Stories can create your reality. Which reality will you choose?

What kinds of stories do you tell yourself?

Here are a few common examples of stories:

• I can’t lose weight!
• I’ll never find love!
• I’m too old, fat, thin, stupid, short, tall, etcetera!

Stories are the collection of things you tell about yourself. Your stories involve how you look, how you feel around certain people, and what kinds of things you think you need to make your life complete. They also include your perception of your abilities: things you do very well, and the things you might not even want to try because “you’re bad at that.” Your stories started a long time ago, and they have since become part of your identity. You may not even be aware of what you are telling yourself. If you are interested in making changes, however, it may be time to check your stories and see why you think they are true. To do this, you can 1) Listen and let your stories surface, 2) let your stories flow by, and 3) release the stories that no longer serve you.

Listen and let your stories surface

Stories are often made up of thoughts about who we think we are. We don’t notice our stories because we have integrated them into our lives as real and unchangeable. It may take a while to notice what you are telling yourself, but try. It’s worth it. Start by quieting your mind. Meditate or simply sit quietly and just listen to the constant chatter in your mind. Listen to the words you use to describe yourself and those around you. Soon, you will identify things you tell yourself and you will subsequently see behaviors that make those things true.

If you feel you can’t lose weight, for example, what are the things you are telling yourself about not being able to lose weight? You may be surprised at the things you tell yourself, which is precisely why it is so critically important to pay attention to your stories. What good is it to start a diet if your story involves you as a naturally overweight individual who will always have to struggle?

“It runs in my family,” you may say. “All of us tend to thicken after age twenty.”

Let those stories surface. Then quietly question whether or not they are true.

Let your stories flow by

Consider your stories to be simply ideas that you previously have allowed to define you. Don’t judge your story or lament having it – just watch the strings of words flow by and float away.

Have you told yourself you’d never find love? This story may look something like this:

“No one will ever love me because I am not perfect/because my mother wasn’t there for me/because my ex told me so/because I was abandoned/and because/because/because!”

The “because” of your story no longer needs to matter, nor does the story itself. Let the words of your “I’m unlovable” tale bubble up to the surface of your thoughts and disappear.

Release the stories that no longer serve you

Whether or not your stories were of some use to you in the past does not matter. Perhaps you thought you needed to be or look a certain way. Now, however, you may see that some notions of who you thought you were no longer contribute anything to your life.

What is one label you have always placed on yourself?

Here are a few story starters. Do any of them sound familiar?

“I’m not smart enough….”
“I’m too old…..”
“I’m too fat….”
“But this happened when I was young, so…..”
“Because of this, I can’t do……”
“I lack the ability to……”

The list could go on forever, and there are many variations. If you’ve told yourself even one negative thing, you likely have told it over and over again, adding vivid detail and evidence as you go to make your story more believable.

Regardless of what your stories are, ask yourself this: “Do these labels serve me?” If they do not, then release them. Picture them surfacing in your mind, escaping from your breath, and rising up into the air to float away and disappear forever. If they come back (and likely, they will), repeat the process. Your stories will gradually weaken. Put new, happier stories in their place.


Stories can create your reality. Which reality will you choose? Notice the stories you are telling yourself. Keep the stories that are working for you, if you like, and let go of the stories that no longer serve you. As you do this, you may find that your ability to reach your goals increases at remarkable speed. It’s a lot of fun, too! Go ahead: notice those stories! What do you have to lose besides something that holds you down?

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Debra Payne is a certified coach with a wealth of experience in coaching and mentoring people. More importantly, she gets it and she cares. Deb has experienced divorce and complete disillusionment, and she knows how to turn this around and make life fun and new again!

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