We all have them … those stories that we have created around why we can’t be, have or do something in our lives.
It is often easy for us to clearly see the way that the people around us create their own stories and then use them to hold themselves back. It’s often much harder for us to stop and consciously see the ones that we have made up for ourselves and are actively applying in our own lives.
Upon creating them, these works of fiction weave their way into our subconscious mind and become embedded. Once they’re embedded they form the ‘rules’ that we’re allowed to live our lives by; they become the basis for the decisions we make about what we will allow ourselves to do – and what we forbid ourselves from doing as well.
We’re taught from a very young age that stories are a part of our lives.
As children we’re brought up on magical stories called fairy tales. These tales are full of wonder and are a way for us to connect with love, magic, courage and the endless possibilities available to us in the world. We then take the stories that mean the most to us and weave their magic into our play – making up our own tales of spell binding miracles and keeping ourselves entertained through an imagination that runs wild and free.
Then, suddenly, even though we’re still really young and the world is the same place we’ve always lived in, the adults around us start to look at us differently. They demand that we start to grow up, get serious about our lives and begin the slog to our future. So begins our journey with the ‘rules’ around what we can and can’t do in our lives.
From this point, the stories we start to tell involve less magic and more discipline, less imagination and more ‘soldiering on’. We dedicate less time for play and give our lives over to work. We start to give everything we have to everyone else and quickly silence our inner voice when it asks: ‘what about me?’
As we transition into adulthood, our view of the world becomes clouded with ‘reality’.
Our stories become even less about magic and miracles and much more about the daily grind and the reasons why we can no longer do, be and achieve certain things. They’re still stories, but we’ve just forgotten that we’re allowed to weave magic and possibility into them. We become afraid to do things – we live in fear that the world will see the truth about who we really are – and we get stuck in a version of ourselves that is small and colourless.
Despite all of these things, the impact of those fairy tales remains imprinted on our soul. We retain a small, hidden part inside of ourselves that yearns for adventure, for courage and for the light at the end of the tunnel. The light that will catapult us into a life full of love, laughter and excitement. That illusive light that will bring meaning back into our lives.
The first step to doing something a little bit differently is almost always to allow ourselves to slightly shift our perception about a particular way of thinking.
When we relate this to the stories we tell in our lives, and shift our perception of them slightly, it becomes possible for us to understand that those stories are actually a very effective distraction that we create so that we can keep ourselves from challenging the things we’ve been taught are right and wrong about the way we live. If we distract ourselves long enough, we can keep everyone around us happy, and when everyone is busy doing what they’re ‘supposed’ to do, everyone is content.
While we’re all doing what we’re ‘supposed’ to, we are actually making ourselves very busy living a life that someone else has given to us. We pack our lives with things that we often don’t like doing. We work in jobs that are disconnected from our passion. We weigh ourselves down with obligation and generally do far too many things that are stressful, uninspiring and exhausting. This leads us to live highly overwhelmed and unfulfilled lives where we end up totally disconnected from ourselves, desperately unhappy and significantly unwell.
Sometimes the great successes in life are on the other end of a step that we’re really afraid to take.
Applying a simple shift of perception to this, it might mean that all it takes is for us to let go and take that step, no matter the direction. With movement comes energy. With energy comes intent.
Reducing the impact of the ‘I can’t do that because …’ in your life is as simple as taking a deep breath, asking yourself the question ‘how can I look at this a little bit differently?’ and taking one step in any direction.
Which ‘I can’t …’ will you challenge today? The next step is up to you.
You can find more great ideas on thinking and living differently in my free email series that is full of articles and videos that will help you to begin your journey – simply click here to start you on your way. There are also loads of practical and simple tips and activities in my book ‘Keep It Super Simple’ (Reader’s Favourite gave it a 5 Star Review!)– you can buy a copy from my website.
Want to chat? Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on +61 438 624 868 and we’ll set up a time!
Bronwen Sciortino is a Simplicity Expert, Professional Speaker and the internationally renowned author of ‘Keep It Super Simple – Tips from a Recovering Perfectionist’. You can follow her at her website; Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn.