Ep 148 The Stories We Tell
Today I want to talk about the stories we tell in our lives. We tell stories around our past, what we are capable of, time, and what our future will look like. Listen today to learn why it’s important to understand the stories you are currently believing, and how to start creating new stories in order to accomplish new results.
In This Episode:
- Recent travel down memory lane
- How you tell stories of your past and how that can hold you back
- The stories (lies) you tell about your time
- The way you tell your future story
Michelle Bourque 0:00 You are listening to the richer time podcast and I’m your host certified life coach Michelle Arnold Burke, and today’s episode, I’m discussing the stories we tell. Welcome to the it’s your time podcast, the podcast where busy professionals like you get the practical solutions and support you need to gain control of your schedule. So you can strive to be the best in your career, but without the stress and overwhelm. If you’re looking to increase your energy and decrease your stress, you are in the right place. Hello, hello. Hello. Welcome back to the podcast friends, hopefully, all as well, on your end on this final Thursday of the month. Well, that is, if you’re listening on the release date. I mean, no matter what day it is, I hope that all is going well. But today is officially the last Thursday in August. So what I want to talk to you about today are the stories that we tell. We all tell stories, friends. And the question is, what is the quality of your story? And how does it help you create the life you want? And I will also add, how do the stories that you tell make you feel? And let me just start with an example that got me thinking about this for the podcast, because it was something that happened recently, I was visiting some of my nieces and Tucker, our dog for those of you who might be new to the group was being taken care of by someone that we trust. But when I went to pick him up, they walked out with a baggie of his food. Yes, I am the crazy dog person that portions out his breakfast and his dinners when I go away. And I knew that based on my portions, he had the perfect amount for the time that I was gone. So my brain immediately went to what didn’t they feed him. I mean, really, my brain so quickly goes to stories like I should have never left, I should have been able to get him sooner. I don’t know why they wouldn’t have fed him and on and on. It’s crazy. And really what happened, what the true story was right, is that he apparently just didn’t finish all of his food and they wanted to send it home with him. So he had it for leftovers. So pay attention because the stories that we tell influence how we feel, and then that influences the actions that we take, which then gives us our results in our life. Right. And today, I want to talk about a couple of ways to look at this. So there are the stories that we tell about external circumstances. And then there are the stories we tell about ourselves, the stories that we tell about others, the stories that we tell about what we are capable of the stories that we tell about our past. And it can go on and on. Right. So today, what I want to do is it’s kind of like a little Rachael Ray recipe, right? I’ll talk about the method. So different questions to consider different concepts that I’ll share, and then you take what works for you. Add your spice to it, and live your life. Right. So let’s jump in. I want to start first with the stories that you tell yourself, about your past. And I will also add a funny story in here for you about my past weekend with the nieces because I told them that we were going to be taking a trip down memory lane, my memory lane. And so you know, my dad used to do it to me. I’m sure you guys know what I’m talking about. Right? Like back in the day. These were all fields here. So I took them to the sugar shack, which aka was my very first apartment. Yes, it was called the sugar shack. And let’s just say it has changed so much. And it looked like nothing that I recalled. And they were shall I say probably more shocked than impressed with what I thought was going to be my entry into like the coolness club to show them where my first apartment was. It was so not cool. But it’s fascinating because we oftentimes romanticize right, the good old days and then we tell people how much better or more fun life was back then. But is that really true? The other thing that I see on the opposite side of the storytelling of your past is when clients look at How maybe they can or cannot do something based on their past. So the story will be something like I’ve never been able to lose the weight, we don’t base our future on our past friends, right? It’s almost like we use the stories against ourselves. So either romanticizing about how great it used to be. And now it’s different. Or we’re telling ourselves that we can’t make it different, because we never were able to do it in the first place. It’s just so crazy at times. And the thing is, that doing either of those, really robs us of the precious moments that we’re currently living. And that is going to bring me to the next story that we tell. I’m talking about the precious moments and our precious time, right, the story that we tell ourselves about time. I mean, it is, after all, the it’s your time podcast, we should talk about the stories you tell about time. And I see this all the time at work. And let me just take a moment because the reason I started this podcast is because of the stories I used to tell myself about time and how I had no control over time, right. So what I want to toss out to you is the idea that maybe we all have the perfect amount of time. What if that was actually true? Because the truth is, it is I mean, let’s face it, time is something that is just a mental construct, right? Like someone said, there are 24 hours a day, and seven days in a week, and we all agree and yet, some people get more done than others. And some feel super overwhelmed doing less. We also know that time flies when we’re having fun, right. But when we’re stuck in traffic, it seems to take forever. So it really just depends on our mindset at the time. And a lot of times, I see what I was just talking about the same thing, I used to be guilty of the story that people tell about not having control over their time, and how my time could be better spent doing x, y, z. And I see that one in this job, specifically a lot. And it’s so funny, because usually, the people that are complaining that they should have more time to be more productive. And let me just pause because I do think that’s important to note. Usually the people that are complaining about not having time, are ones who truly want to be more productive. And they feel like maybe time is being wasted. So for example, and this job, case delays, or time changes in cases. And we often start this line of thinking that we should have more time to be productive. I also see it with people who have to take long drive times, right, I should be doing something more productive. And the hysterical thing to me is that people will text colleagues and friends about how terrible it is that they are delayed, or they shouldn’t have to drive so far, they should be doing something more productive. And I just want to say, Okay, let’s first stop with texting everyone about how terrible life is. And you probably could gain about 30 minutes back in your life, right? I mean, I get it. But instead, what if you can just plan ahead, you know, this is the job, right? Instead, bring other things that you want to do while you wait. That story could be that you actually are an amazing time management person, right. That’s how you get things done. That’s how you become more productive. That’s how you get to enjoy your life and have time to create your future. So let’s do that. Let’s jump into that section, the stories you tell about your future. I think a lot of times, the stories that we tell about the future might not always be most useful. So let’s talk about this. What might be possible for your life. And I share this because I was recently called out by my coach as I was getting coached on making a decision. And I want to share this with you because I don’t think I’m alone. She took the time to show me that my brain was romanticizing one option, meaning thinking of all the amazing things that could be possible if I made that decision, and not really looking at any downside to that decision. And then on the other side of the story, so the other option I was talking about all the quote unquote negative things that could happen, when in fact, we all know, as a side note that they would be neutral, right? All of the results are neutral. And then we make them mean something. But in this case, I was talking about all of the quote unquote, negative things that could happen, and not much romanticizing that side of the story. So I want you to get clear when you’re making your decisions, and telling yourself your stories about what you want to do next, be sure that you’re telling both sides of the stories for both options, not just one side for one option, and the other side for the opposite option. And also start asking yourself, what are you capable of? In fact, I think a very important question that we often neglect is, what do you want? And there is no right answer here. Friends, it is simply, what do you want? And I know that a lot of days, we think that once we arrive and air quotes, right, once we get the right answer, then we’ll know. It doesn’t happen that way. So take some time and just think in your wildest dreams. What do you want? And what do you think you could be capable of? What are you capable of not based on fear? And not based on evidence from your past? But in your wildest dreams? What could you be capable of? That is sometimes the scariest thing, right. And Marianne Williamson talks about this when she says, Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous. Actually, who are you not to be? Think about that friends, because I think there are a lot of us who will look at life and think that’s pretty good, right? Let’s not rock the boat, I have a good job, have a great family, everyone is safe. And yet, there seems to be something missing. It’s never too late. We always get to keep writing the next chapter. And it doesn’t have to be a chapter that’s based on what everyone else thinks. You get to decide. That has been such a learning curve for me, and I see it all the time with my clients. We just get to decide for the longest time. And I mean, the longest time I thought, if I just keep doing all this personal growth work, I will eventually get it. And then I’ll know it’s not how it works, friends, even telling yourself that you need to do the work to get to the next level is a story. Is it useful for you and it might be, it might keep you evolving. So that could be useful or get curious. It might keep you stuck in the doing? does all of that personal growth work, allow you to stay safe, and not really take the next big scary steps to decide and to take action and to learn and to move on. Just get honest with yourself. And if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times here. Awareness is key. And the Curiosity is what allows you to become aware of what your deep rooted beliefs are, which filter all of the stories that you tell. And you get to change those beliefs if you want and if it’s more useful for you to create the life that you want. That’s where the fun is. So what are the stories you want to tell? Understand that after you have the awareness of the stories that you are currently telling yourself, be sure that the new stories are really what’s most useful for you. Do more of that friends. That’s where the fun is. Okay, that’s what I have for you today. Let’s circle back next week but for now, stay safe and make it a great day. Take care. Did you know you can take this work to a deeper level with me one on one, go to Michelle Bourque coaching comm and click on Get started to begin