Quick Tip #5 ~ What’s Your Story?
Yesterday, I wrote about the, “Yes, buts…” we all use as excuses for avoiding Personal Responsibility for our lives. We deaden our desires with excuses starting with, “Yes, but…”
What I didn’t say is that the “but” part is where our beliefs begin. And what is a belief? A belief is a story we tell ourselves that we think is true. The “buts,” the beliefs, are nothing but the stories we tell ourselves to explain our lives.
Very rarely are they facts, but are typically nothing more than a concoction of things our parents said, societal influences, personal experiences and the emotional intensity under which those original events were presented to us.
An example is if my little nephew were to touch a hot stove and burn his finger. That personal experience could be said to be a highly emotional (pain, fear, sadness, etc) personal experience where a possible story could be, “Touching hot stoves is bad.” That would definitely seem like a logical conclusion and something that could cause him to avoid touching hot stoves for the rest of his life.
BUT…that’s just one possible story. It’s not a fact.
Take that hot stove example and have a professional chef slightly burn himself on the stove and although he may not like the sensation, his story may be different. His story (aka, belief) would be something like, “If you’re going to be a great chef, there’s going to be times where you burn yourself.” In other words, it’s just part of the territory. Nothing to be concerned about and something that isn’t really a highly emotional event.
It’s this difference in stories to the same events, that pretty much predict the actions, or avoidance of action, that people will use to explain their lives.
It’s not that one way is wrong or one way is right. It’s that they are our stories, our beliefs of things we think to be true. Typically, when a belief is formed (a story is embedded into us), it serves us. The problem is when our life has changed, we have changed, and yet our stories no longer serve us. Instead we become enslaved to our past, our stories, our beliefs. It is this captivity to an old story that must be overcome if we are to continue to live life on our own terms.
Most beliefs act in a way to help us along in our lives. The problem arises when you are seeking an answer to a question you have, such as “What’s the best way to lose stomach fat?” and you avoid the answer because it doesn’t fit into your story.
The difference in the stories (beliefs) that people tell themselves is a primary reason for the the difference between why some people will exercise and other’s won’t. It’s the difference between why some people will eat healthier and others won’t, no matter the consequences of not eating healthier.
Yesterday I said that Personal Responsibility entails being aware of the questions you can’t seem to answer or master and taking charge of them.
Today I’m saying that the first step in taking charge of those questions is to become aware of what your story is. If you can’t identify what your story is because it seems to be an absolute fact, you will forever be stuck in that question. Growth only comes when you can both acknowledge your story (your beliefs) and realize that it is only one story out of a number of plausible, and more than likely, logical stories (beliefs) that can be held.
So the question is, “What’s Your Story?”