I have one all-consuming passion and that is the reading, writing and telling of stories. I feel pretty serious about my horses, my friends and pasta with pesto too, but nothing else has held my attention for as long: I suspect my love of stories and storytellers started long before I could talk.
We are all storytellers by nature. We tell each other stories every day, stories of what happened to us yesterday, last week, or since we last saw each other.
We also tell ourselves stories.
The stories we tell ourselves are powerful, much more powerful than we can ever realise.
What happened to you last month? At the time of writing, last month was January, the first month of 2021. What did you plan to do, what did you do and what did you not manage to get done?
Some of the stories we tell ourselves, make us feel good about ourselves. Others make us cringe with embarrassment. Yet others make us wish that we were never born.
We were all born storytellers.
None of us can control what happens to us, at all times. What we can control, and what we must take great care to control, is the stories that we tell ourselves about what happens to us. Most of us tend to err on the side of being too self-critical. Yesterday, I spent the day trying to make a video of myself talking about my new Facebook group, “We live purposeful, meaningful and fulfilling lives.” I spent the whole day doing it – literally -THE WHOLE DAY. By 6 p.m. yesterday, I had had it. I gave up. I don’t know how many “takes” I did, I stopped counting after 30. Sometimes I managed to say everything I wanted to say, sometimes things went wrong seconds after I started. So I told myself that I cannot do it, that it is impossible to get it right, that I have wasted the whole day. I also told myself that I am ashamed of myself for giving up.
The stories we tell ourselves shape who we are, all our life long.
So be careful, be very careful of the stories that you tell yourself.
Maybe there are a couple of the stories that you have told yourself that need to be rewritten. The story I told myself about yesterday certainly needs adjustment.
The new version could go something like this: Yesterday I spent the whole day perfecting my ability to make videos of myself, I had to overcome various challenges, like a limited choice of equipment, but I managed to get at least one relatively decent recording. Today, I am going to use everything I learnt yesterday to make the perfect recording. So there.
Does your January 2021 story need a rewrite too?
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Coming soon: Virtual Write Your Story Retreat for writers and can’t-writers