Is your history weighing you down?

Are you weighed down by your history? Do you have a narrative about your past that disempowers you?

We all have a story to tell—whether to others or just ourselves—about how we got to where we are today.

Is your history weighing you down?But here’s the thing: There are the facts of the story, such as leaving college before graduation, being laid off from a job, a business failing, or a marriage ending. But there’s also the interpretation of the facts that accompany a personal narrative. These are sometimes the parts left unsaid to others, but played repeatedly like a loop in our own heads.

Things like:

  • I’m not smart enough, that’s why I never finished college.
  • I’m always so unlucky, that’s why I got laid off from my job.
  • I don’t have what it takes to be successful, that’s why my business failed.
  • I just can’t make a relationship work, that’s why my marriage ended.

Think about your own personal narrative: Is your interpretation of your life to date empowering or disempowering? Gentle or harsh? Optimistic about the future or constrained by the past?

If you examine your narrative—really deconstruct the facts of what’s happened in your life along with your explanation for events and the meaning you assign—you may come to realize your interpretation always equates to a rather sad sack of a story.

In other words, you have a tendency to view the events of your life through a filter that shines a light on shortcomings, inadequacy, lack, frailty, and failure. You look back and focus on missed opportunity, wrong choices, disadvantages, and bad luck.

This propensity for The Disempowered Interpretation is like a ball and chain you carry with you into every new day. Your personal narrative becomes a type of self-sabotage because it creates a learned helplessness, a default view of lack and limitation.

Rather than acknowledging, accepting, and learning from a situation and allowing it to gently fade into the past, the past dominates the present and dictates the future. There’s a stinginess to your interpretations, a penchant for painting yourself with the least kind, least generous, least optimistic brush.

While the facts of your life are the facts, you have the ability to choose how you interpret them.  The interpretations you choose have a tremendous impact on how you feel about yourself, the way you show up in the world, and what you believe is possible for your future.

What’s the story you tell about your past? Could retelling your story lighten your load?

Ampersands

If only and but

I hear a lot of “if only…” and “but, but, but”.  What I don’t hear enough of is “and”. “If only my husband didn’t travel so much for work, I could go back to school.”  “If only I had more money in savings, I could pursue my passion.” “If only I had more time, I […]

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Mini-Mission-2

Mini Mission—Accept your next compliment

It’s time to get into action with a mini mission. What did you say the last time someone complimented you? Did you accept or deflect? Did you respond with: Thank you. I really appreciate that feedback. Thanks for the acknowledgement. Thanks for noticing. I appreciate the kind words. That means a lot. Thank you. I’m […]

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Mindset: Dreams are impractical

Mindset: Dreams are impractical

It hurts my heart when someone says dreams are impractical. Hurts my head and soul too. And I do hear it.  At least a couple times a month. Sometimes more. I’ve heard it from clients, workshop attendees, the woman doing my nails, the man seated next to me on the plane. This bleak mindset sometimes […]

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Are you open to possibility?

Are you open to possibility?

Possibility and opportunity are all around if you’re on the lookout.  Here’s a great story about the importance of being present to the opportunities right in front of you. Back in the ’50s Kihachiro Onitsuka was trying to make basketball shoes in Japan, believing the sport was going to become popular in that country.  His […]

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Mini Mission

Mini Mission—Own your power

It’s time to get into action with a mini mission. Are you giving away your power? Giving away your personal power diminishes you and erodes your ability to create change in your life. You might be giving away your power by: blaming others looking backward instead of forward not listening to your intuition trying to […]

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Are you stuck?

Are you stuck?

Are you stuck?  Stuck in an old habit, stuck in a dead-end relationship, stuck in an unfulfilling job, stuck in a limiting belief, stuck in an out of shape body, stuck in a fear that’s holding you back… What would it take to get unstuck?  What one thing can you do today—perhaps even right now—as […]

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Essentialism

On my nightstand: From essentialism to hardwiring happiness

In a good book the best is between the lines. –Swedish Proverb Here’s what I’m currently reading— This book ended up on my nightstand for a couple reasons: 1) As a proponent of minimalism and getting rid of excess, essentialism resonates. I like the idea of a “systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, […]

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Mini Mission

Mini Mission—Recreate your morning routine

It’s time to get into action with a mini mission. You have a morning routine, right? Some set of actions that take place between waking and working? But do you have a morning routine that starts your day with your best foot forward? For many, that’s a different story. It’s great for a morning routine […]

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Are you making low-energy choices?

Do you see yourself in these low-energy choices?

There is energy associated with every choice you make. A low-energy choice leaves you feeling drained, conflicted, stuck, disconnected, fearful, frustrated, hopeless, and ready to crawl back into bed. You contract into a low-energy choice, and it leaves you feeling “less than”. Do you see yourself in any of these low-energy choices? Negativity: This low-energy […]

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Mindset: I never make the right decision.

Mindset: I never make the right decision

Do you constantly second guess yourself?  Do you frequently question whether you made the right decision? Are you always wondering if you should have chosen differently? I have a friend who does this regarding nearly every decision she makes, big or small. She orders a Greek salad and then wonders if she should have gone […]

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Are you living without margin?

Are you living without margin?

Living without margin means… Back-to-back appointments. Errands stacked like dominoes, one after the other. Deadlines with no time to spare. Everything blurred together in an endless, task-driven loop. Getting through this so you can go on to that. No wiggle room.  No breathing room. A life with margin means: a ridiculously doable To Do list sensible expectations unclouded by perfectionism […]

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