Even the bad ones?
It’s Motivation Monday!
Emma was a successful business owner who would tell herself, “I’m not good with money.” She used this story as an excuse to ignore the numbers in her business. She was constantly behind on her taxes, and she procrastinated getting a LLC set up even though she knew it would protect her.
One day, a friend and fellow business owner called Emma out on what she was saying. Her friend told her the “not good with money” story was holding her back from the next level of success. It was Emma’s way of playing small and staying safe.
What’s your story?
Every day, we create narratives about our lives. These are the stories we tell ourselves about who we are, where we came from, and what we want. These stories shape how we approach our relationships and our work.
Maybe you believe you’re a messy person. Telling yourself that you’re messy means you don’t have to be responsible for cleaning up and getting organized. Perhaps you say, “I just don’t like people. They drive me crazy. I’m a hermit, this is just how I am” (FYI, I can absolutely relate to this one!). Keeping people at arm’s length prevents you from making connections that can help you reach your goals.
What are you gaining from these self-limiting stories?
You can’t shed an old story until you understand why you keep holding onto it. For example, if you tell yourself you’re a hermit, you don’t have to step out of your comfort zone and get to know people. This story feels like it’s keeping you safe because you don’t have to risk getting to know people, yet it leaves your goals and dreams stranded.
Maybe your story helps you avoid responsibility. If you insist that you’re too disorganized to run a business, then you don’t have to take responsibility for turning your hobby into the business you’ve always dreamed of.
Understanding why you tell yourself your stories is important. Once you know why you hold onto a story, ask yourself what you are losing out on by clinging to the story.
What would happen if you let the story go?
If you’ve identified a story in your own life that isn’t serving you, ask yourself what would be the worst thing that could happen if you let it go. If you decide that being a hermit prevents you from achieving your goals, how would you change your life? Would you start reaching out to select people who could help you make those goals a reality? Would you build a wider network of professionals that can mentor and support you?
If you decide that you could be organized enough to run your own business, what would that look like for you? Would you be able to pay off your debts and help your spouse quit that job he hates? Would you be able to send your kids to that private school you’ve always hoped they could attend?
Letting go of your stories doesn’t mean you let go of you. It means becoming a better, stronger version of yourself.
Why new stories energize you
Emma listened to her friend and started creating a new story. She hired a bookkeeper, so she knows exactly how much she earns. She started paying her taxes on time, so she’s not behind anymore. She even filed that LLC paperwork to give her business the legal structure and protection it needed. Now, Emma doesn’t feel stressed about numbers. This means she’s free to spend her time on creating more products for the community she loves serving.
Letting go of old stories sets you free. It gives you energy and makes you see the world in a new way. It also helps you create space for more of what you love and want in your life. For me, trashing the old stories and building new stories (and new realities) is what makes my want-to life possible. I could keep telling myself that I’m a hermit or too awkward or too introverted, but doing that would keep me isolated and unfulfilled. Today I embrace a story that balances my “me” time with my desire to connect with like-minded folks and build a life and business that positively benefits me and others.
What stories do you need to let go of?