I ran the half marathon this past weekend. I was only able to run it because I decided to call bullshit on the story that I was bad at running, that I didn’t enjoy running, or that I was better on the yoga mat. The truth is, it was just another story.
Is there a story you’re ready to call bullshit on? To see it for what it is: just another story. The beauty in seeing the story is to see that it can be rewritten at any time. We always have the power to choose again.
Here's the truth - our minds are constantly telling us stories about our lives. It labels everything we see: "that's a bed", "that's the building I work in", "that person is my mother”. In the same way we see an object and our mind labels it, it perceives every other experience in our life and creates a story around it. Sometimes our stories can serve us, but other times they are hinder our growth, keep us stuck, and close us off from true connection and happiness.
One of my favourite ways to get started in figuring out where we’ve created a story is to look back at our younger selves.
Maybe the ten year old version of you used to unapologetically hit the dance floor. Maybe the ten year old version of you was always kind to people, no matter their age or background. Maybe the ten year old version of you loved to hug. Maybe the ten year old version of you was obsessed with writing. Maybe the ten year old version of you loved to go camping.
Are you no longer doing that thing? What would the ten year old version of you have to say about that?
Once you’ve determined what story you’ve created around something that used to come naturally to you and make you happy, choose to rewrite the story. I actually write out the new version of the story on a piece of paper in my journal because I think it triggers the mind to acknowledge the new possibility and pay attention to opportunities that align with the new story.
My new story was “I am good at running. I like running outdoors.”
Then, take action. Commit to doing that thing, even if just once. Could you commit to doing it once this month? What about by the end of the year? Tiny, incremental steps are how we actually make significant shifts in our life. You may want to share this commitment with a friend for accountability. I’m pretty sure I said to some of my friends “I’m becoming a runner!” but had no idea what that would actually look like.
Then watch as other opportunities arise that help you live your new story pop up, and choose to say yes to them. I see it all the time. Once you’ve rewritten the story, you’ll be given tests or chances to choose again – to choose whether you are going to sink back into the old story or choose to embrace the new one.
For me, the organization I volunteered with had a group that was walking the half marathon and asked me to join. At that point, I had worked my way up to running 10km, but I decided that if I was going to walk the half marathon I might as well try and run it since I had been running. I had the chance to choose the blast through a few stories - I called bullshit on the story that in order to run a half marathon I would have to train diligently for months, that I wasn’t a strong enough runner to run a race, and that I only ran when the weather was beautiful (it rained).
Let me know what story you’re ready to call bullshit on. You got this.