!
If you’d like to feel more calm and grounded right now click here to get access to my Choose Calm Meditation & 5 Step Guide To Choosing Peace and Calm: www.jenramsey.com/calm