By Dawn Onley
Listen very closely to the narrative that you tell yourself and others.
On the phone playing catch up with a friend. On a date with a potential love interest. On social media status updates. In your own head. What do the words sound like? Are they uplifting? Are they encouraging? Are they kind? Too often, these words are peppered with self-doubt, harsh judgements, insecurities, even loathing. We can declare ourselves sick, unsuccessful, unworthy, and unhappy or we can tell ourselves we are well, successful, worthy of everything wonderful and blessed beyond measure.
Ultimately, whatever narrative we tell shows to the outside world, despite how well we may try to mask it. How we see the world is how the world sees us. More importantly, how we feel about ourselves impacts us. It is reflected in who and what we draw to us. It influences our choices. It impacts our quality of life. It makes the difference in how hard we try or how quickly we give up.
It’s easy to become so familiar with our narratives that we no longer recognize the defeatist language that draws failures to us like a moth is drawn to a flame. “I can’t win for losing,” we might say. “I can’t do it.” “I’m no good at it.” “I have no luck in relationships.” And we wonder why we never win, why we always struggle, why we can’t catch a break, why the storm never seems to pass.
There are many things in life completely out of our control. What we can control, however, is our attitudes. We can control our outlooks. We can control how we respond. We can control that voice inside of our head. We can turn the channel if it’s playing a tune that doesn’t exemplify our highest ideals and that doesn’t promote our best selves.
We don’t have to listen to it. We don’t have to sing along. We can tell it to shut up — and really mean it.
We can start speaking life and power and triumph over our situations. We can decide at any moment that enough is enough. We hold the power to speak so much of what we want out of life into existence. That power is our mind.
If we can change our stories, we can change our lives.