Have you ever told yourself, "Ugh! I'm such an idiot. I'll never figure it out." Or on the flip side, "I'm a problem solver. This'll be a breeze."
These are just two examples of the stories we tell ourselves. Stories are like labels. They attach to us. We believe them to be true. We invest in them. We commit to them. We carry our stories with us wherever we go.
Stories can come from anywhere. They can be family stories - My family is crazy. They can be cultural stories - I'm Italian so I love pasta. They can be personal stories. Sometimes someone will tell you a story. Other times you tell yourself a story.
We think that stories make up our identities. We believe that stories make up who we are.
We have negative stories. For example, rejection. "He dumped me because I'm fat." "She dumped me because I'm not cool enough." "They must think I'm weird. That's why they don't want to hang out."
We have positive stories. For example, success. "I aced that exam because I'm brilliant." "They all like me because I'm funny." "She's in love with me because I'm such a badass."
We take those stories, they may be just one incident, and apply them as permanent markers of who we are. I'm a fat person. I'm an uncool person. I'm a weird person. I'm a brilliant person. I'm a funny person. I'm a badass person.
But does any of this really make up who we are at our core? Of course not. One thing that you did or said does not make up a human being. One thing that was done to you or said about you does not make up a human being.
Here's my challenge to you - take a moment to consider the stories you have.
Ask: What stories do you carry? What stories have attached to you? What do you believe to be true?
Ask: Are these stories true?