Saturday, 12 March 2016

What Story Are You Spinning?

"We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world." Buddha

Within our racing minds, we are constantly typing out the tale of our lives. With each and every thought, we re-affirm what we believe, we tell ourselves the stories of who we are and what our lives are all about. And then we can watch it all unfold right in front of our eyes.

Occasionally we can get fairly fed up with this fabrication. We realise that we don't actually want to be in this particular plot anymore. It's the bit where all we want to do is put the damn book down - it's gotten kind of challenging or boring or even that little bit too real and we don't like it. We get uncomfortable, depressed and quite simply want to escape it. 

You know the one - when we get to the chapter that narrates how much we hate our jobs, how we don't feel good enough, our dreams seem out of reach, our self esteem is on the floor, we feel like we can't keep up, we don't know what to do with our lives. 
Yeah, that poxy chapter where each word seems to be in CAPITALS and bold and is screaming our inadequacy at us. 

When we realise the negative narration we've mindlessly been creating, it feels frickin' awful. Our motivation slips away, our mood crashes and we want to slam that book shut. But this is our story, these are our words.

If we want to know why we're feeling a certain way, we need to look inward and check out those thoughts that are written repeatedly. I'm stupid, I'm incompetent, I'm fat, no one likes me, I'm useless, I can't... What we think about we bring about. So naturally, if we focus on all the things we don't like in our lives, that's what we're going to see and we'll write ourselves into a miserable little rut. Each 'I am' statement affirms what we believe ourselves to be - the characters we want to create. 

I think it'd be helpful to discover our voices as authors of our own stories. Taking control over our own stories gives us the freedom to rewrite it as we wish. We can edit out the sh*t that doesn't make us feel good, we can delete all the things we need to let go of and we can begin to create the outcomes that will make us want to keep reading. 

How can we create stories we want to be a part of?

1. Stop Complaining

I actually listened to myself complaining during the week and was so uncomfortable with all the crap going through my mind, I was desperate to find the off switch. It's amazing how much complaining we can actually do, we're impeccably fluent in it. With each complaint though, we provide our problems with paragraph after paragraph of our narrative. 

Stop allowing them take up so much space on the page, they genuinely contribute nothing, they don't make us feel good and they just bring our attention to all the stuff we don't want. Replace these with what we want more of and how we'd like our story to be instead.

2. Translate to Gratitude

Whilst whining about work or our bodies or just general dissatisfaction in our lives, we can tend to forget how good we honestly have it. For each complaint we come up with, we need to acknowledge the other side of the story. 'I hate my job' can easily become, 'I am so grateful for my job'. Find a way to flip it on its head. Even if you're clutching at straws, clutch them!

For everything we have in our lives, we can take the reins as writers and choose how to describe it to ourselves. We can pick the words we wish to use about our situation. Take the time to translate the lines of the story that you don't like into ones that you'd rather. Shift away from the problem focused plot to a story that seeks solutions. A story that gratefully acknowledges each 'At Least'. At least I'm trying my best, at least I want change, at least I have what I need, at least I'm aware of how it is, at least I can learn from this.

Our language has incredible significance on our subconscious, our perceptions and our feelings. Pick the words that motivate you, the ones that highlight the positive in your life and change will begin to manifest. 

3. Check Yourself (before you wreck yourself )

Notice what story you are spinning to yourself. We have thousands of thoughts a day, we won't be able to catch 'em all. But take note. Is that really a story you'd subscribe to? One of woe and despair and self-deprecation? One where you never achieve your goals because you're not good enough. One where the protagonist is worthless and boring and no one likes them? What if you started telling yourself you were able to do what you wanted? What if, you told yourself you are good enough?

Sometimes we get so used to portraying our story a certain way that we don't even notice how warped it may be. I'd suggest checking in with those go-to thoughts and see what they're actually saying. Is this true? Or even, do we want this to be true? It's time to change the thoughts that are making your manuscript miserable. 

I think it's important to discover how much influence we truly have in our own lives. Quite often we can find ourselves feeling like a small part of a bigger picture that we have no control over. We're not these helpless little pawns though, we're not victims of circumstance and we're not lost causes. We actually have so much more scope for impact than we realise. But we've got to do something about all the bits that bother us.

Nobody wants to think that they create their own problems, that's fair and we don't need to focus on that. But we do need to establish ourselves in the position of power than we actually hold. 

Spin yourself a story that captures your heart, that makes you want more, that warms you to the main character.
 Write your own bestseller and enjoy every word of it. 





3 comments:

  1. Great piece. So true what a difference vcan be made by turning our thoughts from negative to positive, from complaining to appreciation.👍

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    1. Thanks a million Pat :) Yup it's just a difference of word choice!

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  2. One thing I did when I wanted to change the narrative in my head was to put a sign up on my mirror that said "Say one good thing about yourself". Everytime I walked past it and saw it I would stop and look in the mirror and tell myself something positive about me. Overtime it made a big difference on my personal narrative.

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Any thoughts on this? :)