How to Break A Bad Story
We talked about how to stick to your story, but what about when you’ve got one worth dropping?
Like some of these stories, maybe:
- All the good ones are taken.
- There isn’t enough money for that.
- I’m so busy/tired/sick of it.
Those are not fun stories to reap the consequences. Yet sometimes they don’t seem so easy to discard.
Let’s get as good at dropping a bad story as we are at sticking to a good one.
How to tell when you’ve got a story that isn’t serving you?
You can spot those a mile away based on how they feel.
You know how it feels crappy to talk about how our politics are going to hell in a hand basket? Or that you don’t know how to make your body heal? That not-so-great feeling is your first heads up that you’ve got a story worth dropping.
How the story makes you feel is worth paying attention to. It’s your first indicator and it’s also the easiest time to drop it – before it builds more momentum.
Because your next indicator of engaging a bad story is real life 3D results. When the sh*t is hitting the fan, that’s another sign you’ve got a story worth changing!
By then it can seem so real and true that it’s challenging to disengage from it, but you’ve got even more incentive at that point.
Speaking of good incentive, I was telling a crappy story the other day. About how much I didn’t like someone who was left in charge of my rescued foster kittens. I was driving home after a bad exchange and retelling what an awful person she was, how bad she was at her job, and listing all the reasons why I was right to have a negative opinion of her.
Hello, bad story alert!
This is no time to tell that version! I just left my kittens with her for the day! I’ve got to clean that up for their sake, let alone mine!
So I dropped the old version like a hot potato once I realized my kittens were sitting in the crosshairs of it. And I started telling the version of how she’s done a lot of good work, and she’s in it for the right reasons. And even if she doesn’t like me, she’d never take it out on my kittens.
I let her be the hero instead of the bad guy when I believed that my kittens’ well-being was at stake. But a skillful creator would have caught it at the first whiff of anxiety or discomfort I felt when I started my rampage of frustration.
As you speak, so shall it be. Tell the version you want to see unfold!
Just knowing the consequences of what comes from telling what you don’t like is often incentive enough to switch it up.
This morning I saw a facebook post from a mom whose 15 year old daughter didn’t come home last night.
As I read the account of when the daughter was last seen and the comments from concerned friends and family, I felt fear and worry settling in. That’s my first clue I’ve got a story worth dropping.
So I told it differently. And invited some LOA savvy friends to join me in a new version. Where she’s home sweet home, safe and sound, happy healthy and thriving. All is well here.
That version feels SO much better.
And that’s how we break a bad story.
By replacing it with a better version.
You might be able to do that in the red hot moment of realization, or you might need to process some of those prior lingering feelings before you can successfully switch tracks.
If you find yourself drawn to repeat the version you don’t like, it may just be law of attraction calling you back to it. (That’s what law of attraction does.) Resolving the situation is just a matter of consciously creating new momentum by engaging a different thought/story.
It could also be that you’re getting some benefit from telling the unwanted version, so you don’t really truly intend to leave it behind. (Like if I keep talking about how all the good guys are taken, then I never risk rejection or failure in a new relationship.
So there can be some interesting dynamics involved. (Coaches come in handy at times like that.)
Here are three tips for succeeding in a new story-telling process:
1. Don’t make it harder by dwelling on contrary evidence. Shift your attention to a place where it’s easier to tell the new story. (Example, I’m purposely refraining from checking the facebook post for updates on the daughter’s whereabouts. “Don’t take score too soon,” advises Abraham.)
2. Don’t get caught up in others’ stories that you don’t like. They get to have it their way; you get to have it yours. Choose according to your preferences, not according to momentum from the masses.
3. Don’t get stuck in your own history. Just because it’s been true before, and appears to be true right now, doesn’t mean it has to continue being your truth. You can choose differently at any time. You are not a prisoner of your past. Everything is happening, it’s all happening right now, and you can select a different version simply by changing your mind.
But I’m preaching to the choir here. What are your tips for breaking a bad story? You guys know this stuff. What’s worked for you in successfully choosing a new version to create?
(((Update: less than 24 hours after gone missing, the daughter is home sweet home! Yay!)))