Is your story a fairytale or a nightmare?
Once upon a time a princess lived in a beautiful castle surrounded by wicked witches who were out to get her. She was so perfect and beautiful, kind and clever that the evil witches wanted to kill her so they could replace her and have the chance to marry the handsome prince she was courting…
We are fed fairy tales from a very young age. As little girls we’re taught about princess’ locked in towers, kissing frogs to find their prince, forgetting golden slippers, eating poisonous apples and of course always marrying the handsome prince and living happily ever after.
Storytelling is something we have done for thousands of years. History and legend are passed down through the ages, morals are taught and we are programmed to respond differently to story telling compared to other forms of oral communication (it’s true!).
So it’s not really a surprise that we naturally and automatically tell and construct stories for ourselves and others. Every experience we have becomes a story – we interpret that particular experience in our own way, construct our own version of it and the meaning behind it and it becomes a “story”.
Every experience we have becomes a story that we construct.
Photograph by Dominik Martin via Unsplash
Have you ever found that you have a different version of events to someone else who experiences the same thing as you? It’s often the case, not because one of you is right or wrong, you simply have a different interpretation – or story – of the same event.
Unfortunately not all the stories we tell, provide happy endings. It’s often the stories we tell ourselves that are the most destructive. We create stories from a young age. Over the years the stories can disappear leaving behind beliefs that are simply the remnants of stories, such as;
I can’t do that
I’m too fat / thin / ugly
I’m not good enough
No one will like me
The world is scary
I’m not lucky
I’m unloveable / unlikeable
“Our stories are powerful beyond measure. The words we say, the stories we tell, create our reality.”
Every story we create begins with a decision.
We decide how to perceive the experience we’re having and we construct the story, and then we keep telling that story to ourselves over and over and over again.
When you think about the story you’re telling yourself right now – the current state of your life – what is it that you tell yourself? Have you consciously or subconsciously created it? Was it given to you by a friend, parent or some part of society? Do you like the story/stories you tell yourself?
What words create your story?
Photograph by D Glodowaska via Pixaby
What if you don’t like the current story? Here’s how to get on the path to happily ever after and you don’t need the Prince Charming for any of them!
Encourage yourself positively
Life isn’t always plain sailing (ain’t that the truth!) but when things are tough, or outside your comfort zone instead of talking yourself down say to yourself “you know what, you got this”.
Don’t compare yourself to other people
We’re all on our own journey and you never know what other people have to face. Rather than looking at where other people are, what they have, what they do, focus on your journey and your path and celebrate how far you’ve come.
Understand it’s about the journey
There are good days, bad days and just plain shitty days. Each and every one of them serves a purpose and know that every morning is a new day and a fresh slate.
Surround yourself with good people
You are influenced by the people you have around you, so you surround yourself with people that support you, encourage you and make you feel brilliant. After all, time is precious, why would you spend it with anyone else?!
Constantly learn and grow
All of our experiences offer us an opportunity to learn something. Seek out opportunities to learn and even in challenges look for the positive lesson. It might take some time to see them, but there is a positive lesson in every experience.
Rewrite the story
If all stories begin with a decision, and you create the story, then you can change the story. You can become the hero instead of the villain, the victorious underdog, the beautiful princess, the vampire slayer. You just have to decide. And you know what, a good story gets retold over the centuries
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