“When I was around 8 or 9 years old my older brother told me my legs were fat and I should not wear pants. You should wear dresses so people can’t tell won’t notice your fat legs, he said. To this day, I avoid wearing pants whenever I can. Going to the beach I wrapped a towel around my waist until it was time to get in the water. During gym class, I’d try to hide behind others whenever I could.” That is a story from a 40-something client who has been trapped by that tale for over three decades.
Her brother’s story became her story. Was it true? For her it was. In reality, it was not, yet she embraced it as absolute. Think how different her life may have been without that story. She would have been liberated to wear whatever she wanted. She would have enjoyed more activities. She would not have hidden behind skirts. She would have cried fewer tears.
Many people have stories that impact their self-esteem, their progress and their entire lives. Stories are sourced from family, teachers, friends, bullies, the media.
I often hear of negative stories about appearance, intelligence, talents, etc. The majority of stories have encompassed decades, many beginning at an early age. I’m curious how many stories have restrained “believers” from advancing their education, career, relationships, or experiencing joy. If you have stories that have affected your life you can move beyond them.
Consider engaging in an exercise, as follows:
- Write down the story, as you recall it.
- Who is the source of the story? Is that source credible?
- Is the story absolutely, unequivocally true?
- What is false about the story?
- How has the story affected you?
- Write a new story.
The client I referred to above took on this exercise. With permission, I’m sharing her new story, as follows:
My legs are strong. They have jogged many miles. My legs have given me joy in dancing and walking many miles through travel. These legs are mine to wear pants of all styles. I love my legs.”
You can change your story and your life.
For a complimentary discovery session, contact me at ginny@ytcoach, or call/text 585-241-3020