Making changes by changing the stories we tell

Photo by Nikola Knezevic on Unsplash

Stories we tell is what we become.

That’s why it’s important to pay attention to the stories we keep telling ourselves.

Back in college, I used to be awkwardly skinny and many of my friends used to make fun of me. I ended up believing that that’s who I am and it’s not my fault. But somewhere down the line, it hit me that I just can’t keep feeling pity about myself for the rest of my life. I decided to change the narrative and make changes in my life. I started taking care of my diet and working out. Not to be bragging, but I am proud of the changes I have made in my 2.5 years of fitness journey so far.

Similarly, we keep telling many different stories about ourselves over and over again till it becomes our truth.

  • I can’t be happy, I have too many problems to be happy.
  • I can’t let go of stress and worry, I have anxiety issues.
  • I am in this bad place because of my parents, it’s not my fault.
  • I can’t maintain cleanliness, I am just a messy person.
  • I can’t be creative, it’s not my thing
  • I can’t get fit, I am just lazy and I am happy with the way I look.
  • I can’t learn new things, I am just lazy and have a short attention-span
  • I can’t express my needs and wants, I am an introvert.

Telling these let-down narratives over and over again makes the changes hard or we don’t even want to change in the first place.

Although there are some truths to these stories. Since these, to a certain extent, depend on our genes, our upbringing, and the different life situations we have been through.

Still, these are not something that can’t be changed, although they require hard work and deliberate practice. Sadly, we have been conditioned to take the easy way out.

As we keep telling such stories to ourselves, it lets our ego off the hook because it makes us believe that this is how we were born, this is how we have been wired, or these are not because of our mistakes but some external agencies.

As we keep telling these stories to ourselves, we start to get more comfortable with all these narratives, which makes them even more strong and now we are stuck in a perpetual negative feedback loop.

We keep telling others that not to be religiously or politically fanatic, don’t be a blind supporter, keep an open mind about the different schools of thought. But, we still manage to hold these strong narratives views about ourselves to such an extent that we start to consider these narratives as our truth, something which is beyond change.

To truly enjoy life and do all the things we feel like doing, we have to challenge these strongly held narratives of ourselves. Then only we can realize our true potential.

We can change the story we tell ourselves any time we want. Once we change the story, we can get into action and start making changes in our lives to make the new story our truth.

Following is how we can change some of the aforementioned narratives, which will eventually lead us to take actions to realize these new narratives:

  • Everybody has problems. So, instead of just feeling bad about myself, I should start taking charge of these problems.
  • I should start focusing on good things going on in my life, instead of worrying about the future all the time. It will help me enjoy the present and be more productive.
  • Making my surroundings neat and clean will make me feel more organized, leading to a better mood and productivity.
  • Pursuing creativity will lead me to explore new avenues and overall well-being.
  • Being fit and healthy will improve my mood and will make me feel good about myself.
  • Learning new things will help me navigate this world and life better.

In the following article, I will be discussing how we can start taking action and realize these new stories for our overall well-being.

Feel free to get in touch with me on my Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Avid learner | DS@Walmart | Ex- Fractal, Cisco, Ericsson

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NAQUIB ALAM

NAQUIB ALAM

Avid learner | DS@Walmart | Ex- Fractal, Cisco, Ericsson

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