The Power of a Story!

I’ve been pretty busy with all sorts of things-clients, house projects, family….and been amiss in connecting for a while.

Well, that’s my story anyhow.

Let’s talk about the stories we tell ourselves–and others!

The Power of A Story!

When you look at this picture, what comes to mind for you?

Are you thinking:

  • she’s crazy-that’s dangerous?
  • wow, wish I had the guts to do THAT?

Or

  • that looks like fun?

There are many other “stories” you could tell about this photo, and since you don’t have much information, just the photo, you really are making it up, aren’t you?

Well, we make up stories about our lives all the time!

Now you may argue that we have lots more information than a photograph about our own individual lives….and you’d be correct.

Nonetheless, it’s all a “story.” It’s what we tell ourselves and what we tell others.

Just like the stories that were read to us as children.

Remember being totally engaged in the characters, the plot, and listening in anticipation of what was coming next?

Still happens, even when watching a movie, tv program or reading a novel, right?

We get engaged and feel as if it’s real in the moment. In fact, our bodies are responding as if it’s “real.” Our subconscious minds are taking it in as if it’s all happening and sending out the appropriate biochemicals in response.

With a movie, tv or a novel, we can consciously remind ourselves it’s “just” a story, even if we felt sad and cried, or scared and had our heart beating wildly…..we remember it’s “just a movie, book….”

Your subconscious naturally listens to the “stories” you tell yourself about your life…and reacts accordingly.

If you keep telling the story of how awful and unsafe the world is, for example, you better believe your subconscious is engaged and is going to make sure you are in a hyper alert state of being vigilant and ready to fight, flee or freeze to protect you. It’ll do its job and send out all those stress hormones to support you in being prepared for the impending harm you’ve shown in the “movie story” of your mind.

Whatever story you tell yourself, as well as to others, about your health, your abundance (or lack of), your relationships, or anything in your life, it imprints upon our subconscious.

This imprinting allows this story to be “real.”

Now, this could be a good story that does your body mind and spirit good…or it could be a story that takes you down the road of despair, stress and feeling tense, worried and even depressed.

So, the moral of THIS story is….be mindful of the stories you tell yourself and your world.

Are they empowering or do they keep you stuck in the same rut of behaviors and feelings?

My story of being busy and having lots going on is definitely “true.”

And…it’s a story about not doing something that can take a lot of my time, energy and creativity.

It’s also a story about procrastinating. Yup-sometimes, we tell one story to not tell another more truthful one.

I really do like writing, but I’ve told myself during this time that it takes too long. I made up a whole lot of “stuff” about it. And, then it kept getting put off.

So, I’ve told myself a true story now–and you as well. And, I don’t like to admit to something that seems like it’s not a “good” behavior.

And, procrastination happens. To all of us-even to someone who writes articles about it and helps others stop procrastinating.

It happens because it’s the protective subconscious wanting us not to feel the “pain” of doing something we think is “hard” or “time consuming” or whatever other “story” we’ve told ourselves about it.

So, not only is it beneficial to be mindful of the stories you tell due to their impact on your subconscious, it also opens the door to the story of the stories!

I know-that’s a mind-full, eh?

Here’s a way to quickly check in and discover how your “stories” are impacting you:

  • Get quiet
  • Take a few deep breaths.
  • Ask yourself: “how does telling this (story) have me feel?”
  • Pay attention to your body
    • Is it tense anywhere?
    • Uneasy?
    • Does it feel calm, serene, at peace?
  • Be an observer-not a judge-just listen and observe.
  • Then ask yourself:
  • What can I learn from this story?
  • What can I do to tell a different story (if you want a more empowering one)

By doing this short and easy process, you’ll be surprised how much more aware you become of the stories you tell yourself….and how some of them, certainly not all of them, may need some re-writing!

And, when you re-write-be sure to tell yourself a good and empowering story!

Oh, and my story about my how much time it takes to write and keep in touch-I’ve re-written it. It’s now a story about how easily I can write in short chunks of time and be done in no time at all!
Now I’m itching to write again!

Enjoy being an observer of your stories and perhaps you’ll share how this story impacted you!

Sharing below is welcomed!

P.S. Photo up above is me climbing a few years ago. Prior to that, I had a “story” of  “it’s too hard…and more.

Ask me sometime about my story on backpacking!

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