I cannot count how many times I wonder things like, "What if this happens?" or, "What if that happens?" and, "Oh my god, but what if... ?!" These questions and focusing on the future are not nearly as helpful as I want them to be. Instead of getting answers and feeling better about things, I often end up with more questions and feeling a lot worse.
So I've decided that I'm going to do my best to refrain from asking any "what if" question EXCEPT for the only one that actually helps me experience more peace, ease and flow in my life. One that actually provides me with more answers and feeling better than before I asked it.
Wanna know what the one "what if" question is...
WHAT IF IT ISN'T TRUE?
I imagine many of us have stories that we tell ourselves on a daily (if not hourly) basis that limit us or hold us back. These stories usually aren't fairytales or even awesomely powerful "I can do it" stories.
They are more often than not stories that tell us how we aren't good enough or why things don't work out for us or why we could never do this or that.
It is these stories that make up our belief system -- about ourselves and about the world around us.
And it is our beliefs that beget our actions and behaviors. So if we want to change a behavior, the first place to look is at the stories we tell ourselves and what beliefs we carry.
They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.
If we want to start moving the needle in the direction towards global sanity, we need to start by looking within at the beliefs we each hold that are driving the same ol' behavior over and over again.
Here are a few suggestions on how to start this process.
Acknowledge that a story and belief even exist.
Before we can change anything, we must first admit it exists. We need to admit that the beliefs we hold to be absolute truth are just based on stories that we have been telling ourselves for as long as we can remember. And while these stories are based on our personal experiences or the experiences others have shared with us, they are still our creative interpretation of reality which started to form our view of ourselves and the world. Before we can do anything else, we need to take the first step (albeit possibly the hardest) and say, "This is a story I keep telling myself."
Question the belief.
Now that we have acknowledged that our beliefs are nothing more than stories we made up and reinforced time and time again, we can begin to question them. We can start to ask ourselves, "what if this isn't true?" Another way to do this is to question what other possibilities exist? And one of my favorite ways to reframe our beliefs is to ask "who would I be without this story?" This helps us take more responsibility in how we are behaving based on the story or thought we choose to believe. The more often we can put ourselves in the driver's seat and make powerful, conscious choices on what we believe and how we act, the more often we will experience peace, ease and flow in the world.
Replace your stories with new ones.
Once we start shifting our perspective and see that there are other stories that are equally as valid and probably even serve us better, then we can start to form new beliefs. This can be done by establishing some positive habits and rituals like gratitude, affirmations, setting soulful intentions and focusing on that which we want to bring more of into our lives.
The great thing about stories is that they can be rewritten.
I get it -- we like our stories. We think they are who we are. They are comfortable and we know them all by heart!
But when they hold us back and limit us from being our best authentic self, then it is time to get out the red pen and start making some edits. It might even mean scrapping the whole story altogether and starting over from scratch.
What is one story you keep telling yourself over and over again that you are willing to acknowledge, question and possibly even replace? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!