What Stories Do You Tell Yourself?

As children, we all loved being told a story. Our parents would make up a fable or read us a fairy tale or favorite book and we loved it and couldn't wait for them to tell us another -- or read us the same one over and over again.

Now that we're adults, perhaps we don't realize that we are still telling ourselves stories — only this time they're probably not as nurturing as the fairy tales we loved as children. Have you ever taken a good hard look at the stories you tell yourself?

Think about it — what do you tell yourself when you fantasize about getting a new job or finally starting that business? What stories have you told yourself about losing weight? Finding a new relationship? Or anything that really means a lot to you? Sometimes stories can be detrimental to our greater good.

Just yesterday I attended a workshop by Tama Kieves at the Seaside Center for Spiritual Living in Encinitas, California. It was a two-hour mini workshop based upon Tama's best selling book "Thriving Through Uncertainty: Uncovering Your Inspired Roadmap."

I had read most of Tama's books, but had never seen her speak live and I was enthralled from the first moment she stepped on stage. What I love most about Tama is that she is real and authentic. There were some issues with her microphone not working, not being able to launch music for a meditation, and not being able to locate her glasses to read us a passage and it made her more human and more authentic, and more endearing to the crowd.

Tama is the real deal. She is funny, inspirational, and incredibly on target with helping attendees to identify what they need to do to shift.

I walked into the venue having all sorts of judgements. Judgements about the venue, the people in the room, and would this turn out to be a positive experience for me because I've seen a lot of my favorite authors speak and while they can write well, they are horrible on stage. Here I was sitting in my chair judging -- is this going to be a total waste of my Sunday afternoon? I hope I didn't drive an hour for nothing, and blah, blah, blah, blah blah.

The first thing out of Tama's mouth was "You can't hear inspiration and brilliance and judging at the same time." WOW. That really perked me up and got me listening. I am the queen of judging and in Tama's own words, "if you spend your time judging others, you're not able to hear inspiration and brilliance" and thoughts that will forward me. Who cares what others are doing? It's my life and I need to focus on myself. What a great lesson to learn within the first five minutes.

Through a variety of exercises, Tama gave us insights about the stories we tell ourselves and stories she has told herself as well. Think about it...as Tama noted, "when you tell yourself a story about something, that frames what you see and what you do in any specific situation."

Are you telling yourself you'll never have a relationship because you're too fat so you don't even bother to go online or date people? That's your story. That's not the truth. And by believing this story, you aren't even putting yourself in the game.

Do you tell yourself you can never start your own business because you can't afford it, no one will pay you for what you do, and on and on and on? What I thought was so inspirational was when Tama said "If it's what you want, you'll walk through fire to get it," and "if that's where you have the most energy and passion, why wouldn't it work out and make money?"

Tama had us do an exercise where we wrote down what we really wanted to experience right now in our life and afterward we shared with a partner and then with the group. It was amazing to watch the transformation in someone's face as they spoke about what they wanted, Tama coached them to look beyond their stories, and then see their faces light up as they considered the possibility they could actually have what they really wanted.

If you want to learn more about how to move beyond your stories and thrive through uncertainty as you go after your dreams, you might consider taking a workshop with Tama at Kripalu in the Berkshires this fall or winter. Click here to learn more about these weekend workshops.

Remember, most things we tell ourselves in our heads is not fact — it's completely fiction — a story we made up in our own minds. Let it go.....