What sort of stories do you tell yourself about your past?
What do you tell yourself about what happened to you and how you coped in 2020?
If you ask others to tell you how they will remember 2020, from their point of view, chances are that they will each have a different story to tell.
It all depends on perspective. We all know that when we ask five people who experienced the same event, to tell someone else about what happened to them, we’ll get five different stories. We all interpret what happens to us in different ways.
The way we interpret our past influences how we react in the present and our reactions determine our future.
2020 was a difficult year for all of us. There is no denying that. We could not control what happened to us, but we can control how we interpret and thus remember what happened in 2020. Now would be the perfect time to look back and decide how YOU are going to remember 2020.
If I ask you, what was 2020 like for you, what would your reply be? What would be the story you will tell in future about what happened in 2020?
Think about it for a moment.
Would you say something like, “We had to cope with a lot of uncertainty. I did not lose anyone I loved, but I regret now not using all that free time to contact those I care about more often. I regret not using the time to learn something, a new language maybe…”
Stop right there.
By saying this, you are sabotaging your future. We sabotage our future by
- Over-criticising our own behaviour. It WAS a difficult year, but you DID cope. Looking back, it is easy to criticise yourself for not coping better, but in doing so you are damaging your self-esteem.
- Comparing ourselves negatively to others. Some of us did indeed cope better than others, but comparing yourself to your more pro-active friend who started a thriving business during lockdown is not a self-empowering exercise.
- Forgetting how much we have and had to be grateful for, even in 2020.
- Trying to control our current circumstances. If 2020 taught us one thing, then it is that we cannot control what happens to us. What we can control is how we react to our circumstances.
- Not forgiving ourselves for the mistakes we made. Blaming ourselves and feeling guilty for what we should have done or not in 2020 will sabotage our future by destroying our self-confidence in the present.
How about re-writing your story about 2020 along the lines of, “In 2020, I learned a lot. It was not a pleasant experience, but it made me realise that I am much more resilient than I thought. I manage to cope with… and I am so grateful that…”
If that doesn’t work for you, how about this, “The funniest thing that happened to me in 2020 was…”
Don’t allow your memories of 2020 to sabotage your future.
I believe in the power of stories. The most powerful stories are the ones we tell ourselves. They create our reality: our past, our present and our future. – Margaretha Montagu
I have created a virtual retreat for anyone who would like to process what happened to them in 2020 so that they do not sabotage their future:
Now available: My virtual wellness retreats: Claim Your Magical Future
If you like this vignette of my life here in Gascony, you can escape to the south of France for a virtual visit by subscribing to my mailing list HERE.