Have you ever caught yourself telling the same story about your life repeatedly? I’m not talking about that epic trip you and your friends took last summer. I’m talking about, “The struggle was real and I don’t know how I’ve made it this far in life.” story. How many times have you heard someone else you know talking about their past?
For years, I struggled with my thoughts, emotions, health, my entire life honestly. The desire for change was there for sure but year after year life remained the same. In my post 12 Powerful Steps to reach any goal I touched on what we really need to have to accomplish them – a burning desire. While I certainly had that desire, there was one thing holding me back. I was telling my old story.
I remember one day sharing my story with a family member that already knew all the struggles I had faced and overcame. For some reason though, I was sharing this same story yet again. It was in that moment I became so annoyed with myself and immediately stopped the story telling. I sounded like a broken record.
Then I had one of those Aha! moments, an epiphany – How am I improving my life if I’m spending so much time telling people about the struggles of my past?
Reflecting or Dwelling?
Now don’t get me wrong, reflecting on your past is a great thing. There is a huge difference between reflecting and dwelling, though.
Reflecting on your past has a few key benefits. It can help you:
- Identify what mistakes you’ve made in the past so you can avoid making them again.
- Raises your self-awareness and helps you learn more about who you really are.
- Forces you to learn how to look at things from a new perspective
- and so much more…
Making a conscious decision
When we tell our old story about who we were and where we come from all the time all we are saying is, ‘I choose to live in the past and I still identify with my past self.” This is not a healthy way to live and it most certainly will not help you grow as an individual.
So, how do you end the mindless story telling that isn’t serving you well? First you must ask yourself these questions:
- What purpose does telling my old story have?
- How do I expect to move forward in life and become the best version of myself by sharing this old story?
- What action can I take that will allow me to let go of my past?
I really want you to take time with each question, dig deep and be brutally honest with yourself.
After you have your answers it’s time to move on to the fun part!
Making the switch
What is the best way to stop rehashing the past and telling your old story? Tell a new story! It’s all about looking forward.
You’re probably asking, “But what’s my new story? You just want me to make something up?”
No, of course not!
A great starting point for coming up with your new story is by simply asking yourself these questions:
- What do I have planned for myself in the future?
- What goals have I set for myself and why do I want to achieve them?
- What inspires me and why?
These are just a few questions, but as you begin to answer them you’ll start to notice a theme forming.
Do spend time reflecting on your past. Don’t spend time dwelling on it.
Stop telling your old story. Start creating a new one.
If you are going to tell a story make it about the good things happening in your life in the present moment and what’s to come. Just remember…