I've been telling myself stories. And then living in them.
Not fun, fuzzy stories about how great it everything is - no, not those kinds of stories. My stories generally scare me and then stop me from doing things.
They usually go like this:
Remember the last time you spoke up about something like this? You sounded like an idiot. Why would you do that again? You're going to sound stupid, you won't make sense, and you might offend people. Why take that risk?
That group of people is looking at you. Why would you go and talk with them? They probably think you look bad. Your hair is flat and you probably shouldn't have worn those jeans because they're, ahem, a little snug. So don't go over and talk with those people because you look terrible and they will probably ridicule you when you leave.
Why hasn't he called me back yet? It's been four hours! I guess I didn't make a good impression. I said something to piss him off. I was hoping we could work together, but for sure I messed up and that's why I haven't heard from him.
As the story goes, it's safer to just blend into the background. Be quiet, put your head down, and drink your drink. So much safer!
Except it's not safer. It's not even easier. Because the stories keep coming, and they keep me in my head, in a place that's not even real. And then I start to believe them.
And then, I'm afraid to do, well, anything.
Unless I realize that I'm the only one who's telling myself this stuff.
I'm making it all up.
It's not real. My stories are just thoughts. Just little thoughts that pop into my head and I hang onto them and make them a big deal.
They exist only in my mind. My friends don't tell me to shut up because I sound like an idiot. Only I do that to myself.
What would happen if I told myself a different story? I mean, since I'm the one telling these stories to myself anyway, why not pick another story?
What if I remember that I can actually control my thinking?
My story could instead be that I'll say something and it will affect people in a positive way. I will say something that other people were afraid to say, and everyone is relieved to have that out there.
I can tell myself that people will relate to me, and like me, even if my hair is flat and I put on a couple pounds.
Once I start telling myself different stories, stories with happy endings, the negative ones don't stick around. There's nothing for them to hold onto.
And I feel a whole lot better.
©Catherine Borowski 2017
Live a wealthy life.
Catherine Borowski, life coach, knows that life can be messy. And that's what keeps it interesting.