We all love a good story. Whether we watch them on TV, in the cinema, or read them in a book, a good story can enthral anybody of any age.
Personally, I love a good courtroom drama or a RomCom and am easily enticed by a musical although I would never choose to watch a horror film. Whatever our preferred genre, we can be consumed by an entertaining narrative.
We tell ourselves stories
Real life isn’t like a novel or a movie. I mean, real people would actually turn the light on if they were investigating a noise in the house and, in the real world, loose ends aren’t always tied up neatly. But we do tell stories. All the time. And often just to ourselves.
Except, in these stories, we’re the protagonist and the ramifications extend way beyond the last chapter or the two hour running time!
The problem with a lot of the stories we tell ourselves is that they can come from a negative perspective. How aware of you of the stories you tell yourself; “I’m not qualified enough”, “You know what I’m like, I always mess up interviews”, “They won’t want me interfering”, “I’ve always been unlucky in love”, etc, etc.
Sometimes your mind can be an unhelpful ghostwriter and does a disservice to the truth.
And how many of these stories are based on the trailers you watched, at some point, months or years ago?
You experienced something and your mind took notes. However, sometimes your mind can be an unhelpful ghost writer and does a disservice to the truth of the event by allowing you to label yourself as in someway responsible or lacking. The legacy of this belief is that you then keep repeating the story and limiting your own possibilities.
There’s nothing wrong with you other than your story of yourself. Peter Crone
Re-writing the narrative
So, how do we make a change and re-write these self-defeating tales?
Well, becoming aware of the stories archived in your subconscious is the key starting point. If they’re positive ones, then great. In fact, re-read and look out for the sequel.
But, if they’re negative, we need to ask ourselves, (as Crone continues) what role we are playing in our lives that is a disservice to our pure potential?
Your language is a huge clue. How many of those phrases above do you use without thinking? Listen out for them and other similar titles in the self-(un)help genre. If you find yourself regularly using them, check yourself and consider how you can re-edit them or cut them out of the script completely. We can use words to send intentions into the universe and invite the energy to shift – for a positive shift, these need to be constructive intentions.
Another area to explore is your home. It’s the theatre or library of your life and the clues are there, in the scenery, too. Just as we need to be mindful of the words we use, so we can look around the places we live in to see whether we are reinforcing a positive or negative outlook.
Changing your life’s scenery
Creating your ideal spaces can enhance and transform the way you live your life. However, if you’re resistant to fully engage with this process, there’s another story being told under the surface. A home may look beautiful but if you don’t really want to be there, no amount of pretty paper and fabrics will change that. The prison is aesthetically stunning, but it’s still a prison!
Some examples of this might be the following:
Over-fixating on perfect interior styling because it helps to perpetuate a happy façade.
Resisting sorting out your décor because you tell yourself you’re a free spirit who doesn’t need material trappings, although, really, you are just wary of committing to things that are ostensibly permanent.
Finding excuses not to tidy up because arguing with your partner about the clutter actually distracts you from addressing the real issues in your relationship.
Or no longer caring for your house because you’ve stopped taking taking care of yourself and therefore you don’t feel worthy of nice surroundings.
There is a happy ending to this article. Once we are aware of the stories we are telling ourselves and the backdrops we are painting, we can deal with them and re-edit the narrative. We may need time out to reflect on where there are connections to be made in our story, or ask for a ‘guest edit’ from a friend or a coach.
Our homes and lives will keep evolving, so our personal movie will always have another chapter, but, if we get that edit right, we can enjoy a happy now in a happy space!
This article was first published in The Coach Space