Okay, so you know your old story but don’t live there! I will be the first to tell you that it is very tempting to live in the old story. The old story is familiar, you know the plot, and there are rarely any surprises.
And the biggest pay off of all, the old story doesn’t need you to change.
“But I do want to change,” you say. And I believe you, you may even believe yourself. It all means very little though if you are not willing to leave the old story behind.
It is one of those life moments where you are either in or out. You need to be resolute about the story you are creating for your subconscious to begin working on.
What you focus on grows. I am sure you have heard that. So if you want the new story to become your new life, that is the only narrative that needs your focus.
That said, I know how hard it can be to change the story. I mean, this has been the story that has given you some identity, right? Whether you are the villain, the hero or the victim, this story has given some legitimacy to the life you have lived thus far.
So yes, it can be hard to let it go. The good news is, it is possible. After all, I managed to change this life story
What is cognitive reframing? This is a techniques used by therapists, to help take a highly stressful situation, into a mildly stressful one. And this technique is what you need to practice a new story.
Here is a cognitive reframe in action- May be your old story is ” I can never get anything right.” Your new reframe can go along these lines, “I am constantly learning and mistakes are part of the journey.” The reframe doesn’t convince you that you didn’t make a mistake, but instead assures you that mistakes are part of the learning process.
When you are working to change your old story, it is important to keep in mind that you will slip into it more often than you would like especially in the beginning.
So give yourself some grace. And take the time to write down and rehearse your new responses to your old story.
Another old story may be, ” I will never lose weight, I have been overweight my whole life.” The reframe can be, “My body has carried me my whole life and in this moment I choose to take care of it.” Again, there is no direct denial of your base feeling, or old story instead you present yourself with the option to choose differently in the moment. One moment at a time. And one moment at a time is all your need.
To give your new story strength, you must get clear about the habits and behaviours of the new story. So going back to the “I will never lose weight” story.
The truth here is everyone and their neighbour know the proper steps to weight-loss. We just don’t have the right motivation or we are stuck in the loop of the old story.
But when you are serious about changing your old story, you will have a list of new habits you need to align with. And don’t overwhelm yourself, pick just one thing you can align with. For example, you can choose to drink water first thing when you wake up.
To make this habit easier for yourself, you can place of bottle of water by your nightstand so it is the first thing you see when you wake up. Read Atomic Habits, it is amazing at breaking down how to form a lasting habit.
Okay, so now you are seriously thinking about changing your old story, but where do you start? Below are a few questions to help you create a new story. I have also created a free worksheet you can download and fill out, or even fill in on your device. (I prefer pen and paper, there are some benefits to writing it out but, hey to each their own.)
Take your time creating this new story. Please understand that the your old story will keep showing up, release it gently and get back to the new one.
Any change can be extremely hard to go through, but the hardest change is one that is forced upon you. Get ahead of the curveball because what is certain is CHANGE happens, constantly. Let it find you already on the path.
We sadly, cannot just will our lives into our dream lives, if we don’t even stop to think about what that is. We have general ideas of what the dream life is, but have you taken the time to specific? Right down to the colour of your kettle in your dream house? Many of us have not, and we struggle and fight against the truth- you create your life. And when you are not consciously creating, you are unconsciously choosing whatever shows up.
I hope you have found this helpful. And if so, please share this post with one other person you know is looking for the tools to change their story.
If we all create a wave of changed stories, stories created to empower us, we will live in a world full of joy, passion and inner peace.
As always, I wish you all the healing you deserve,