The Stories I Tell Myself

I’m the queen of overthinking. No wait, what’s a higher title than that? That’s what I am. (I just proved my point). I have a strong inner monologue that’s always at work. Sometimes it’s full of the sassy (borderline rude) things I shouldn’t say. Sometimes it’s full of my insecurities (that I’ve worked hard to overcome or at least quiet over the years). Sometimes it’s full of stories I create: to make myself feel better, to give excuse to the actions of myself or others, to try and make sense of what is going on around me, and yes—to create inner struggle and worry.

Brené Brown talks a lot about vulnerability (thanks to her it’s one of the ways I try and lead my life). A part of that is being honest and raw when you are creating untruths in your own mind. She encourages folks to start statements with “the story I’m telling myself is…” because even if it isn’t what is actually happening, it’s a real way to express and have others understand your point of view and perception of what is happening. This is something I greatly need in my life, and I’ve been trying to make an active part of my inner dialogue (and sometimes even a part of my external dialogue). Because I can lower my worry and anxiety when I realize I am making up scenarios that are not true.

  • The story I’m telling myself is that I’m a bad person for not visiting my aunt in rehab.
  • The story I’m telling myself is that I’m lazy because I need to take a nap today everyday.
  • The story I’m telling myself is my friends don’t like me because they aren’t calling me.
  • The story I’m telling myself is that I did something wrong because they can’t be telling the truth when they tell me the boundaries they need.
  • The story I’m telling myself is I’m not good enough.

The list goes on and on and on. But recognizing these “stories” I’ve created manufactured is the first step in being able to disprove them and move forward. It is vulnerable to admit this is how I feel. But it is empower to realize they don’t hold much (if any) weight. And that I can dispel and eradicate these stories. It takes time. It takes patience. It takes courage. We are all works in progress and none of us is perfect. But I’m trying to do better, and that’s not just a story I’m telling myself.

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