How to Get Unstuck from Your Stories

The stories you have in your head about who you are, what you're capable of, and what you deserve are very likely holding you back from your goals.

Where do these stories come from?  They come from our childhood, our past experiences (trauma, abusive relationships, neglect), and from our media culture.  

The good news is that once you become AWARE of your stories, you can take your power back.  You can create NEW stories about who you are and what you deserve in this life.  You will no longer be victimized by the self-limiting, and often toxic, narrative in your head!  

The reality is this:  What you did or didn't do yesterday (or 10 minutes ago, for that matter) has ZERO bearing on what choices you make right now. Your past ONLY predicts or prescribes your future - your NOW - if you decide it does!

Here's where it gets tricky:  You first have to get clear on the stories you're telling yourself that are keeping you stuck in the same patterns of behavior.  

How to Remove the Parking Brake of Your Stories and Make Progress

Here are 5 examples of self-limiting stories I hear every single day.  I encourage you to go through these and see if any of them resonate with you. 

Then, scroll down and see 5 empowering alternatives to each one!

Here are some clues that a story you have about yourself is driving your choices.  You say things like:

  1. "I'm really good for a couple of weeks and then I fall off the wagon."
  2. "I eat healthy all day long but when evening comes, all bets are off."
  3. "I go to the gym a few times but then life gets in the way and I never go back."
  4. "I plan to avoid the chip basket at the Mexican restaurant but when they sit it in front me, I can't help myself."
  5. "I want to lose weight but I just love food too much to give anything up."

All of these are stories and they are going to keep you stuck until you let go of them.  The reality is that our story is far more impactful on our choices than our complicated, well-thought out strategy!

Here are some empowering, positive alternatives to each of the statements above:

  1. "I only eat when I'm hungry.  I know I'm hungry when real food sounds good. If it doesn't, I probably need something else (a break, a walk, some water, a hard conversation I've been avoiding, etc.)."
  2. "I will eat a nourishing, satisfying dinner.  After dinner, I'll do something I enjoy rather than using food as evening entertainment."
  3. "I only move in ways/locations that I enjoy.  I'm willing to take the time to find out what these are. I will listen to my body and adjust my daily movement according to what my body wants and needs on a given day."
  4. "I'm in charge of every single bite of food I put in my mouth. If I decide restaurant tortilla chips are entirely worth deviating from my goals then AMEN, no regrets. Otherwise, I can wait for my dinner."
  5. "Rigid plans and food lists aren't sustainable for me. I'm going to get curious about which healthy foods and meals taste delicious to ME and make me feel my best.  By doing this, I will be able to eat food I love every single day AND meet my health and body composition goals."  5B:  "If I'm honest, I really don't want to lose weight right now.  Since I'm a grown-up, I don't have to! I'm shifting my focus to other things!" 

Taking the Reins is Easier Than You Think

You need to stop listening so much to the voices in your head that have likely been there shaming you and holding you back for way too long. 

Instead, begin TELLING your brain what steps you're willing and able to make today without overwhelming yourself with a bazillion rules or strategies that will make you want to hide under the covers.   

Then, you need to take small, repeated action.  No drama, no excuses, no lying to yourself, no rationalizing.   

You are more than worthy NOW, you are stronger than you think, and your life is ready for you to show up and take the reins.