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Does your story serve you?

We are all fiction writers. That’s right, you are an author. I’m an author. Your neighbor is an author. We all write mini fiction stories all day long. We write stories about what just happened, why it happened and what will happen next. We make up these stories moment to moment, faster than our conscious minds can comprehend.

Just last week I was teaching dance at my kids’ school. We were just two weeks away from their big performance and it was one of those practices where “everyone” had input for me. I had more input coming at me, than my patience could let in. In the height of my overwhelm my co-leader and friend, Angelina, said something. I don’t even know what it was, but I snipped back at her, “I have too many people talking to me!” She grabbed her things and left practice. I immediately felt upset and worried. My story writing began:

“I pissed her off. She is going to quit. She’s mad at me. I’m a jerk.” As soon as practice was over I called her and left her voicemail apologizing. I didn’t hear back from her and by the next day, as I was on the last chapter of the story about what happened and what was going to happen next. I recognized that my story writing was getting the best of me, so I put into practice a little process that I do when I find myself engrossed in story writing that is not useful.

  1. I recognized the story I was believing- “She’s mad at me. She’s going to quit. She’s going to tell everyone what a jerk I am.”
  2. I challenged my story- “Is it true? What else could be true?”
  3. I wrote a few new lines in a new and improved story (no time to write a novel) “She is not mad at me. She just didn’t have time to call me back.”
  4. Action- I reached out to explore where she was with the situation. (test my story)

Turns out, she was not mad at me at all. She actually had a life. She went out to dinner and had a busy night. She totally understood where I was coming from in my frustration.

Our brains are so creative and they create the craziest reasons for why things happen and what’s going to happen next. Some of those stories serve us and empower us to take powerful action, but most of the stories disempower us because they are rooted in some variation of fear about the worst case scenario.

So, what is the story you are making up right now? Does that story serve you? By believing that story, what actions are you taking? If you were to re-write that story, what new and improved actions would you take?

I challenge you today and this week to try this little process:

  1. Get conscious of the stories you are writing. What do you believe happened and what do you anticipate will happen next? Remember, it’s just a story.
  2. Test those stories. Ask yourself, “Is this true? Does it serve me to believe it?
  3. Write some new stories or some new lines in your story. What else could be true that would be more empowering?
  4. Test it out with curiosity. Reach out and seek clarity, rather than just believing the story.

This is how we can CREATE a more productive and prosperous life, line-by-line, moment-by-moment. We don’t have to believe all the automatic stories that we write. We can edit and revise anytime we choose.

Let’s co-write the greatest story ever written by being curious and exploring what we are believing. As author of our stories, we have the ability to test and improve them.

With love and with volition,

Corry Ann March