Letting Go of Your Old Stories
This is how to let go of old stories that are holding you back — so you can achieve what you truly desire
We all have a story.
It’s usually one that we carry from our younger years and is so ingrained into us that we are barely aware that it’s there. But it’s there, playing itself on repeat and stopping us from pursuing what we truly desire.
We might even subconsciously shape our environment and life in a way that allows the story to play out.
Your story might be that you aren’t liked and accepted by others. You tell yourself this story for years, really believing that you aren’t capable of deep relationships. So you don’t put yourself out there to meet others, because the belief that it’s just not possible for you to be liked is so strong in your mind.
Your story might be that you aren’t intelligent. You grow up believing that you aren’t capable of understanding information or developing your thoughts. So you avoid work or conversations with others that require you to form and share your opinion.
Maybe your story is that you are overweight. You grew up believing that you had no willpower when it comes to food. So you overdo it each night — proving to yourself that the story is correct.
We all have a story. There might be more than one.
We can all change our story.
“To truly heal, you are going to have to change the way you think. You are going to have to become very conscious of negative and false beliefs and start shifting to a mindset that actually serves you.”
– Brianna Wiest (2020). The Mountain Is You.
Identify your story
The first step is to identify your story. What story are you telling yourself?
Understand that this story is from your past. It was a belief constructed by your younger self and doesn’t have to be a part of the person that you are today. You are capable of changing it.
Rewrite the story
Rewriting is taking the negative story we tell ourselves and changing the words we use to be more positive and empowering.
It’s a bit like the psychological technique — cognitive reframing.
If the story is that you are confused and not capable of making a decision, reframe it into a more positive thought like “I’m on a path. I’m learning each day and progressing.”
If the story is that you will never find true love, decide that you are capable of true love. That you are a loving person and welcome love in your life.
Look for the evidence
It’s important to look for evidence to support our new story.
We are so deep within our old story that it’s difficult to separate ourselves from it and see our lives clearly and realistically.
If your story is that you aren’t liked by others then think about the relationships you do have. Maybe you don’t have the huge social circle that you feel you are supposed to have, but what relationships do you have in your life that have been there for a long time? The evidence shows that you do have friends and family who love you, otherwise they wouldn’t give you their time.
If your story is that you are bad with money, then recall a time when you did refrain from buying something unnecessary. What expense have you managed to eliminate or reduce successfully? The evidence shows that you have proven you can cut down your spending or reduce temptation to buy. You aren’t bad with money. You are learning how to manage your money.
Take steps that align with your new story
Make yourself a healthy salad for lunch if the story is that you are overweight. Reach out to a friend and make a plan to see a movie together if the story is that you aren’t liked. Pick up a book related to something that you have been curious about learning, if the story is that you aren’t intelligent.
Every step we take to align with our new story gives it strength. The more strength our new story has, the weaker the old story becomes.
Remind yourself of your new story
The stories we carry may have been with us for a very long time. There are moments when we may slip back into our negative thoughts and beliefs. This is normal and understandable. Changing and believing our new story takes practise and perserverance.
Be kind and accepting when you find yourself back within your old story.
Zoom out and create distance from the thought. “There’s that old story again” is something we can say to ourselves. Gently guide your thoughts towards your new narrative and look for the evidence to support it.
We all have the power to change our story. It isn’t easy — but it can be done.
When we rewrite our story, we begin to view life differently. We view life from a more positive lens. We create space and welcome new opportunities that support what we truly desire.
This story was originally posted on chantellegrady.com