There is always a lot of talk about mindset and how having a positive, strong mindset will help you to manifest the life you love.
And for the most part I would agree with that statement.
I’ve done my fair share of Tony Robbins style workshops, events and online training to know the benefits both personally and professionally.
But one of the things I have grown to realise over the years is that mindset alone is sometimes not enough to change a habit or a belief, to guarantee that your life will turn out better.
A noted element of mindset is the what we say to ourselves – what phrases repeat and recur. But the individual words and the collection of those words into sentences only has a short to medium effect on our outcomes.
In the long run, these individual sentences that we say to ourselves are less powerful than the stories we create around events and situations.
The flippant, ‘Oh I’m no good’ is – of course – not the most positive thing you can say to yourself, but at the end of the day this will have but a minor effect on your outcomes.
Undeniably, the stories that we have created about ourselves and our environment have the greatest and most insidious impact on our lives.
These stories, for the most part, go on unnoticed, repeating themselves over and over to the point that they create our reality in the long-term.
Most of the time we don’t even realise that we’re running a story, as these stories are created in a practical, matter of fact way.
Here is the 4-step process on how it works like this:
- An event happens to you, be it big or small. Maybe someone gives you a funny look in the local shopping mall. On its own, it is a non-offensive, benign look that in all likelihood wasn’t even meant for you. Nevertheless we take this event and attach a meaning to it.
- Here is where story establishes a insidious and destructive pattern. As we register this look, the brain desperately tries to find a similar situation. Once it locks on, the brain then starts to create a story around the event. ‘Oh that was a funny look,’ the brain says. ‘Wonder what I did to deserve that?’
- Once the brain starts to construct a story, it then begins to draw connections between this event and other instances where similar thoughts of ‘no one understands me’ or ‘I upset people all the time’ or ‘people just don’t understand me’ occurred. Either way, your brain has here begun to tell you a story which is easier to comprehend and believe. This then creates belief systems that may or may not be true.
- Next the story is embellished, coloured and filtered. This can occur in your brain for minutes, hours or even days, further embedding this false truth into your subconsciousness, specifically into the Amygdala (emotional) portion of your brain, where it now becomes truth – albeit a false truth.
Over a lifetime we collect many stories, most of which point to one or two core issues around being worthy or being loved.
Now, unlike the sentences or flippant statements that you might catch yourself thinking or saying to yourself from time to time, stories are very seldom challenged or changed.
More often than not, they continue to be reinforced, with story piling on top of story where you experienced the same or similar outcome.
It’s very hard for a statement to become a truth, although it does happen – just not as easily or destructively.
Stories on the other hand embed deeply, are believed faster and held as the gospel truth more frequently.
So if you want to change your reality, if you want to manifest a different outcome in your life (be it in your business life or personal life), then actively becoming story-aware is going to help you to fast track the outcome you really want.
Here are 3 simple steps that I follow to overcome my story patterns:
Step 1: Become vigilant about your stories. We usually have a few favourites that we run, so notice when they appear. Also notice how and when you create stories around things that don’t need a story, e.g. a funny look from a stranger at the shopping mall.
Step 2: Bring awareness to what the story is really all about. Is it a fear based story, a lack of love based story or is it ‘I’m not worthy’ story?
Step 3: Tell yourself that this is just a story and not necessarily real, but rather a symptom of a past experience.
Step 4: Actively write a new more positive story, ideally in a ‘hero’s journey’ format where you become the victor over your adversaries. See the outcome you want and tell yourself the positive journey you went on to make that happen.
Just practising the action of awareness around your story patterns is enough to change your future for the better.
It will help you to stop sabotaging your success, blocking your abundance and slowing down your progress.
Take responsibility for the stories in your life and then you will be able to make the positive changes needed to have more success, whatever your vision and goals, and together we will move the world to wellness.