We share stories to connect, to share information, to illustrate a point, and perhaps to get some help with our struggles. They also tell others what we believe about ourselves.
What are the main stories you tell? Jot down a couple of details about the ones you most often share.
Some are great stories of fun and adventure, life, and love. Others, however, may not be so pleasant nor helpful. For the many years I was on the Diet Yo-Yo, I told stories of how a diet didn’t work for me. I talked about my poor metabolism, my fat genes, my lack of willpower. I spoke passionately about how I could not get to my goal weight and stay there. I lamented the latest magic pill or potion that sounded great but hadn’t worked for me. Not that I believed it would really, I’d say, resigned to my fat fate. The stories I told of my inability to get on track and stay on track had a reinforcing effect – reinforcing my flaws and failure. As an emotional eater, that didn’t really help.
Look back at your stories. Do they encourage or discourage you?
Instead of focusing on our past struggles and failings, what if we focused on whom we want to be? What if we dreamed aloud about what would be true as we made better choices, actions, and habits? Where would that direct your attention and intentions? When we fix our attention in a direction, we tend to go that way.
Stories reinforce what we believe about ourselves. Which ones do you want to tell?