The stories we tell ourselves are important because they control how we live our lives. They can also have an impact on how we see ourselves and the experiences we have. Let’s look at some of the main reasons why the stories we tell ourselves are important.
A good story has the power to draw us in, connect with the characters and their emotions, making us eager to accompany them over every hurdle and cheer them on, all the way to the very end. It doesn’t even matter if the story is true or not, we want to be part of it because it somehow makes us feel alive. It may even inspire us to change something in our own lives, and that feels empowering.
But there are many types of stories, and not all of them leave us feeling warm and fuzzy, or inspired. We don’t need to go as far as politics, the media or commercial tactics to understand just how impactful, and manipulative some stories can be. We just need to look at the stories we tell ourselves to understand the way they shape our lives, for better or for worse.
Most human beings have a magnificent and powerful capacity: imagination. We can project ourselves into the future and imagine the impact a particular decision may have, before we even take it. We can imagine different scenarios and different outcomes, and even if reality will probably turn out to be very different, connecting with the various options is a reassuring way to make decisions and move forward.
But what is the origin of this faculty we have, and how might it be creating problems for us now? What if the stories you tell yourself aren't serving you well. What if they are in fact, holding you back? Keeping you stuck? Making you unhappy?
The reason that our own stories are so powerful is because we tend to believe them. We think that we have a clear understanding of a situation regarding others, and ourselves - and based on this knowledge we come to a number of conclusions. We rarely stop to think about just how factual (or complete) this information really is.
The critical inner voice exists to varying degrees in every person. It undermines our ability to interpret events realistically; it triggers negative moods and sabotages our pursuit of satisfaction and meaning in life. We are often unaware of the destructive impact that these thoughts are having on our emotions, actions, and the overall quality of our lives.
Rewriting your story means that we try to find meaning in our lives/narratives that propel us to be our best selves caring for our mental, emotional, and physical needs.
Negative self-talk will also impact your love life, as continual negative self-talk will wreak havoc on your self-esteem and your sense of worth. Poor self-esteem can also be problematic in romantic relationships because it can make emotional, mental, and physical abuse seem normal or at least warranted.
How to stop telling the negative stories from defining your life. Change your story, change your life.
Finding fulfillment in your life's lessons. Unleash joy by rewriting your stories with empathy, compassion, and self-love