The stories we tell ourselves shape how we act and respond to life. Stories about who we are, built up over years of repetition are the strongest – and they enforce a set of rules about who we’re supposed to be, and any time we break outside of the bounds of that story we feel nervous.
Strong belief can be a massive driver for action and purpose. It can also be a massive block in a wall that’s holding you back. Often times when I work with clients it’s not effort that’s the problem. It’s a belief that stands in the way of ease with their effort.
If you’ve been putting in effort but it’s still “stop and start” it’s possible that you have two opposite beliefs. A desire about what you want, and a story that’s pulling you. When these two opposing ideas pull at each other, you make a bit of progress and then get pulled back in the other direction. It’s stop and start, forward and backward.
It’s more efficient to transcend a problem than solve it.
The simplest solution is to “drop the story.”
Easier said than done.
So frequently we hold onto these stories tightly while telling others that we’re trying to drop them. We want to change, but we’re comfortable in what’s known. Plus, without the effort and struggle who would we be? What might it be like to actually receive what we’ve chased for so long? This is frightening to our identities and so we make it harder than it needs to be.
You can start by recognizing when you’re in a story. This is likely any time you’re in struggle. Effort is needed, but not struggle. Struggle means there’s some misalignment, some narrative about the meaning of the struggle that we are finding challenging.
When you recognize you’re in the story, then you can get present to it, step outside of it, and notice it. What beliefs are you having right now? What do you know for sure is true? How are you feeling? When did it start?
Creative flow is the opposite of being in a story. Rather than get pulled by the river, you simply stand up and realize it’s not so deep. Getting present again, you can choose what to do next, rather than unconsciously being pulled in a direction. You dive back in, or walk away, or anything else that allows you to impact your surroundings, rather than be beholden to them.
We're all the creators of our lives, and a uniquely human opportunity is to rewrite the stories that we once believed about ourselves. It's never too late.
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