I think we all love a good story. Whether we hear it, watch it or read it, a good story is so compelling we just have to keep going as we can’t wait to hear/see/read the end of it.
When it comes to our own life we are living our own story. But how much do we make up about that story? How much is fact and how much is fiction?
- Do you interpret your friend’s silence as they don’t want to spend time with you, without knowing the real reason for their absence in your life?
- Do you imagine no one will love you if you have to buy a different size of clothes as your body has changed shape recently?
- Do you believe you can’t do anything about your natural state of not getting up in the morning, so stay in bed even longer?
We all interpret things in different ways. Have you ever been an observer with a friend as something happens in their life and you see things in a very different way from the story they’re telling you? Ever had a friend tell you they see things differently from the story you’re telling them?
What’s true for you?
I used to struggle with this word “true” in my life. “What’s true for you?” was something people asked or said and it felt so remote to my brain I couldn’t interpret it for myself.
We all have different learning styles and take information into our brains in different ways. The most comprehensive model I’ve come across and the one I use now when working with clients is the Mercury Model – the book Fish Can’t Climb Trees is a detailed account but brilliant to help each of us understand our learning and communication styles).
When you have the feeling of KNOWING what’s right for you, to me, that’s what I understand as my truth. When you feel off balance, or something is “not quite right”, then it’s probably not true for you.
So when we’re interpreting things around us we automatically make things up about other people, the situation, the circumstances that surround us. We may tell ourselves, “because the economy has crashed, I can’t be held responsible for my business failing”. Or, “my children don’t like me because they spend all their time on their phone with their friends”.
Yes, I’ve made those things up in my life. But they aren’t true! I just intepreted those situations in a way that made me feel better or worse at the time to fit with the story I was creating for myself and believing to be true. I used my imagination, unconsciously to create a story that just wasn’t true.
Can you see a circumstance in your life that you may have interpreted something which may not have been true?
Limiting beliefs have a lot of power
When we’re telling ourselves a story about a situation there is a lot of power coming from the limiting beliefs which are stored in our unconscious mind. We often make up the story to fit the belief that has the strongest pull. For example:
- I’m not good enough anyway, so my business was always going to fail
- I don’t trust myself to do the right thing, so I won’t bother
- Procrastinate and stay stuck in a rut because you think it’s safe to stay there rather than take a step forward
You may not know what your limiting beliefs are, but you may notice you’ve had recurring situations in your life that make you feel you’re going round and round in circles. When I look back at some of the stories I told myself and the people around me I’m embarrassed! I made up all sorts of things to make me feel better rather than take a step out of that story I was in. Looking back and knowing what I know now, I was “happy” to be the victim of the story rather than the hero. Mmm, not great. It felt wrong too. It didn’t feel true, but I perpetuated the story by telling myself things and interpreting situations in ways that supported the story I was imagining.
Listen to yourself and hear the true story
I used to keep myself so busy doing things I didn’t have time to stop and listen. It’s so much easier to not know something so you don’t have to do anything about it isn’t it? 😉 Ha! You see, that’s another story I told myself.
When you know something you can’t un-know it can you? So surely it’s easier to stay in victim mode and others feel sorry for me rather than me taking control of my own life, my own real story and change the ending from what’s currently going to happen?
Whatever you interpret “easy” to mean in your life, I can tell you that in my life story easy was horrid! I was ill, I was tired, I was unhappy, I felt disconnected with everything and everyone around me.
I can’t remember what the tipping point was for me to make changes. All I know is that I did. It got to a point where I’d had enough of being ill, of feeling sorry for myself. That’s when I found listening really helps.
Do you have someone in your life who listens without giving advice or judging you? Not many of us do as we’re human and love to fix things for other people. When I was asked by a friend to train as a Listening Trainer my life changed. I really learnt and understood the power of listening – to others and most importantly to myself. When I allowed myself time to listen I heard that I was unhappy. I heard that there was a different way. I heard and understood I could do things differently. I also heard that I was in control of my own life. No-one or nothing was guiding my story apart from me. I could change my life story ending if I chose to. It was up to me.
The first step when you get to a crossroads in life is to stop isn’t it? Stopping and listening to what’s going on in your head, your life, noticing what your heart is trying to tell you is the first step to hearing what you know deep down to be true for you.
There’s NO quick fix and the next phase of your life journey may not be easy. There may be more roller coasters to ride. However, when you have that inner knowing that you’re being true to yourself and being the real you, there’s so much comfort in that knowledge. Yes the road may have some challenges along the way, even some road blocks. But when you listen to yourself carefully, you’ll know you have all the answers you need to navigate them.
Even getting started to listen to yourself isn’t easy. This 21 day experience of hope is a good starting point if you’d like some simple steps to start experiencing the true story of your life.