Discovering the Stories That I Tell Myself.

We are all storytellers. Let's take time to listen to our stories.

I remember hearing an interesting conversation some time in my childhood.

X: “I had a very bad dream last night.”

Y (jokingly): “It’s a dream! Why can’t you be positive at least in your dreams?”

I don’t know why but I found this exchange hilarious and funny then. Not anymore. I got reminded of this memory during a coaching conversation yesterday. I was having a dialogue with a client who shared how a particular dream had impacted her life. Without getting into specifics, she had a dream about an event that was about to happen in her life and soon after it did happen. The excitement of experiencing something that came up in her dream in real life made her believe this is a significant life event. However, as days went by it turned to be not a great experience and she came to me at a time when she was trying to reconcile the import of the dream with the unpleasant reality.

As we engaged in a contemplative dialogue, at one point she became aware of how the story that she wove around the dream was of her own making. This story had the tapestry of the possibilities that she wished to experience in an area of her life where there was a significant inadequacy at the moment. And as we delved deeper into the dialogue, she got in touch with the fact that the story she held on to was limiting her from seeing the reality and accepting ‘what is’. This was creating a dilemma and inner conflict that played havoc with her peace of mind. As she stayed with this awareness more, I could see a certain lightness dawn on her and she felt more relaxed towards the end of the session. She also acknowledged perhaps the dream is an invitation for her to be more mindful about the aspect of her life which was experiencing the inadequacy.

Both of us agreed on the importance of being mindful of the stories that we create around our experiences (real / dream) and look deeper within ourselves to discover where these stories are coming from.

As I write these lines, I’m reminded of a remark another young dynamic coaching client made at the end of a session. He shared how at the start of our conversations the image he had of himself was like a drop in a vast ocean which evoked a sense of loneliness and separateness. And now he feels he is a drop that is part of a vast ocean and it evoked a sense of connectedness. I listened to it in wonderment of the power of the stories that we tell ourselves.

My invitation to you today is to reflect on what stories do you tell yourself? It is worthwhile to listen to them, journal them, and if you feel comfortable feel free to share them with me. I’d love to listen. :)