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Life

Could the stories you’re telling yourself be harming your future?

What do the bible, the Lion King, Elon Musks autobiography and your outlook on life, all have in common? They’re all stories.

Our relationship with stories

We love stories. It’s what separates us from wolves and birds. From each product we buy to the career we choose. We do so, because of how we identify with its story. Does a bird tell itself that they can’t get out of their nest one morning because it’s not capable of catching a worm?

Maybe it’s the story about how we’re the type of person who uses an Apple Mac or drinks Espresso Martini’s. We tell ourselves “No I really love the functionality” but how much of this is true? At what point do the features come before the story we tell ourselves?

This is part of the deeper philosophical debate on free will. Are you making choices completely unaffected by the events of the past? If you used an Android over an iPhone would you be sold on its benefits because that’s what you are used to?

Writing a different story

I’m not disciplined, is a story. I can’t say no, is a story. I’m not happy is a story. The reverse of all of these is also true.

I am disciplined, is a story. I say no to events that don’t serve me, is a story. I’m living my dream life, is a story.

Dream life

This “dream life” is subjective. Who’s to say a persons dream life isn’t getting to spend time with their family at the weekend? That’s their story. They don’t have to go to Las Vegas for their birthday or live on the beach, because that’s not part of the story of their life. If these other elements are part of your story, that’s great too, as long as they are what you want and not what you feel that you must want. House, kids and marriage by 30 are all common dream lives that people aspire to purely based on the fact that’s what most people do. This story doesn’t have to apply to your life, if you don’t want it to.

Quite often, a change of mindset is about changing the story you’re telling yourself. If you struggle with self-confidence, you can become more confident by repeatedly telling yourself that you are. This is not to be confused with the trendy idea of manifesting. This is repeating that you are the sort of person who can achieve if they put the work in. Take small steps continuously and eventually become that person who you aspire to be.

Research has shown how harmful negative self talk is to your development. Work on removing this from your personal dialogue. You’re in control of the story you are telling yourself. Stop saying “I’m the sort of person who…” We evolve all the time. Isn’t that what Darwin was known for? The theory of evolution. We can breed out our own negative characteristics.

Be like the bird who doesn’t question their ability, but does the work that they were put on this planet for.