Telling yourself better stories

November 7, 2021

This week, I’ve been reflecting on disempowering vs. empowering narratives.

All day long, we tell ourselves stories about the way the world works, about what others think of us, and about what we can do. The latter type of stories is particularly pernicious.

Disempowering narratives include:

  • I’m not focused enough to do hard work
  • Public speaking isn’t for me. I just get too scared
  • I can’t stick with an exercise routine

If you’re walking around with those stories in your head, you’re not likely to get good results. What if you instead told yourself this:

  • I can change my environment to make it easier to focus
  • Public speaking is scary, but my attitude is “feel the fear and do it anyway”
  • I haven’t yet figured out how to stick with an exercise routine

These are empowering narratives.

And you know what’s funny?

You don’t need to believe the empowering narrative. Let’s say you don’t believe that you “can stick with an exercise routine”. That doesn’t stop you from trying a different method to get yourself to go to the gym, even if you expect that method to fail. You might surprise yourself.

So try on an empowering narrative for size—and see what happens.

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