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The Stories We Tell Ourselves: How Beliefs Influence Our Experience of Life

Updated: Feb 29, 2020

Introspections for August 2019

Life is full of stories. From the children's stories we learned when we were young to the headlines that fill the screens of our TV's and mobile devices, stories impact our lives in very real and meaningful ways. Just think about how a gripping headline can create a bias in your perspective. Or, how stories from your spiritual and religious beliefs affect the way you interact with and judge others. But when it comes to how we experience and engage with life on a personal level, perhaps the most relevant stories are the ones we tell ourselves.

Whether we are aware of it or not, we all have them. Running through the background of our awareness we can find those stories that support our deeply held beliefs. Stories that contribute to our well-being. Stories that support our goals and dreams. Or, stories that undermine them, creating an unwitting block towards our progress. These particular stories sound like...

"I'm not good enough because..."

"It's not worth me trying because..."

"People like me can't..."

"I can never get ahead because...."

"Life is hard for me..."

Often times we go through life unaware of these stories and their influence on our lives. When things don't go as we hoped, we're quick to point the finger at external influences as the reason without considering our own role in our circumstances. The beautiful thing is that these external circumstances, no matter how challenging or painful, can help to shed light on the beliefs we have that in some way support the situation we're experiencing. And by even briefly exploring these deeply held (and oftentimes subconscious) beliefs with honesty and compassion, we find the real reasons why they are there. Then we can ask ourselves, "does this belief support what I prefer to experience in my life?" If so, we can choose to keep the belief. If not, we can chose to change it, replacing it with beliefs that support us. I'm not implying that our beliefs are the sole reason why we experience life the way we do. But they are an important element that contributes to our experience of life.

Perhaps one of my favorite quotes regarding beliefs is by Henry Ford, American industrialist, business magnate, and the founder of Ford Motor Company.

"Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right."

And like a self-fulfilling prophesy, life has a way of reflecting back to us, often in graphic detail, just how right we are.

One of the stories I am working to change is my view on abundance. Society teaches us that abundance equates to financial wealth and riches. But one of my favorite spiritual teachers suggests that abundance is actually the ability to do what you need to do when you need to do it. This definition resonates with me and makes me feel centered. When I look over my life at those times when I worried over how I might pay an expensive repair, make a tight deadline, or make it through a really tough situation, somehow things worked out and I was able to do what I needed to do when I needed to do it. It may not have always resolved in a way that I thought it might, but it always resolved. So, from this perspective I am abundant. This is a story I tell myself often as a reminder and to reinforce the belief.

So, what are the stories you tell yourself? What are the beliefs that support your experience of life? Remember. Your life is a reflection of the stories you tell yourself.

Change your stories. Change your life.

Need help uncovering limiting beliefs? Schedule a mentoring session today! To learn more about beliefs and how they impact our life, join our book club where we will be reading The Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton, Ph.D., and visit our meetup page to see this month's events.

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