You Are Not Your Story!

 

You are not your story!

Like any story – how we view ourselves is a story that is constructed or ‘made up’ often from our childhoods, our past experiences and any traumatic events that we have not healed or taken the time to identify or challenge. 

Generally, we form a view of our sense of self from around the age of 7, when something pivotal happens. It maybe that we are told something or find ourselves in an uncomfortable situation where we make up a ‘story’ about who we are. Often this perception is limiting and can be critical or even negative. We create stories about ourselves based on our interpretations about people, events, situations or experiences.

Most of us have had some trauma or abandonment or rejection from our primary care-givers (and this may even be from the most well-meaning parents), as humans who a ‘meaning-making’ machines, we construct a meaning or story to make sense of the world we find ourselves in.

For me, I recall at the age of 4 years I felt ill and uncomfortable attending my first days at pre-school, in fact, to this day I remember the distinct foreignness and feeling of ‘not belonging’. I felt ‘different’ and completely out of my comfort zone. You see my family were migrants, with little English and little money.

At the age of 4, I could not express this of course, but the feeling of ‘not belonging’ has stayed with me for as long as I can remember.

The story of ‘not belonging’ or ‘fitting in’ or ‘being accepted’ or ‘not being good enough is not only one that I identify with, there are millions of people in the world who have the very same experience.

This limited thinking about who we may have helped us to survive, but in the long-run it will not bring true happiness or joy into our lives. With a negative story or narrative running your life, you can survive life, but you probably won’t take risks or jump outside your comfort zone to take on for example, new and fulfilling jobs, relationships, adventures or whatever it is that you dream off. 

For many people who have experienced stressful events such as divorce, illness, loss of jobs it’s not unusual to retreat back into the safe survival mode.

Many people sadly live compromised or even unhappy lives simply to avoid the feelings of rejection or unrequited love or failure.

This is not who you really are, but the story you have created to survive. You may say things like “its better the devil you know” or “ things are okay, why make trouble” or “the grass isn’t greener on the other side”- these limiting thoughts keep you playing small in life. There is no freedom or growth in holding onto these old and flawed stories.

Do you relate?

If you haven’t questioned or challenged these false beliefs about yourself, then I guarantee that they will be patterns that repeat themselves and will sabotage your best efforts to find happiness, peace and success in your life. Your beliefs about yourself, guide how you live your life, what opportunities you create for yourself and what risks you are prepared to take to live your best life.

There is hope!

Thankfully, with the science of neuroplasticity, we know that we can ‘re-wire’ our brains and consciously challenge old patterns of thought that keep us stuck in unhappy or holding onto uninspiring lives. We can create new neural pathways that allow us to completely transform our lives.

Once you realise that you have the power to change your reality, it’s in that moment that have the chance to create and choose your thoughts. You can now challenge thoughts that are redundant or limiting or that may have held you back in life or kept you stuck in difficult situations or unhappiness.

For example, the moment I challenged the belief that “I did not belong here” and replaced this limiting with belief with “I am wanted and I am valued’ everything changed for me. I no longer avoided social situations or events which I knew I wanted to be part of but in the past avoided. Now I am free to engage with people, situations or define myself in a new, exciting and empowering ways.

Swapping your old stories or negative beliefs about yourself or others or the world you live in is crucial to living your best life ever.

your story does not define you

Daily Practice!

There is no quick or simple way to change your self-limiting thoughts. It takes a daily practice of conscious mindfulness to create new and positive neural pathways. The way it works for me is through a practice of daily meditation which reminds me that I am not my thoughts!

I choose to meditate with compassion and gratitude and consciously calm my frantic and busy mind.

In time I have realised that my brain doesn’t know the ‘truth’ – whether I have negative or positive thoughts, my brain will simply believe what I tell it. I choose to tell my brain that I am worthy and belong wherever and whoever I am with, this is my truth, which becomes my new reality.

For example, if you’re sitting an exam and feel confident and positive that you will perform well, it’s no surprise that the exam experience and result will be far better than if you believe that you’re hopeless and doomed to fail.

Changing your mindset from negative to positive is the key to you living a healthier, happier and wealthier life.

Dr Martin Seligman, the founder of positive psychology, conducted a study with over one million participants at the University of Pennsylvania. He and his colleagues discovered that a positive attitude is the best indicator of success and achievement.

“The defining characteristic of pessimists is that they tend to believe that bad events will last a long time, will undermine everything they do, and are their own fault. The optimists, who are confronted with the same hard knocks of this world, think about misfortune in the opposite way. They tend to believe that defeat is just a temporary setback or a challenge, that its causes are just confined to this one case.”

 – Martin Seligman, Learned Optimism, 1991.

Working with a Life Coach!

Many people assume that the purpose of a life coach is to motivate and support individuals to meet their goals. Although this is true, the primary reason for working with a life coach is to help you break old and negative pattern that may be interfering with the way you run your life, your business, children or relationships. 

A life coach is someone who helps you re-interpret, re-construct and challenge the negative and self-limiting beliefs that hold you back.

Challenging beliefs that have been created in our childhoods is not easy, but with consistency practice and commitment it is achievable and as you see the results of your efforts your motivation will continue, as will the happiness in your life.

 

Your choice!

Your happiness and success in life is your choice. It’s how you choose to view the stressful, challenging or life-changing events in your life to make you grow stronger, healthier and better in every way. 

If you want to know more about the benefits of a happy and healthy divorce, then email pamela@healthydivorce.com.au for more information.

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Disclaimer: This article is not intended to replace any specific advice from a lawyer, counsellor or any other medical professional. The article is general information only.

 

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