The stories we tell ourselves are really important. Most of us over excaudate when sharing stories with other people, we like to embellish to make the tale more fascinating. However, we can often tell tales to ourselves to give us excuses not to make the right decision and to justify a wrong one.
There are also things we tell ourselves about our own capacity to cope with situations. When I hear these coming from clients, I know this is an inner voice mantra that has started. Mantras are very powerful; we understand the power of affirmations, an affirmation is repeated giving yourself positive reinforcement through words. Yet when we give negative reinforcement, we are keeping ourselves from embracing the future. Often that fear of the future is the very point of a negative mantra, if I keep telling myself I can’t cope, I won’t have to. We don’t get to choose how the power of the negative mantra shows up in life, but if you repeatedly tell your body, mind and emotions that you can’t do something, it will prove you right. So here are my top five things I hear clients tell themselves that aren’t true.
- I’m having a break down
- I feel like killing myself
- My life is a disaster
- I can’t get over…
- Everything I do turns to shit
Why do I think these things are not true? The person sitting in front of me is talking about another aspect of themselves. For example when someone tells me they are depressed, the person speaking isn’t depressed, for if they were, they would be too depressed to tell me. The person speaking is the fixer, the one who has come to fix the other aspect of themselves they are talking about. Strangely the more the fixer tells the story of their broken self, the more the fixer starts to believe it, until the fixer also becomes broken. When we start to focus on the fixer, not the problem, we see we have all we need to change how we feel. Another archetype for this would be ‘frightened child and parent’. The child says ‘I am scared of the world, its dark!’ The parent say’s ‘It’s night time and tomorrow the sun will rise’. Sure enough in every period of darkness we have to remember that light always comes. Every impasse is followed by grace. The light takes longer to shine In our lives, when we stop looking for it and become obsessed with changing the darkness. A better metaphor might be: you can’t rush winter; every season like every emotion has its place. By moaning about the winter and making an inner voice story, only makes it feel like it lasts longer than the spring.
That’s when you start thinking ‘I have a shit life!’