The Stories We Tell (Ourselves)

I’m not going to lie, this draft has been sitting in my draft folder since December of 2017. Last year, I was very into storytelling with my big story telling performance and all. This year has been more about creativity in general and I have not needed to do a story telling performance, but I have had to tell many stories.

Telling stories is something we do every day, from sharing how our weekend went to writing a newsletter article to share with the community, or writing an organization’s Annual Report, or even when we help our 5-year-old build her make-believe story, which usually for my 5 year old involve meeting unicorns and visiting other planets.

(Side note: I love my morning and evening commutes with my daughter because she has such an active and wild imagination. I love how she makes up stories and it’s something I will continue to encourage her to do as she gets older. Imagination is something that needs to be nurtured and developed, and definitely not crushed or discouraged.)

Above, I described some examples of stories we would tell to others, but in this blog post I want to talk about the stories we tell ourselves. Many of us are not aware of all the stories that are constantly playing on Me TV up in our brains. These stories have real power over us.

Many of these stories we have acquired through our own personal lived experience, but many others have been implanted in us from our culture and family. I can only imagine that the mind of a young child is fertile ground for many stories to take root, planted by the seeds of things that they are told by their parents, how their parents and other family treat them, and how their parents and other adults act on a day-to-day basis.

Many of us are not aware of the power these stories have over our lives. Many of us don’t event recognize these narratives as stories that we have created and which we can change if we desire. Awareness is always the first step.

What stories have you been allowing to run the show? Is it that you are not good enough? That you can’t do the thing you really want to do? That you can never be happy? That you don’t have enough? That you are powerless?

It’s a good exercise for your personal development to analyze and dig deep into these stories. Ask yourself, when did you first began telling yourself this story? How has this story helped or hindered your personal development? From who or where did you first hear this story? You can answer these questions in a journal or if you tarot or oracle cards you can also pull some cards to help you reflect on what stories you have been telling yourself.

Do you agree or disagree that we have a series of internal stories that are running our lives?  I would love to read your thoughts in the comments!

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