Confidence at Work: Don't Trip Over Something Behind You

So what's your story?

Pretty innocent question.

Yet in coaching, when that question or a variable thereof is posed, we start uncovering layers to your story, like the proverbial onion.

The story you've been telling yourself for years. 

The one you don't question. 

The one that always brings up negative feelings about yourself.

The "story" can be in the form of one sentence:  "Oh, I'm not good at Excel," or "I don't like work social events."

Or it can be a bigger story, like when you tell me as your coach about something that happened two or three years ago.  Or at your old company. 

Or in high school {guilty}. 

And you've been perceiving what happened the same way ever since...over and over in your head. 

Your thoughts about what happened haven't progressed or evolved or matured along with you.

So you stick with that story. 

Unquestioningly.

It's familiar. 

Comfortable, even if it's negative.

Time to Take a Look at that Story

But here's the thing...how do you know what you think about that situation, circumstance or time is even true? 

What if you took a really objective look at that story instead of replaying the story you've been telling yourself all this time?

Why would you keep thinking something that doesn't serve you today? 

That's a great thing about being human...we can evolve, grow, mature. 

We can CHANGE.

Confidence at Work_ Behind You.jpg

I'm not talking about rewriting history. 

Well, wait.  Maybe I am.  

But not rewriting what actually happened. 

Rewriting your THOUGHTS ABOUT what happened.

Holy cats, that's a totally different thing.  

Letting the Story Go.

An exercise or visualization with some real symbolism can be very effective here.  I don't mean going all woo-woo on yourself...but something with a bit of ceremony involved will let your brain know, "Hey, we're moving on now, for reals.'

If you're ready to let that story go, here is a great way to do it:

1.  Answer this:  "What are you ready to change/let go of around the story you're telling yourself?"  Your answer is ideally any form of, "I'm ready to let go of the story I'm telling myself about XYZ (the old situation)"

2. Next, write down (pen & paper is preferred but typing it up is just fine too) WHAT HAPPENED.  What was the situation?  Who else was involved?  How would you describe what was happening to someone else?  Get it all out - don't worry about editing, etc.  Just get it down - what you've been telling yourself all this time.

3. Now, write down what you wish to think instead.  What's the truth about what happened?  Since you're letting go of this story, what do you want to feel about that story now when you think of that time?  What more closely matches where you are, where you're going in your life?  Write that down, in one or two sentences.  

4. Take or print the original story...here's where the ceremony part comes in.  You're ready to let that story go!  Here's some ways to do that...

  • You can physically put the printed story in your hand, and either crumple it up or rip it up and say, "I'm letting you go now."

  • If you typed it up, you can say, "I'm letting you go now" and delete the file.

  • Another thought is to visualize putting all the bad feelings the old story produced in palm of your hand, and then throw them up in the air and say "I'm letting you go now" and pretend they dissolve.

OK.  Maybe a little woo-woo.  But that's okay. 

It's important that your brain get closure here. 

And then remember the new story you're telling yourself around the event. 

If you start to go back to the older stuff when you remember that situation, say, "No, Brain, remember, this is the new story...that's not who we are anymore" and think about your new way of reflecting on that event. 

I'm not sure why I use the term "we" when I talk about you talking to your brain but it seems to make sense here. :)

So, what IS your story?

And what could it be?

 

I've helped lots of people rewrite their stories - to get out of their own way.  Perhaps I could help you, too.   The first session is on me:  Schedule Here.

 

Confidence, ToolsHeidi Lumpkin