“Once Upon A Time….”

The stories we tell ourselves and how to deal with them

Photo courtesy of Robyn Budlender, Unsplash.com

(WARNING: Strong language up ahead!)

I just rode my 100th Peloton ride. Why am I sharing this?

I’m sharing because what happened as a result is significant.

Right before my very first ride I did something to myself that I did once again before my 100th ride. What I did is a habit, a pattern that has been with me for as long as I can remember.

I got excited only to have that excitement squashed by my own mental mind-fuck of a story.

My first ride’s story was all about how I wasn’t fit enough to last more than 10 minutes on the bike. “Best to steer clear of the live streaming classes then, obviously. Don’t want to embarrass myself in front of the other riders.”

Fast-forward to my 100th ride and that story played out like this…

“You didn’t push the limits with every ride. Some rides were only 20 or 30 minutes. Not balls to the wall 45 or 60. You didn’t really earn this accomplishment of 100 rides!”

Yep, I was shitting all over my 100th ride accomplishment with my habitual story of “not enough”!! This is where the significant part comes in.

I’ve made it a part of my mission to help others deal with “not good enough” feelings. I’ve written a course made up of exercises that I’ve used over the years that have helped me deal. In all my years of working with my own stories of “not good enough” I’ve come to realize one thing…

…some stories never truly go away. (As tempting as it might be to stop reading, please don’t or you’ll miss out on some important information!)

Here’s where the spin bike tire meets the proverbial road… it’s not the story itself or the fact that we may tell it 20 gazillion times. It’s what we ultimately believe and then what we do that makes all the difference.

Hang with me here for just a few more seconds as I explain.

The brain, no matter how amazing it is, processes facts and beliefs the same way. Which means our brains make it possible for us to see evidence that supports either a fact or a belief. (Stories are often nothing more than a limiting belief.)

Let’s use my spinning journey as an example. Yep, I told myself a story about how I wasn’t fit enough to take that first spin class. At that point in the story I had a few options…

I could retire my spin bike shoes before they even got their first scuff, go down to the kitchen, grab a bag of chips and call it a day.

Or I could get my ass on that bike and do whatever I was able to do at that time.

And since I reached my 100th ride, I’m sure you already know what I chose.

For that first ride and every ride since I’ve switched up my story and gotten my ass on that bike.

“You’re too tired. Get off!” has turned into “You may be tired, but don’t quit. Just take it a little bit easier.”

“This class is too hard. You can’t do it.” Has turned into “It’s just a class. It’s got nothing on you.”

“You won’t be able to keep up.” has turned into “The only person watching you and your speed is you! Keep peddling!”

And for my 100th ride “You didn’t push the limits with every ride. Some rides were only 20 or 30 minutes. Not balls to the wall 45 or 60.” turned into “It doesn’t matter how you got to this 100th ride. What matters is that you got here so get your ass on that bike and celebrate!!!!”

WHAT TO DO WITH THOSE STORIES?

First things first, if you take away anything from this post, I hope it’s this… The negative stories (limiting beliefs) we tell ourselves come from a 3-pound organ. You and I are so much stronger, bigger, and more badass than that 3-pound organ. And that’s a true story!

Which means we can make some choices when it comes to the stories we tell. We can either choose to believe them and go no further or we can change them and get to gettin’! With that said, here are some things that will help.

  1. Shine a light on that story. What’s the truth? Is it a true story or is it something our brains are conjuring up because we’re afraid of failing, looking silly, or afraid of <fill in the blank>? Don’t be afraid to sit with the story for a second and take a good look at it.
  2. Change the words in the story. Based on what we find to be the truth we can then change the words of the story to something more empowering.
  3. Prove the story wrong. We can do something to prove the story wrong. Even if that something feels like a baby step. Several baby steps strung together creates one massive step in a cool direction.
  4. Engage the tribe. None of us has to work alone when it comes to our stories. We can ask our partners, friends, family, coach, therapist, etc. for help in dispelling the bullshit stories so we can create new, supportive stories.

Whatever we choose to do with our stories let’s make a commitment that we will never, from this point forward, allow our stories to shit on us, our accomplishments, or our positive opportunities. Deal?

Until next time, as always I’m sending you much love and light…


Originally published at www.whatswithinu.com.