You tell stories all day long…about everything.
Stories include the meanings you attach, the conclusions you make, the assumptions you assume, the feelings you have and the feelings (and thoughts) you think someone else has.
Stories are often based on the beliefs that you have.
Stories are the things you think and talk about.
The stories that you tell can include and are not limited to:
The government is…(doing the best that it can with what it’s got, trying to control us, sucks and is out to ruin this country).
My kids are… (cooperative, lovely, monsters, downright annoying).
I am...(smart, insightful, good at, bad at, stupid, not good enough).
He/she/they are...(interesting, fun, gorgeous, clever, not-like-me, odd, mean, ignorant a-hole).
My job is…(awesome, the best ever, I hate it I wish I never had to come back here again).
My childhood was…(happy, playful, downright shitty).
My employees are…(great people, brilliant, trustworthy, unreliable, irresponsible).
I feel guilty because…(I’m not always patient with my kids, I don’t call my family, I didn't do what I said I would).
No one understands…(me, us, them, what I want).
I feel ….(insert here a way you consistently feel about something because you keep telling the same story about it).
You talk (or think about) a person and make up stories around their behavior, what they said and why they never like your FB posts.
You tell stories about why you're the way you are, why that person is achieving the success you want, or why you can never have (fill in the blank) like other people do.
You make up stories about what's right or wrong, what someone must be thinking or feeling, why something is happening, why something is horrible, or why things aren't going well for you.
You tell stories about your health, your body, and your abilities or lack thereof.
The more you tell them, the easier it is to keep telling them.
Picture two pit fires. One's on the left and one's on the right. You keep adding sticks to the one on the right while you ignore (for most the part) the fire on the left. Over time, the fire on the left dies-off because you're not adding more sticks to it while the one on the right keeps burning strong because you do keep adding sticks to it.
In this example, any story you tell is like adding more sticks to your fire - it keeps it alive, active and burning strong. If you stop adding sticks (or add fewer sticks), thereby giving it less attention, that fire will eventually stop existing.
If you want a fire to stop burning, logic would have you know to just let it be and tend to the one you want to keep burning strong.
Whatever stories you repeat is like adding more sticks to the fire.
When you recount unpleasant experiences or talk (or think about) things that don't feel good - even if they're "true" - that's you adding more energy to those stories and keeping them alive (adding sticks to the fire).
When you recall or narrate pleasant experiences and tell stories about what you want to participate in and what feels good to you - even if they're not "true" yet - you add more energy to those stories and keep them (or have them become) your reality.
If you want a clue to the kinds of stories you're telling (you are telling them), have a look around your life. The stories you tell consistently show up as "patterns" in your life. You know... those things that keep happening; those things that don't change, don't go away, or things that just get better and better.
The stories that you tell - truth, fact, or fiction, affect you right now.
Whether you’re talking or thinking about your “actual” reality or about what happened recently or in times past; how you tell your story and what you tell is creating your present and laying ground for things to come.
You don’t have to tell fibs about what happened or what-is and you certainly don’t have to cover up how you feel.
But...maybe you want to get more selective about what stories you do tell.
Maybe you want to give some thought to how the stories you're telling (what you're talking and thinking about) feel to you.
"True" or not...
Which fire do you want to give energy to?
Think of your stories as being moldable and changeable.
Your stories don't have to be static.
You're the one making the stories up.
You have all of the creative control.
Things happen. You live through stuff. You move through time. You learn, make decisions, draw conclusions.
Maybe what-was is what-was, but you can decide to tell your stories for one reason and one reason only - because of how they feel to you.
If you do, you'll change your life.
Either don't tell the stories that don't feel good (stop adding sticks to that fire), or decide to tell them in ways that feel only-if-ever-so-slightly-better (add fewer sticks to that fire).
Your stories can evolve into different ones.
You're likely to feel as awkward as you would feel if you were learning a new language. You may feel compelled to add details to justify your version of the stories...but try - at least try - not to do that.
Do something different. Talk and think about something else instead.
Or take a nap.
Why? For your benefit.
If you want your life (or things) to change, you must tell different stories.
Tell stories of what you want to live, have, be, do, experience and see.
Tell stories that feel good.
Tell stories about your kids that make you laugh.
Tell stories that enhance your confidence and sense of well-being.
Tell stories about people, pets and things that you easily love.
The stories that don’t feel good, tell less often and over time, you’ll be less inclined to tell them at all. (Remember...??? That fire will burn out if you stop adding sticks to it).
You’re going to tell stories; we all do, all day long.
Decide to sift through your book of stories and pluck out the best-feeling ones. Tell them over and over again. Make up new stories that feel good and soon you'll have books-full of good-feeling stories to tell.
Your life changes according to the stories you tell.
Nothing changes if you keep telling the same stories.
That's worth thinking about...