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Lesson fourteen: Putting Together Your Story

It’s time to work out the story that’s almost being narrated in the background of your life. You’re entering into situations where you’re part of a plot that’s going to arrive at a foregone conclusion (the self-fulfilling prophecy), and when it does, it will support the reasoning that you’ve been applying to a host of experiences. In turn, based on this story, you’re able to predict what you think is likely to happen and then you subconsciously and consciously adjust your thinking and behaviour.

Getting conscious about your own narrative and what part it’s playing in your life is crucial. You’ve been operating with what may be a rather limited level of awareness about how you’re showing up to play your part in the story you tell you. It’s time to wake up. Is this really the story that you want to be writing?

Use the beliefs that you’ve gathered through identifying The Starting Point, The Payoff and The Fallout, and look for:

– Reasons  (yep, your beliefs) that you’ve used to make sense of your experiences and your actions.

Example: “My father bailed on us and then kept bailing because he didn’t think that we were lovable and worthwhile enough to stick around for.” That’s a belief which tells you another belief, “When people bail and disappoint, it’s because I am not lovable and worthy enough to stick around for.”

Which reasons have you been using to rationalise and even justify what’s been going on in your life?

– Similar beliefs that are on repeat.

Look through all of the beliefs and reasoning that’s showed up throughout your work, and you’re going to see a theme emerging.

For instance, a selection of mine were “I’m not good enough”, “I’m not lovable enough”, “Something about me scares people away just like my dad”, “I’m worthless and good for nothing”, “It’s my fault”, “Someone who’s good enough won’t experience the same problems as me”, and “I should be able to make people change and love me.”

– Beliefs that directly contradict each other.

Example: “I want to be in a loving relationship” contradicts “I want to be in a relationship that’s easy and no conflict” as well as contradicting, “I’m afraid of committing myself and getting it wrong.”

– Beliefs that undermine each other.

Example: “It’s really important to be honest” is  undermined by a belief like, “I’m afraid that if I don’t tell people what they want to hear, that I will be rejected.”

Using the prompts below, work out your story (fill in the blanks with your beliefs)

Things haven’t happened in the way that I wanted/expected/needed because _________
I’m the way that I am because ___________________.
I can’t ______________ because ___________________.
If my mother/father/carer {insert person of choice} had _____________, then I wouldn’t be ______________. This is why I believe that I’m not ____________.
People don’t do as I need, want, and expect because ______________.
It doesn’t matter what I do because ________________.
If ____________ hadn’t happened to me, I would be ____________. But it did and that’s why ________________.
I’m not good/lovable/worthy enough because _____________.
Other people can be / do / have ___________ but not me because ___________.
Logically I know that I can/can’t ____________ and yet I still keep ______________ because I believe ______________.
_________________ is the belief I’ve had for all/most of my life because ____________ and ___________ and _________ happened. I still believe this as an adult and it explained ________ and __________ and ___________.

It’s time to ask, is this story true?

Is this story fair and accurate?
Could these events and experiences be explained in any other way? Why haven’t you entertained these explanations?
Does your story take ownership of other people’s feelings and behaviour? Is it about trying to control the uncontrollable?
How does this story read to you? How do you feel when you read it? – This is what has been going on behind the scenes.
Try rewriting this story using one of these other explanations that acknowledges, for instance, the fact that you don’t have superhuman powers.
The remainder of the lessons are about helping you transform and balance these beliefs – you’re shaking things up, changing and in fact rewriting your story.

There’s a quick sheet https://baggagereclaim.box.com/s/al9q7zrb58fwwkya5yoj that gives you an overview of the process.

There’s a quick sheet that gives you an overview of the process.

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To help you keep track of progress, check here if you have completed Lesson 14

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