Whether we realize it or not, many of us walk around in life telling ourselves a story about who we are. This ‘story’ we tell ourselves and sometimes subconsciously live by, tends to determine how we view ourselves, what we think others think about us, and how we behave.
When I was younger I used to believe that I was not good enough and that I was not special enough to have great things and that being successful was not in the cards for me. I told myself this story because of some of the negative things I experienced as a child. I also told myself this story because of some of the bad choices I made as a young adult. And because I told myself this ‘story’, anytime anything ‘bad’ ever happened to me, I viewed it as a fulfillment of a ‘prophecy’ I had given myself, which was: ‘I do not deserve good things and true success is not in my future.’ (Depressing, I know. And having written it out just now makes me cringe!)
So, what did I do? How did I let go of my old story and write a new one for myself? Everything started to change for me once I read the book Choice Theory by Dr. William Glasser (I know I have mentioned this book many times in my previous posts/articles, and it is because I am grateful for how the Choice Theory tools have changed my life.) After reading Choice Theory I realized that any time I thought of or felt angry about some of the negative experiences I had as a child or young adult, I was allowing for these past experiences to have control over me. In other words I was allowing the ‘story’ to tell me. Once I realized this I started to take control over my thoughts and feelings. Anytime I thought of and/or judged myself for a negative past experience or choice, I stopped myself and said to myself: ‘Hey Jenny, listen: what ever happened, happened already. It is done with. Anytime you think of it, YOU are bringing it back into your life and allowing that ‘story’ to ‘tell you’ and have control over you and what you believe about yourself and what you are capable of.’
So I took this on as a practice: I stopped myself anytime I brought a thought into my mind about a negative experience I had in the past. The more I took control of my thoughts, the more free and happy I felt. And the more free I felt, the more power I realized I had to create the future I wanted for myself. Once I realized that I was the author of my story I realized that I get to decide what my future holds for me. I started to ‘paint the picture’ of what I wanted my future to look like and I have never looked back since.
I no longer believe that my past negative experiences or ‘bad’ choices that I made define who I am or what the future holds for me. I know that when and if I do define myself by those things, I am allowing that ‘story’ to have control over me. But when I take my future into my own hands and ‘author’ my own story, I choose who I want to be and I choose what it is that I accomplish. My choices are better and clearer, I am confident in what I know I can accomplish, and I go out and do what is required of me to create the reality that I want for myself. That is true for my career, in my relationships, and in the way that I parent.
And the same is and can be true for you too. No matter what you have been through, you can change your story. You can take your life and your future into your own hands and write your story the way you want it to be and the way you want it to look. It takes practice, commitment, and determination to ‘let go’ of the story you were/are allowing to tell you about you and what you deserve. Practicing will help you let go and be free to ‘put pen to paper’ and write your own story, the way you really want to tell it.
Here is one simple practice you can do to help you let go of your ‘past’ and get you more focused on your future:
Start becoming aware of your thoughts. Listen to your thoughts and to what they are telling you. Recognize when you are thinking about something in your past that makes you feel angry and stuck. Stop and remind yourself that whatever happened happened. It is out of your control. Gently remind yourself that when you are thinking these thoughts, you are bringing it back into your life and allowing these thoughts to have control over you. Recognize that just as you are bringing these thoughts into your mind, you can also let them go. You can choose to stop thinking about these thoughts. By consistently doing this practice, you will ultimately free yourself up so that you can get unstuck and take control over your future.
I know that this work can be difficult and I am here to support you. Please feel free to contact me anytime with any questions you may have.
And if you are looking for someone to support you in helping you let go of your ‘old story’ and move forward in creating your ‘new’ story, contact me to set up a complimentary 45 minute consultation so that you can hear more about how I have helped others and can help you do that.
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Have an incredible day!
In support and admiration,