We’re all living out our stories, but which one are you telling yourself?
It is often said that 3 things determine our success in any given pursuit:
1. State: The sum of our physiology and emotions: How we are standing, feeling and projecting ourselves;
2. Story: What we are telling ourselves over and over again every day and how our belief systems are filtering reality;
3. Strategy: The goals we are setting for ourselves and how passionately and actively we are pursuing these.
For now I will concentrate on the second, and give you 3 quick tips to identify your Story. The beauty of these is they can be done anywhere, so they’re perfect to do during the commute to work, your lunch break or a walk.
‘Don’t just do something, sit there’
We’re so often consumed by the happenings of our external world that we rarely take some time out each day to look inside and see what is going on in there. It may seem as though what is happening out there is the biggest priority, but identifying the internal self-talk that is indicative of the belief systems through which we are seeing that very outer reality is just as crucial to our success.
Put 10 minutes aside each day to literally sit and do nothing. If you are on the train put the phone and newspaper away, close your eyes and just tune into your internal chatter. You will start to see a fascinating world of conversations, judgments, fears and ideas bubbling away. The important thing is not to try and change anything or see one thought as right and another as wrong, just observe and raise your awareness of the inner processes.
Check in on yourself
At random moments in the day, perhaps while you’re walking up the stairs or having a coffee break, just do a quick check on your mind and ask ‘what am I telling myself right now?’ Also observe any physical characteristics in your body (such as tense shoulders) or emotions (like anxiety or joy) taking place to see how this story is impacting your physiology.
Instead of using that spare 10 seconds to check Twitter or your emails, check in on your Story and see what effect it’s having on you.
Write down your observations
A basic principle of goal setting is that anything not written down has no definite reality outside of our minds. If we don’t write something down, we can’t refer back to it and place it in a timeline.
Thoughts are fleeting and, like dreams, their valuable insights can often be lost if they are not brought into physical reality by writing them down.
As you become more accustomed to listening into your story you will start to see loops and recurring themes popping up. These are typically expressions of extremely powerful values and beliefs which, often unconsciously, are shaping the way you experience literally everything in your world. Write them down! A pocket notebook is perfect for this: create your own Story Book.
Create a list of the key ideas you are repeating to yourself and regularly look back over it.
Ask yourself powerful, expansive questions such as:
‘How is this emotion benefiting me?’,
‘Where does this belief come from?’
‘What could I achieve if I transformed this idea?’
Following these 3 simple steps will raise your awareness around the Story you are telling yourself that is filtering your world and defining your possibilities.
Co-Founder | Form