“Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.”
There are some things than must go down. They must DIE. Your negative stories about your self are those things. It is time to PULL THE PLUG on your Story!
Like…those shoulder pads or leg warmers or worn out socks. If you still have some in your drawer, let me be the first to tell you “Let them go already.”
So it is with our miserable old stories about ourselves.
We hold on to old beliefs like they were our last crumb of bread. When what we should do is toss them out like that molding container of “who knows what” in the back of the fridge.
Perhaps these ideas or stories were good ideas and served us well at some point (debatable…remember the Leisure Suit…polyester…really?) but we simply don’t need them anymore. Keeping them in your mental closet is bringing you down, man.
“But I’ve got plenty of space”, you say. Bull-Poop! You can’t afford to give your prime mental real estate to anything that is not serving your highest good!
Don’t think that I don’t know how hard it is to throw out old ideas. In fact, changing your mind can be one of the hardest things you will do. But it is worth the effort?
There are techniques that help you move along with pulling the plug on your old negative beliefs, (i.e. Emotional Freedom Techniques, Cognitive Behavior Change, etc.) However, I’ve never met anyone who woke up one day and completely got rid of negative, life-draining thoughts. I’ve even tried burning pure grain alcohol and Epson salt (my daughter just rolled her eyes at me) but my most harmful stories held on for dear life. They are stubborn little boogers.
I’ve come to learn that our stories are not really garbage that needs to be taken out. Rather they are … or rather were…incredibly important beliefs that at one time served us. There was a day when those leg warmers and shoulder pads were all the rage. But just not anymore.
Yes, even terrible, hurtful stories like” I’m so ugly” or “No one loves me” have a good intention at the root. But as we evolve and grow, these terribly hurtful and harmful beliefs no longer “fit.”
In other words, there comes a time when we recognize the “bull” we’ve been feeding ourselves and then we are in a HUGE mess-o-pain. To that I say GREAT!
“Why do you say GREAT, Cheri”? Are you a sadist? No. This kind of pain means that the wiser part of you is finally getting the nerve or gumption to speak up and begin singing like Twisted Sister “Ohhhhh We’re Not Gonna Take It , no, We Ain’t Gonna Take It , oh We’re Not Gonna Take It Anymore”. The sage-like part of you realizes that there is a happier way to be! Whew!
Oh, but here’s the thing. Most of us have grown to L O V E our stories. We love them because we know them. They are comfortable. (Trust me here…even things that hurt can be comfortable.) These stories of ours fit us like that raggedy old pair of sweat pants that we’ve hung onto for years.
You know the ones. The ones with the holes in both knees, paint stains and the paper thin fabric in the crotch. We love them. Sure, we’ve learned that they really are quite ugly to others who just can’t appreciate them properly. And we accept that most people would not wear them. But WE see their beauty. So we keep them in the drawer. And on those lonely, “I-just-want- to-eat-raw-cookie-dough” kind of nights we pull them out and put them on. We LOVE those pants.
On the popular show “What Not to Wear” produced by the TLC channel, I’ve watched loads of people tearfully or angrily fight and really dig their heels in to keep some AWFUL piece of clothing. Clothing that would be better on fire then on them.
I’m not talking physical comfort alone. But comfort in how it makes them feel.
But by the end of the show, the hosts, Stacey and Clinton, have shown these poor- dressers that by making the commitment to a new way to dress, and learning some new skills, and paying more close attention to who they are and what they want to be . . . they can transform. They become . . . actually they blossom into the new “them.”
Most often the person can later admit that those stained, misshapen sweat pants were holding them back. They can finally acknowledge that throwing their old clothes away was the first step in becoming a better person.
And so it is with our stories. (In fact…What Not to Wear is the perfect place to witness people and their stories!)
Our stories are like those nasty-ass sweat pants. We love them, we’ve had them a long time, we even convince ourselves that we look good in them but they are dragging is down.
So toss them in the trash. Move them out like yesterday’s news. PULL THE PLUG!
What stories are you holding on to? What things have you continuously told yourself that are no longer true and no longer serve a purpose? How are you going to give those stories up for yourself?
Cheri is a speaker, trainer, coach and has authored two books. She helps people and organizations break out of old mindsets so they can lead happy, motivated and fired up lives. She blogs to ignite you and help you get unstuck! To learn more about how Cheri can help you ditch those old stories like old clothes, check out CheriBritton.com today.