Don’t ever tell yourself – you can’t do something.
Be very careful of pairing the words “I don’t” or anything synonymous with that phrasing. For you will come to understand that the things we say change the future; if we say them consistently enough, they change who we are as a person.
Here’s a lie I used to tell myself: I don’t like running. The thought of running for more than 20 minutes anywhere is not an idea that brings me joy in the slightest; in fact I avoid it at all costs. So, I went for a run on Sunday. In complete violation of my own personal beliefs, I ran around my local park several times. To my surprise, I enjoyed it – It made me feel alive.
During my cool down and stretching (I actually collapsed in a heap), I started to think about why I avoided such an experience for so long. After I stopped panting, I came to realise my distaste for running was purely predicated on past experiences of sports at school. Specifically, the disparity in my abilities between endurance sports and sports that desire strength or speed to be successful.
why we’re all liars.
Did you know the human memory is notoriously unreliable, in fact over 50% of our past stories we tell, rarely happen in the detail we share it?
I know this because I used to tell people that the reason why I hated running, was because I always came in last place during the annual school mile run. A complete fabrication because I was a perfectly average runner, there was over a 1,000 students at my school and some people even walked it!
I couldn’t have been last, certainly not every year. There’s just no way. Needless to say, we all bend the truth a little or a lot, especially when sharing with others. Whether it’s to relate to one another, or to exaggerate a point to achieve laughter, admiration or social outrage.
Suddenly your 100m dash was done in 12.3 seconds instead of 13.3. It’s only a second after all? Then we explain how a minor injury (which was actually described as a major injury), left us unable to ever run again. Finally, how we don’t drink water because its tasteless, when the reality is: it’s not filled with sugar and preservatives. All exaggerations, all truths built on lies.
That’s just it you see. When we tell others these exaggerated experiences, we also tell ourselves – they become our truth. We forget what really happened. Our reality becomes distorted through our desire for attention. They become who we are and whether or not the character we have created is open to future experiences.
you choose your story.
If you’ve gotten this far, I want to communicate to you that you have a choice. You have a choice whether your unreliable stories dictate your openness to new opportunities. Just like my distorted belief on running; how I denied myself that simple pleasure of running for so long, which was fundamentally based on a desire to be heard.
Replace the phrases you use: “I don’t”, “I can’t” and “I won’t” with the words “I choose to“. Then you will see the cracks in your tales and your desire to be listened to. You will come to understand your rejection is predicated on a use of language that is without an element of choice.
The solution is a simple one: tell better stories. Vocalise the opportunities you want to experience, be more open – choose and speak your future.
Here is my truth: I told myself i don’t run, where in fact I chose not to run.
What experiences are you denying yourself, what ugly lies have you been telling yourself?