The stories we tell
One thing that I dont agree with about people is that some are great story tellers. The truth is we’re all great story tellers.
Maybe not great story tellers to others. But we’re all great story tellers to ourselves. How else can you explain people’s beliefs about themselves or their habits and what formed them? Those habits and beliefs came to be by the stories we tell ourselves.
This is both amazing and dangerous.
Amazing because its like a blank canvas and we are the authors of the stories we tell ourselves. So ultimately we’re in control of what gets told and how we perceive it.
Its dangerous for two reasons. The first reason is that whatever story we repeatedly tell either good or bad end up being our beliefs and habits. This means that someone repeatedly telling themselves a story of good will in turn believe good, while someone repeatedly telling a story of bad will believe so as well.
But the most dangerous reason of all is that most of the stories we tell are not written by us at all. They’re written for us by others and by past experiences.
Stories written of that one time you got rejected or abandoned. Or stories written out of someone else’s opinion of you. Pretty soon that imposed opinion becomes your favorite novel and you read it aloud to anyone you get close to. It becomes your bible so to speak and you unknowingly and whole heartedly preach your gospel that was written out for you.
Also stories we see in others or hear from others influence our perception of things. For example Todd from accounting (I dont even know a todd???) is “successful” and has a nice car and house. Others around you talk about Todd and HIS success and in turn the story that was written for you was that that is how success needs to look like. The problem is that success is defined differently and means something different to everyone. Where as Todd sees success as a nice house and a nice car (Remember when I put HIS success in bold? Yes, look up a few sentences, I literally just put it there. Well thats what I meant. That’s HIS success), Someone who defines success as freedom sees it as a prison sentence meant to be lived out in a cubicle.
So quickly we are to read the stories written for us and turn those into our beliefs that we fail to find out what the fuck success actually means to us or what our story really is.
Going back to the amazing part, even the dangerous part is amazing! Seriously. Seeing how powerful this whole storytelling thing is and seeing how these stories actually shape the world around you is mind blowing. Once you see and recognize the stories you’ve been telling yourself and realize that may not actually be fiction, you stumble onto the most important piece to this entire blog.
You can edit, write, tear out chapters, and add new ones wherever you see fit. You’re the author of these stories.
Where as growing up I read into the story of being “too short” or “too small” for sports. I Hemmingway’d the shit outta that and rewrote that story and played football and went to state in powerlifting 2 years in a row.
Once I learned the power of writing your own story I quickly took back the pen from others and made sure my hands were the only ones that wrote this novel of mine. Now my story looks way different ( I like to throw in plot twists from time to time to spice things up too).
This isn’t some gift that was bestowed upon only me. Everyone has their own pen and can write their own story. Everyone can tell themselves whatever stories they choose.
And here’s the kicker. In order to rewrite these stories you tell, you must first dig a little deep and get yourself some awareness.
Pay attention to the stories you’re telling and figuring out if theyre actually true. This might be a little hard if you dont know yourself. If you haven’t taken the time to know who you really are or your values and such. I suggest you do. Weed out what is the real you and not what society feels is the norm, or what your family expects, or the people close to you expect. Tyler Durden says it best when he says “You are not your job, you’re not how much money you have in the bank. You are not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You are not your fucking khakis”.
Once you know yourself you can weed out the stories you tell that aren’t true and rewrite those stories. Are you so and so that attempted changing their eating habits 20x in a row? No! You’re so and so that changed their eating habits for good the 21st time, you just needed to learn 20 ways not to do it.
The next thing you need to do once you’ve become aware is get rid of the ego. The ego will blind you and cloud your judgement. It will blind you into thinking you are a world class pianist after that one lesson in 3rd grade. When in reality the itsy bitsy spider is about the extent of your playing abilities and you need to actually learn way more. Its easy to see what the ego wants you to see and not see the truth in things. This is important because without actually seeing these truths, theres no way you can edit and rewrite the stories you tell because they’re biased and not at all reality. Things like arrogance, insecurities, fears, bias and dogmas are all parts of the ego and in fact are not your real truth.
So being aware of the stories you tell that aren’t written for you by others, is equally as important as being aware of the stories you tell written by you or the ego.
Its external and internal narrative. The external is the easy one to edit and rewrite. The internal………..well thats the one that needs the most proofreading and review before you can actually become aware that those stories need to be edited and rewritten.
Because like I said……….You can edit, write, tear out chapters, and add new ones wherever you see fit.
You’re the author of these stories. Its time you remember that.
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