GROWTH CAN BE MESSY: HOW TO START BY OWNING YOUR STORY
Welcome to my blog – I just want to take a moment to sincerely thank you for being here and reading my work. If you have any questions please feel free to get in contact with me. It is my wish that this blog will not only help you identify some of your own limiting beliefs, but encourage you to own them so that you can move on and grow. If you are someone that has completely got their shit together – if life is 100% exactly how you want it be to, than that is amazing but this blog probably is not for you.
For everyone else, I hope you enjoy.
I strongly believe that our thoughts create our reality.
But what I’m guessing is that a lot of you may have heard this before but are not quite sure what to do with this knowledge.
Lets talk about the Law of Attraction a little.
The Law of Attraction states that our thoughts & beliefs (which are just the thoughts you have continued to repeat to yourself over time) are what create our life experience. Although, you cannot have one isolated thought about something you want in your life and expect the law of attraction to deliver. You experience the essence of what you focus your attention on the majority of your time.
This is why I think there is nothing more important than questioning our beliefs and re-telling our stories.
But, what I have found, is that some beliefs are so ingrained from such an early age that it can be difficult to even identify the ones that are holding us back.
What I mean by ‘story’
I am referring to the way we perceive and describe ourselves and our lives.
Here is an example: ‘I find it really difficult to make new friends, I’m so awkward and never know what to say – it seems so easy for everybody else. There is something wrong with me.’
‘I never have any money, I am a terrible saver and cant help buying things like clothes and take out food. I live paycheck to paycheck. That’s just the way it is.’
We use hundreds of stories to describe ourselves. What you need to realise is that every time you repeat your story you are affirming it. You are making sure that it becomes your truth for the future.
If you want to create change, to grow, in any area of you life than you need to be very deliberate in the story you are telling.
Permission to change
You may be thinking that the story you tell yourself is the ‘truth’ and that by changing it you would be lying. This is not the case. You have the ability to tell a different story than the one you now experience. Whilst you cannot change the past, you do have the power to change your future.
I am not talking about changing your story from ‘I am always late and in a rush’ to ‘I have never been late before’. Because, yes that would be a lie. Changing your story is shifting limiting language and thoughts so that you can have the chance to change and grow. Its about not holding yourself to who you were in the past.
The first step you need to take is to identify your story and own it.
Identifying The Stories You Tell Yourself
Often the seemingly lighthearted stories we tell ourselves daily have steamed from a deeper belief about ourselves and our world. So you might need to do some digging around, and this might mean acknowledging things that make you feel a little uncomfortable. Memories you would rather not shine light on.
If you think its better to leave them in the darkness than understand that even if you do not consciously acknowledge them, they are still in many ways controlling you – because they are still there, inside.
To be clear, I’m going to explain this using a personal example.
I have done lots of work involving limiting beliefs I had with money. Up until recently I was like ‘Yup, I’ve gotten to the bottom of this. I can see how I had learnt lots from my parents growing up and that a lot of their beliefs have become my own.Yeah sure, there are some memories that I don’t like to think about. And yeah there are some memories that I sure as hell am never going to talk to anyone about. But overall, I think I have this sorted now.’
Where It Gets Messy
What I have come to realise is that in order change my relationship with money I had to own my old story, otherwise I had not addressed some core beliefs that made me tell it in the first place.
The memories that made me uncomfortable and the memories that I didn’t want to talk about… yeah those were the ones I had to own. I sat down one day and decided I would write down memories that I felt shameful about. It surprised me how easy it was when I began.
I had this list and I felt some relief.
I thought well maybe that’s enough now. I totally don’t need to voice the list, none of this stuff is a big deal to anyone else. Nobody wants to hear abut his. Other people have been through so much more, I’m being silly.
I started to make every excuse as to why I did not need to share these memories. When you feel secretive, make excuses and procrastinate, well that’s a pretty good indication that its important.
Where my belief was born
When I was growing up money was tight. It was a struggle. It created anxiety and worry for parents.I remember going to little athletics and everyone having the same purple team shirt. Now I don’t feel like I ever missed out, my parents always found a way. But what I do remember is wearing a plain purple T-shirt from Big W and feeling so much shame for being different.
Its all these small memories and childhood experiences that formed the basis of my beliefs regarding money. I believed that not having money was something that made me different and something to be ashamed of.
Affirmations were not enough
The more I learnt about the Law of Attraction the more I began to see that these beliefs were limiting my flow of money as an adult. I decided I wanted to change my relationship with money.
I spent lots of time saying affirmations, journaling and visualising…but there was something still missing. Its one thing to say ‘I am enough. I am deserving. I am worthy of financial abundance’ and another to truly believe it.
I had stories that I was suppressing regarding money. If I really believed that I was enough and that I was worthy, than what was I hiding from?
I was still experiencing shame as an adult because growing up I didn’t have much money and that made me feel like I wasn’t enough. I would never judge someone for not having money, but I was still holding onto that belief about myself.
This is what I think Brene Brown means when she says that, ‘unless we own our stories -they will continue to own us.’
Name it to tame it
I realised I needed to open up. I sat down with Chris and told him I had some important things I really needed to talk to him about.
I let it out. It was difficult.
I told him about how I had made up lies in high school so other people would think I had more money than I did.
We spoke about my obsession with owning brand named things as a young teen.
I told him about the guilt I felt about all of this. Because I knew my parents did everything they could, yet still I wanted more.
I told him about lots of stuff that I had not ever put a voice to. And you know what, my gosh it was a relief. I can see how my six year old self just wanted to fit in and be like everyone else. But I wasn’t 6 anymore and it was time for me to really accept that this was my story, and that it is okay.
We are all different. But I believe that one thing remains the same – we all deserve to be free from suffering. Owning your story is a way for you to let it go. To let the past be the past.
The beauty about opening up and being vulnerable is realising that you are never alone.
You are not weird or crazy. You are human! And chances are by letting yourself be ‘seen’ you will give others around you an unspoken permission to do the same. And that my friends, is where the real magic and growth happens.
Ownership = forgiveness & Acceptance
Owning your story can look a whole lot like acceptance and forgiveness. Accepting the emotional four year old you, the you that lied, the you that hurt someone else, the you that had your heartbroken, the you that was neglected, the you that was hurt.
All of you. Its okay. I’m telling you right now – you are worthy. You are enough. If you feel otherwise than maybe its time to consider that the little voice in your head has gotten it wrong.
It is our thoughts and beliefs that are creating our life experience and the beautiful thing about this is we have the power to change our thoughts. This begins with ownership of what got you here. It begins with acceptance, forgiveness and love.
We all want to grow, but so often we glorify that process in our minds. We visualise a glorious spiritual awakening. But growth can be temporarily painful. It might mean shining light on parts of ourselves that we have tried to hide, often for most of our lives. Sound scary? Yes, it can be.
But whats scarier is continuing to live our lives bearing the burdens these old stories create.
Growth is messy. But it is always worth it.
Sending you my love,