Up next video 2 of 5 examines how the stories we tell our self can actually undermine our ability to experience genuine happiness and the love that others are trying to give us.
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These stories, or beliefs, that we have about our self influence virtually every area of our life. They determine who we’re willing to reach out to and who we avoid because we can’t imagine that they’d want anything to do with us. These beliefs determine which opportunities we go after and which we don’t because we doubt our ability to succeed at them. While all these stories we tell ourselves feel very real, not all of them are accurate or complete. I used to think that I was stupid until I discovered that I was simply not interested in learning certain subjects. The things that interested me I had no trouble learning. But since we act on our stories as if they’re true, then to the extent they’re inaccurate or incomplete, we can end up missing out on amazing relationships and opportunities while struggling to understand why our life isn't turning out the way we hoped it would.
Improving our quality of life begins by understanding that our identity is not an assortment of facts, but a collection of stories or beliefs we've accumulated over time and come to believe is who we truly are. But these stories are not the whole story. To demonstrate this - think about how your view of yourself changed when you accomplished something you didn’t think yourself capable of accomplishing, like learning how to ride a bicycle, or getting your driver’s license, or learning a trade, or discovering that someone was in love with you.
So let’s try an Exercise: Think about a self-limiting story you may be holding about yourself. Maybe it’s that you’re not smart enough, or you’re too fat, or you’re no good with your hands. How might you behave differently if you decided to reject this self-limiting story and chose instead to believe that you are far more intelligent, beautiful and capable than you've been willing to believe up to now?
So as a Take-away Activity: I’d like to invite you to get curious about the stories you hold about yourself. Is it possible that some of these stories are the result of things you were told or told yourself that you continue to accept as accurate even though they may not actually be true? And how would your life change if you decided to reject these inaccurate stories and replace them with more compassionate and optimistic beliefs about yourself?
In the next video we'll examine how the stories we tell our self can actually undermine our ability to experience genuine happiness and the love that others are trying to give us.
I’m John Paterson - Thank you for joining me on this journey.