Change your expat life
The Stories We Tell Ourselves
I love storytelling and theater. Often, after a long day, the kids ask me to tell them a story. And even when I’m so tired it feels like the last thing I want to do, it’s a wonderful experience. We always have a fantastic time. It’s one of those moments where I get to marvel at the power of the brain and our incredible capacity for imagination.
But story time is not the only time we tell stories.
Have you noticed that we have the ability to make meaning out of anything that happens to us? How we can see our circumstances as something that will help us grow, or we can see them as something terrible? Most of us go through life without ever realizing that we do this, because we are positive that what we think (the meaning we’re giving to our circumstances) is simply the truth.
Our brain is the master when it comes to storytelling. It interprets any and every situation, judges it, and makes meaning from it. So it’s our job to recognize when this is happening so we can become the masters of our own story.
The power of belief
First, let’s talk about beliefs. Beliefs are just thoughts we’ve been telling ourselves repeatedly. They’re not right or wrong; they’re just sentences in the brain — stories we’ve developed over time. And once we’ve repeated these stories thousands of times, they become truth. Our truth, at least.
Some beliefs help us create the life we love. These are beliefs that say we can achieve anything and that, no matter what comes, we’ll manage. This is how athletes can cope with the pain and repetition of their efforts to reach their goals. They believe they can win, beat that world record, and get that gold medal.
Beliefs that help us create a full life are important to nurture, to practice daily in order to achieve our dreams.
However, there are also beliefs that stop us from achieving what we want. They instill doubt, confusion, and overwhelm. Examples of negative beliefs include things like:
- I can’t manage this
- This is never going to work
- This is too difficult
Just like positive beliefs, these beliefs are powerful. And if we repeat them until they become our truth, they will wield just as big an influence on our lives.
Letting go of limiting beliefs
As I enter the final stage of my transition back to the US, I’ve been noticing all sorts of limiting beliefs pop up in my mind. I look at the few weeks ahead — unpacking, painting, getting ready for school to start, and the list goes on — and it’s easy for me to believe that it’s all too much, that there’s not enough time, and that I will not manage. But the more space I give to these beliefs, the more I risk creating that reality.
So how can we let go of the limiting beliefs that creep in when life throws a lot our way?
Coaching yourself on your beliefs is a beautiful way to gain awareness about what you want and what you believe you are capable of. This is what I do for myself, and it’s what I help my clients do on a daily basis. By gaining awareness of the stories we tell ourselves and learning to cultivate beliefs that will serve us better, we can achieve what we set out to do in our lives.
Ready to break through your limiting beliefs?
Connect with me today, or stay tuned — I’m starting a FB community where expats from all over the world can challenge their limiting beliefs and learn to create a life they love!
See you soon!
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