One of the most valuable things I can do for my own happiness is to dissolve the story given to me by the narrator in my brain.
Who is the narrator? I use this term to describe the biased, judging part of my brain which looks at the stream of circumstances in my life and interprets them into a story with labels like good and bad, right and wrong, hero and villain, or that my life is getting better or getting worse.
My narrator runs all day long… Here are just some small things my narrator says…
- That the person who cut me off on the highway is evil and has no reason to drive that way.
- That if I eat poorly today it will be the last in a long string of days before healthy habits engage.
- That my life is "going well" or "going poorly" — and sometimes that this fact changes several times within a day.
I can't really shake this narrator off – he's here to stay, and he's going to judge almost everything that comes up in my life. But what I can do is detach myself from his judgments and realize that those judgements are not really my own.
I have a choice to get absorbed in my narrator’s story, to step back from my narrator’s story, or dissolve my narrator’s story entirely and to realize that I can make up my own story.
The more self work I do — and the more work I do with broadly diverse clients — the more I realize that most of us have a default “story of self” which is not only untrue but also disempowering toward our long term objectives.
Having a story of self is efficient and gives us purpose, but we need to be careful with how we write that story. If we have it written in a disempowering way we should dissolve it as quickly as we can and rewrite it as something empowering.
- How many statements in your story of yourself are written by an unconscious, disempowering narrator?
- What are some of the elements of that story? Can you know for certain that they are true?
- Who would you be if you believed the opposite to be true?
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