I wrote about the power of owning your story a while back, and although I truly believe that you have a unique story worth sharing, I also believe you need to let go of stories that are holding you back.
We all have one, or five, or ten! We have stories that we let define us, guide us, encourage us, keep us in our comfort zones. These same stories that are holding you back tend to be your all time favorite excuses that keep you from your dreams, taking the leap and ultimately keep you from growing and changing your life.
“It’s just not meant to be for me”, “I’m not pretty enough”, “I can’t do that because I don’t have ________”, “I tried before and I failed”, “There’s not enough money in the world”…
I myself was stuck in this never-ending loop of playing victim. I kept telling myself the same story over and over: “I am just not enough.” Whenever I would try to start a business or make it on my own, I would give up one month in because “I just wasn’t enough”. I wasn’t pretty enough to be a blogger, talented enough to run a design studio, wealthy enough to portray an online lifestyle people craved… I loved to live that story for three years. That’s three whole years that I could have dedicated to growing my business, three whole years I could have been learning instead of playing the victim and lounging on my couch watching Netflix and crying because I wasn’t a millionaire yet. I was stuck in a story.
Identifying Harmful Stories
Stories stem from trauma, something that happened to you as a child or adult that left it’s mark and gave your Ego permission to shield you, thus creating the story that will save you from ever having to get hurt again (this is called a limiting belief). In order to break free, you need to let go of stories that are holding you back.
Take a look at your own story — do you notice any repeating patterns? Phrases that you continually use throughout your day, week, life? How do you stop yourself from achieving your goals and dreams? Starting that business? Asking for that raise? Asking that guy out? Write down every phrase you catch yourself repeating as a reason not to do something. Once you have them identified, think about when you started to use them, what happened?
Thank It & Break Up With It
Letting go of stories that are holding you back can be easier said than done when facing difficult situations, people or triggers in your life. Some stories may be harder to let go off than others, but you have to learn to forgive yourself, and thank those stories. Thank your story for being part of your life, for teaching you, for shielding you and for transforming you. Forgive yourself, because when you forgive, the hurt (and stubbornness) melts way.
Then decide that it’s time to break up with that story (if and when you’re ready) and make way for the Universe to help write you a new one. I myself woke up one day because I was truly tired of the same ol’ boring story. How many more days was I going to spend on my couch wallowing in self pity? It gets tiring, like listening to the same song on repeat forever. Once you acknowledge the story you’re currently stuck in, you’re going to wanna break up.
Be the Author of Your Story
In today’s world most of us go through life on auto-pilot. We’re on our phones probably 75% of the time, mindlessly scrolling. We’re not truly in tune with our inner Self. We’re thinking about stress at work, living old stories, getting anxiety from Instagram, FOMO from Facebook or pressure from Father Time. We forget that we, and we alone, have the power to change our entire life.
We have a say in what we think, how we feel and how we act (or react!). Life isn’t happening to us, but by us. Everyday you decide what happens, you can either spend another Chapter laying on the couch waiting for something to happen, or you can write that the Hero in your story (you) finally gets up, and changes their life (or at least puts some pants on).
Sure, we may still be triggered by people and situations and want to replay that same old story, but once you have identified it, you’ll notice how much easier it is when we understand we are in ultimate control.
It’s time to let go of stories that are holding you back. Try identifying your harmful stories, figure out what’s been keeping you stuck and break up with it. I’m rooting for you Dreamer!