WE BECOME THE STORIES WE TELL OURSELVES. I heard this reminder recently on a podcast I listen to (Smartless). I found the quote attributed to the filmmaker Shekhar Kapur, but perhaps there are other sources, as well.
The idea that we are smart or stupid, whether we can do it or can’t, whether we feel confident or not, whether we are beautiful or ugly, and on and on – we become the stories we tell ourselves ABOUT OURSELVES.
WE ALSO BECOME TANGLED UP IN STORIES WE TELL OURSELVES ABOUT: events, commitments, situations, people we know and our relationships – anything we can conceive of.
If we become the stories we develop within ourselves, and if we are greatly impacted by these stories – why must we so often lean toward the negative ones, the fear-filled ones, the dreaded ones, the critical ones?
If we dread something, we will find the ways it’s scary and anxiety-inducing.
Why not create something amazing instead?
If we look to find fun, we will find the fun and look forward to something.
RECENTLY A TRIP I’D PLANNED FOR MONTHS GOT CANCELLED AT THE LAST MINUTE. As a result, I was available to accompany my partner on a long drive – something he was going to do on his own out of necessity, timing, and a commitment made.
While always happy to spend time with my partner, I wasn’t as keen to do this trip.
It would involve a lot of driving in a handful of days with a specific time constraint. Not a road trip to stop and see the sights, take our time to explore and enjoy things in a leisurely fashion.
I was hesitating because…
…the distance and the time constraint on this trip made it feel rushed and I felt stressed just contemplating it.
…the thought of sitting in the car for four days made me feel restless and sluggish.
…I presumed we’d be relegated to fast food and gas-station snacks, not finding the best restaurants along the way – something we like to do on any trip.
…I foresaw having to stay in dingy motels and a hot car for days – unappealing.
…ultimately – of the story I’d created about the trip. I focused on all the things I hadn’t liked about road-trips in the past, and my expectations had inflated the negative story so much that I wanted to avoid the whole thing.
I didn’t want to go … for about an hour.
But once I…
…decided to switch my thinking into a different gear – toward focusing on the fun that could be had together – I softened to the idea.
…began to imagine how we could make it fun – I started to like the even more.
…started looking forward to it and thinking of things we could do along the way without taking too much time – I became more and more excited.
Something that, just an hour before, I’d thought would be such a drag – had become an exciting spontaneous adventure we were heading out on.
And it WAS a really wonderful trip. We found fun and laughter the whole way.
So, perhaps a reminder that’s valuable for you today: we are in charge of creating these stories we tell ourselves. By changing our approach, even just a few of our thoughts – we can change our whole feeling toward something.
What story will you create with what you tell yourself today? ❤️