As part of my 66 days to form a habit challenge, I sat down a few nights ago and wrote my story. Don’t worry, I’m not looking to publish the next hit autobiography, this is about choosing to believe a different future for myself and writing it into being.
You see, the below messages are things I used to say to myself subconsciously and they defined me and influenced my actions in the past:
- I will never get rid of my dependence on food – it will always be waiting to pounce when I’m weak
- I am a poor friend, sister and daughter
- I need to overcompensate with kindness to make up for my dirty selfishness
- I’m fat
- I’m undesirable
- I’m only as good as other people think I am
- I need to earn the approval of those who can walk away and leave me
- My safety relies on other people thinking I’m worthy
I can look back and see how these things have had an impact on my life – choosing ‘safe’ options in and outside of work, living to please others, not having faith in my own abilities, following the crowd. In short, the story I was telling myself was making me live a small life. Not in all areas of my life – I’m not saying it’s been a continual tragedy – but over the years I have often chosen safety and smallness because of fear.
By writing down the story I want for myself in the here and now, my intentions gain power and I get closer to them becoming a reality in my life. In fact, since doing this activity, some have become true and I can only attribute it to the power of writing down my story and being intentional about what I want from my life:
- I forgive myself
- I put myself first
- I let go of needing external control
- I only need my own approval to be happy & complete
- I do things that bring me joy daily – dancing, snuggling, reading, heart connections
- I listen to my heart & trust my higher self
- I feel my emotions, regardless of what they are
- I speak truthfully & love fully
- I am authentically myself at all moments
- I surrender to the now
So how has it changed my life?
I know it’s only small, but I’ve let go of needing to control how pots are stored away in the kitchen cupboard(!) and this has been huge for me! It has meant I’ve felt less stress and Gregg, my husband, has had less passive-aggressive bashing of pots and pans to deal with.
I’ve also made time for things that bring me joy – spending 10 minutes at lunchtime meditation, writing this post instead of cleaning the bathroom in preparation for the arrival of my parents this weekend (sorry mum and dad!).
Although I may turn to food at some point to bring me comfort in difficult times, my treat cupboard, full of vegan chocolates and sweets, has not lured me over the past few days as it may have in the past and I’ve been able to have a snack without it turning into one big binge-fest.
Actually, these are huge things and I’m really thankful for them.
So if you’re thinking that life isn’t quite what it could be and if you’re frustrated by patterns you keep on following, even though you don’t want to, I really recommend you do the following:
In a quiet place, spend a few minutes writing down or thinking of what you really want from your life – it could be about your career, personal life, relationships etc.
Write down what you want but as if it is happening in the present moment, using the present tense.
Try to write down your intentions in a positive language. For example, when I was doing this exercise, I wrote ‘I do not need approval from other people to be happy or complete’ but it feels so much more positive if I instead frame it as I only need my own approval to be happy and complete.
Now, I’m not saying that if you write down ‘I am director of my own company’ it will happen overnight, but you might find yourself noticing opportunities to have conversations about your future with your manager, or feeling that it’s the opportune moment to invest in that training you’ve been wanting to do for so long…and who knows where that will lead you.
I can only speak from my own experience that, since doing this activity, I’ve felt a change inside and it has altered my experiences over the past week…and so I’ll keep on writing my story and marvelling at the impact it is having on my life.