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Stories That Make Us Cower vs. Stories That Empower

Once upon a time in a land far, far away… There are stories that we grew up with and loved having read to us, that took us to a fantasy land where it always ended happily ever after. Then as adults, we started writing stories about ourselves and about others. Some of the stories we created are helpful and motivating, while others hold us back and make us get in our own way.

What do you talk to yourself about? Do you talk about how you can’t cook? Do you talk about all the things you would do if you lost weight (e.g. go to the beach)? Do you believe that wealthy people are greedy? Does everyone gain weight when they’re in a long-term relationship? Are any of these stories completely true?

The answer is no. If you break apart any story, there’s another side to it. Can you take cooking classes or find good cookbooks to learn how to cook? Are you 100% unable to do any of the things you imagine doing if you weighed less? Have you ever heard of some of the wealthiest people being the most giving and generous to causes? Aren’t there couples that work out together, eat healthy together, and get in the best shape of their lives together?

We tell ourselves these stories everyday, and we start to see it as fact. The good thing is, it’s not hard to turn it around. Instead of saying that you can’t cook, can you say that you are open to learning more about cooking everyday? Instead of imagining how great life would be after losing x amount of pounds, can you do some of those things now? Is your purpose of going to the beach for others to gawk at your body, or to appreciate and play in the sun, sand, and water? Technically, you can still go to the beach either way.

Byron Katie’s, “The Work” has been showing people that anything upsetting is because of a story we tell ourselves. We have expectations, different beliefs, and different experiences. This is why something annoying to you might be funny to your friend.

Take a look at your stories to see if you’re holding yourself back from something great. Find ways to change the story to empower you get to where you want to be, or to just see and accept the plain truth. Every hurtful, depressing, sabotaging story we break apart gets us closer to living happily ever after.

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