We are natural story tellers. Yesterday I told you the story of being bitten by a spider and spending 8 days in the hospital. Once I left the hospital, I began pondering how I want to tell this story today, next week, next year. My brain will seek evidence to support whichever version of the story I tell to validate it as MY truth. Notice the difference between describing those 8 days as INTENSE vs TRAUMATIC? Both are equally true but my reality will be different based on which one I say to myself more often. Intense implies the days were difficult and I know how to do hard things. Traumatic implies I was a victim of circumstance with little or no control. For most of us, victim mode shows up automatically. Think about your own stories of your childhood, your mother, your sister, your spouse, your children, your car wreck, your hospital stay, etc. We are offended when someone points out we are stuck in victim mode but it still is the default story when we are on autopilot or under stress.
The story you choose to tell sends ripples thru your life and affects your decision making. I popped in and out of victim mode while I was in the hospital. Now that I’m home, I get to make a deliberate decision about how I tell the story. NOTE: honesty and accuracy are important. Our brains are magnificent bullshit detectors. If the story you tell does not ring true, you mind will revert back to the victim story. My hospital story will go something like this:
I went camping for the first time at a outdoor music festival. We had an amazing time listening to old friends and making new ones. When I got home, I discovered I’d been bitten by a spider. Luckily, I had health insurance and access to a wonderful surgeon. I stayed 8 days in the hospital. The life I’m creating gave me the flexibility to step away from all the normal responsibilities and focus on healing. I love THIS body’s ability to heal.
This is a powerful tool that can be used over and over. What other stories do you tell repeatedly? When you meet someone new, what do you tell them about yourself? If you’d met me last year, I would have introduced myself as a perfectionist who avoided conflict at all cost. I’d have told you about three divorces, an estranged relationship with my mother and oldest son, a religious upbringing that left lasting scars and an underlying insecurity that had me grasping to be loved. Today, I have new versions (equally true) of each of those stories that let me lead a confident, vibrant life. I invite failure as a pathway to growth and I love me so that is possible for others to love me.
How can you change the stories of your past so that they serve you? I’d love to teach you. Fill out the form below and lets have a conversation.
Love you my Voluptuous Beauties! Mean It!!!!
Melinda Sohns, Weight and Life Coach
Certified by The Life Coach School
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