They say the truth sets us free.
Think of one thing that you believe about yourself - specifically something that doesn’t support the statement “I am awesome”. Big or small. Just the first thing that comes to mind. Now reflect on why you believe this. Try to come up with three solid reasons before reading on.
Our personal truth is who we are deep down at the core of our being. The person we were before others told us who we should be. Before we attempted to meet others’ expectations. Before stories filled our minds and doubt began to creep in.
Recently I have been revisiting one such story in my mind. For years I believed I couldn’t write. I’m not entirely sure why I thought this other than for some reason I always felt like I had to have friend, who I thought was a stronger writer than I, critique my high school English papers before I would feel comfortable submitting them. This practice continued in college as well. As an adult I can remember a coworker once stating that my written words meandered like my thoughts did, so I guess overtime a comment here and there led me to tell myself the story that I wasn’t a good writer.
Then one day a few months ago, I took a leap of faith and agreed to start guest blogging for a company in the same industry as my day job. I figured, "What is the worst thing that could happen, they say I suck at writing too?". Since I already believed this about myself, what was there to lose.
The first time I sent a draft into their VP of Marketing I was sweating bullets. She sent it back to me with more than 60 grammatical “suggestions” but commented that my ideas were interesting and fresh. I chose to use the experience to learn how to become a better writer and with the guidance and mentoring of said VP of Marketing, I have published 5 guest blogs over the past few months. Four of these blogs have been syndicated and yet I still told myself I wasn’t a good writer and that I was only marginally successful because I had a strong editor doing most of the work. (Yes, the lies we tell ourselves run deep.)
Meanwhile, I was beginning to more deeply explore Be Still Yoga, my side hustle. I decided to launch my own site and felt it needed a blog as a way to help eventually drive traffic to it. I had no clue what I would write about but for this project I knew I wouldn’t have someone to edit my work. It would be just me and my laptop. I almost cried as I pushed “publish post” on my first two blogs, convinced that I was exposing my writing “flaws” to the world (and by world I mean my 12 subscribers at the time, who happened to be my closest friends and family).
Sure, the content made me feel vulnerable as it was much more personal than anything I had written on before, but what I was really self conscious about my grammar, sentence structure, and the like. Writing for me is creative but more importantly, it is helping me to explore deep concepts that are floating around in my mind. Through the process of putting thoughts onto paper, I know I’m growing and expanding my beliefs and maybe, just maybe, some of what I’m learning and sharing can help someone else too.
Now I know I will never be a Hemingway, but I’m willing to push past the uncomfortableness of it all, face my fears, and rewrite a “story” that no longer serves me. Plus the more I write, the better I am bound to become, right?
Now, draw your mind back to the negative belief you thought of just a few paragraphs ago. Is it time to change that story you have been telling yourself? If it no longer serves you, then I will answer this for you. YES! Acknowledging is only the first step in rewriting your story. Your mind will try to trick you over and over again into believing the old story. When my mind tries to do this with my writing, I have literally begun saying aloud “THAT IS NOT MY TRUTH!” during those moments. I encourage you to find a mantra - a statement - you can use to help break the chains of your old story. Maybe every time you think “I’m stupid,” instead think “I am constantly learning new things” and mean it. Even it is hard to believe at first. It will get easier over time. I promise.
As we evaluate what we believe and why, we get closer to our truth, our authentic self, and the closer we get to this the happier and more at peace we become. I believe this is a lifelong process, especially since we are constantly learning new things, but each time you decide to stop believing an outdated story, I think you take one step closer to knowing and coming into alignment with your personal truth.
Go forth and Be Still. Be Love. Be You. and put an end those stories that no longer serve you!