Are you conscious of the stories you believe about yourself? Have you ever thought to challenge your story? Perhaps, question where the beliefs you hold about yourself come from.
Our lives are made up of an abundance of stories and beliefs that shape our reality. The stories we believe about ourselves can either be empowering or hold us back. John Assaraf said, “The stories we tell ourselves shape our lives. They shape who we believe we are, and this belief translates into who we become.”
Therefore, it is important to acknowledge the sheer power these stories have over our lives. Many of us are oblivious to the impact of these stories, because they are embedded deep within our subconscious. You might wonder why you keep attracting certain types of people into your life. Or perhaps you feel trapped in your job, or stuck in an unhappy relationship?
When you begin to identify the stories you tell yourself, you can start to reclaim your life. This is because you have a choice about which stories you believe. It’s important to empower yourself through positive stories and beliefs and release the negative stories that hold you back.
However, before you start to challenge your story, it’s important to consider the following question.
Where do these stories come from?
As humans we are natural storytellers, it has been that way since beginningless time. We use stories as a way of communicating, connecting and making sense of the world around us. We also have powerful imaginations and the ability to manifest our thoughts into reality; through our intent.
The stories we believe about ourselves come from many different sources, because our lives are constantly influenced by external and internal factors. The stories that consume our lives can materialise through following ways:
Many of us are unconsciously living out different aspects of our families story, passed on through the generations. These stories may have been valid for generations passed, possibly a means for survival; but they may be disempowering your life today.
For example, your ancestors may have lived in poverty during the war. They may have held fear based beliefs of not having enough food, money, safety etc. This story could still be replaying in different shapes and forms, impacting your life today. The key is to identify that these stories and beliefs do not belong to you.
When someone is affected by trauma, particularly as a child, fear based stories can control their lives. These stories may have originally been created as a way to feel safe. But it’s important to acknowledge when these stories are no longer serving you and holding you back.
Past experiences often shape our future. As humans, we tend to hold onto negative past experiences and regrets and allow them to impact our future. It is crucial to identify if you are allowing who you were in the past, to hold you back from your true potential.
Don’t allow past mistakes, negative beliefs and old stories about yourself, define you.
Negative patterns and habits
Humans are creatures of habit. We can often get stuck in negative patterns and habits allowing them to define us. Telling ourselves the same stories over and over again and wondering why nothing changes.
It can be difficult to identify when you are stuck in a negative mindset, but try to pay attention. If you are experiencing the same situation repeating itself, try to discerns the story behind it.
Other people’s opinions or beliefs
Many of the stories we carry about ourselves don’t even belong to us, they may be influences from those around us. If someone tells you something about yourself and you choose to believe it, then it becomes part of your story.
But if you choose not to identify with what they are saying; then their story has no power over you. We have a choice if we take that story on as our own or not. It can only affect us if we choose to believe it.
Why it’s important to challenge the stories you believe about yourself
When you believe a story you put all your power behind it, therefore it becomes your reality. It doesn’t matter whether the story is true or not, it is the intent behind it that gives it power.
For example if you are subconsciously telling yourself, “I’m not good enough.” You will attract people and situations in your life that continue to reinforce that belief. Because this belief is continually reinforced by external factors, your first instinct will be to blame anyone or anything for the suffering you’re experiencing.
Blaming your experiences on external factors only keeps you stuck in a vicious cycle of helplessness. Everytime you reinforce a negative or self-limiting story about yourself, you give away your personal power.
This is why it’s imperative to challenge the stories you believe about yourself. Our stories have the ability to bring either joy or suffering to our lives.
So, the question is what kind of stories do you want to experience in your life? Do you want to live stories that empower you and bring you joy? Or do you want to live stories that create pain, suffering and demoralise you?
Do you want to live life to your full potential? Or do you want to hold yourself back?
Helpful tips to challenge your story and reclaim your life
1. Ask yourself, what are the stories I’m telling myself?
The first step towards challenging your story, is learning to identify the stories that are holding you back. When you find yourself getting caught up in a story, pause and try the following:
Identify – What are the self-limiting beliefs and stories I have about myself right now?
Ask yourself, how are these stories influencing my life?
2. Pay attention to what you are attracting into your life
It’s vital to become aware of what you are attracting into your life. For example, are you attracting people who bring joy to your life, or do you seem to attract people who create conflict of suffering?
Perhaps you find yourself stuck in an unhappy marriage. Or maybe you always feel like a victim, assuming that everyone else around you is much happier or more successful than you are.
There is always an underlying story in every situation. Maybe the story you are telling yourself is, “I don’t deserve to be happy” or “I am unworthy.” The people and situations you are attracting into your life, are all influenced by the stories you tell yourself.
3. Challenge your story
When you challenge the stories, you start to take responsibility for your life. You begin reclaiming your personal power, and this opens up the possibility for positive change.
Ask yourself, is this story I am telling myself true? Does this story empower me or hold me back?
Byron Katie’s – The Work, also provides a wonderful practice for questioning your beliefs in order to transform your life.
4. Practice mindfulness
When the old stories and self limiting beliefs begin to surface, pay attention to your actions, responses and habits you have formed. By practicing mindfulness you will become more aware when these negative stories surface. This will allow you to identify them and work towards implementing positive and empowering stories into your life.
Here is the main question to always ask yourself, is this story serving me? Is it aligned with my true purpose?
When you begin to challenge your story, the old self-limiting stories and beliefs will lose their power, and you can live your life aligned with your true purpose and power. Are you aware of the stories that are influencing your life? Share your comments below.
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