(Estimated reading time 3 1/2 minutes)
Do you have a self-defeating story that you’re tired of owning?
These old stories become the incessant natter in our heads, the lies masquerading as truth, the illusions that become our reality. They play as the soundtrack to our lives, sometimes present for so long we no longer hear them, until one day we do, and in the hearing, we open the door to possibility. Our choice – to keep believing the old, soul-diminishing story or boldly create a new one.
I’m thinking about old stories this week. I got tired of owning one of mine. Sick and tired, actually. I’ve known about it for a long time, but old stories are persistent and pervasive. It’s not enough to gently walk away or kindly ask the old story to back off. These are the kind of stories that grab hold of us ferociously and will not easily let go. Still, if we want it badly enough, it is possible to shake them loose.
One of my old stories is that I can’t function with any degree of excellence without a plan (and a backup plan). Somehow being an organized person has morphed over the years into dependency on having a plan and sticking to it. There’s a kind of rigidity to it, a diminishing of capacity as I seek to rely on the planning, the practice, the envisioning of all potential pitfalls. The thing with these kinds of self-diminishing stories is that from the outside they may not make sense to anyone else, but inside you know this story is something that no longer serves you. You know that what could have started out as helpful is now hurting you, hampering your growth and keeping you in a container that is too small.
This is the week I figuratively lit a stick of dynamite and blew up my old story. It was the only way. I knew it was time. I blew it up in service of creating a more fluid, less fearful version of me. I blew it up because I am ready to start listening to the wisest, boldest, most creative part of myself that says I am enough for what comes, and I can act on it. I blew it up in service of my coaching clients, and my ability to show up powerfully present to whatever is here now. I blew it up in service of the vision I hold for myself.
The catalyst for blowing up the old story was my final CTI coaching course, Synergy. It was time to pull together all the skills I have learned through the other courses, time to integrate a lifetime of working with people, the knowledge from my social work degree, my work with Toastmasters and my unique giftedness. It was a weekend full of moments to step bravely into the new story.
Here’s are some steps that could help you if you want to create your own new story:
- Awareness of your old story is the first step. One of my instructors, Kristen Bentley quoting the other instructor, Lorry Schneider, said it like this, “Awareness of *saboteur is the exquisite moment of choice.” (*The saboteur is the voice of our inner critic, a voice that always diminishes us.)
- Make the decision to create a new story.
- Decide on the vision for your new story. In my case, instead of sticking to a rigid plan I wanted to embrace my ability to be flexible and dance with whatever shows up in the moment.
- Taking action that is in alignment with the new version of you – not just one act, but consistent choices to start building your new muscle.
Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible. Francis of Assisi
I’m a writer and coach, who is passionate about helping ordinary people move beyond what is holding them back so that they can live extraordinary lives. You can connect with me here or learn more about coaching with me.