I think our beliefs and the stories we tell ourselves drive our lives. It is what your head is telling you that determines if you will have a good day or bad day. Yes, I believe we manifest our destiny by our beliefs.
I came to this realization after a lot of self-reflection. What is it that makes one person happier than another? It is basically that the happier person believes that they are happy.
I know this from my own experience.
When I first separated from my husband, I sank into a depression. The only thing that got me out of bed everyday was just my mom strength. I couldn’t crater completely because what would happen to my kids? So I managed to put one foot in front of the other and keep going. I remember wondering how I had ever gotten to that place. I had always considered myself to be a happy person. In fact, that was my persona. I used to love reading depressing books because I wanted to experience that emotion because I did not have it in my life!
Every morning I woke up and felt terrible. The stories started playing in my head and the big one at that time was “what is the point?” I imagined just putting in time until my kids were old enough to look after themselves. This story played in my head for about a year. It sucked in all sorts of evidence to confirm that life sucks and it got bigger and bigger until one day I realized I did not want to go on.
That was not a good thought. What would happen to my kids then? I am so grateful that at that point I had a wonderful coach in my life who came to me through the Minerva Foundation. She understood what was going on and asked me the right questions to get me to the point where I could start shifting the story that I was telling myself.
The amazing thing was after a short time of telling myself a different story I started to feel better. This incremental difference in feeling felt so amazing that it was like a revelation. I started reading again (no, not depressing books). I started reading all those self-help books that I had mocked in the past. You know the ones and if you don’t, here is a list of my favourites:
Some of my friends noticed the change in me and asked me how I had done it. I said I just decided I was going to make myself better. When I said it that way, it didn’t seem possible and I think a few people raised more than one eyebrow and thought – yeah, right.
It wasn’t easy and it has taken some time; two years in fact, and I still tell myself some stories that are not helpful. That is what is so incredible. I have first hand evidence that the main thing that determines how my day goes is what thought I buy into when I wake up in the morning. Is it going to be a good day or a bad day? It’s as simple as that. What is not simple is letting go of those stories that make us feel terrible. They can get a hold of you and it can sometimes take a while to shake them. I rely on certain things to help me shake those stories, but that is a different blog post.
Why am I writing this post today? I was recently reminded of this by someone who wakes up everyday and says “Life is awesome!”
I had noticed that some of the stories I was starting to tell myself these days were starting to impact my day-to-day living again. I decided to adopt the “life is awesome, I’m going to crush it today” thought and for the last couple of days it has helped me get through the overwhelming thought of “HOW AM I GOING TO GET THROUGH TAX SEASON” that has been playing in my head for the last month. Life is awesome – I just will. That is my story today.
I want this blog to be the start of a series on stories we tell ourselves.
Next week’s topic? Stories we tell ourselves about money and how that affects our spending.
In that vein I would love love to have some feedback on a story that you tell yourself about money. I know mine. Mine is I’m broke, I cannot spend. What’s yours?