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How to Rewrite the Negative Stories You Tell: Tips from a Storyteller

A story book with elements coming off the pages

I'm a storyteller, no doubt about it. When faced with uncertainty, my brain kicks into gear, spinning some pretty wild yarns to make sense of things. It's like my mind's way of bridging the gaps in knowledge. 

But here's the thing I've realized: just because my brain weaves those tales, those tales don't define me. Nor do they hold nearly as much power as they once did. (Thanks to all my years of mindset work. Be sure to read on towards the bottom where I share tips for how to rewrite the negative stories you tell.)

I’m like the library, the place that holds those stories. Stories that help make up my views, perceptions, thoughts, and beliefs. Stories that impact how I feel, how I show up, and whether I take action when it comes to my dreams, or I don’t.

And some of the profoundly impactful stories are there to inform me – to inform me of what still hurts or what empowers me the most. Either way, the stories I tell myself and out loud to the world – they are all mine not just to own, but to embrace or reject, to re-read or re-write.

Even the stories that I have adopted and made my own. They are all mine to do with what I wish.

I’m not just the keeper of those stories, I’m also the author and editor – and I have a choice. Many choices, as a matter of fact. A choice in how my stories support or deter me.It’s not truly my stories that create happiness, doubt, that empower or enrage. It’s me that does that. It’s me that chooses how I wish to interpret the stories I tell.

So, if my most beloved story is one of sorrow, with its yellowing pages, I’ve made it my choice to re-read or re-tell that story – allowing it to become my life’s blood. Just the same as my happiest story.

And the morale of this story; I am always the chooser, the author, and the editor of every story I tell and the impact that it has on me. 

If you're a fellow storyteller, I'd love to share three of my favorite tips to avoid getting hooked by your stories and to rewrite them. 

1. I love to ask myself, "What's this story trying to tell me?" Nine times out of 10 it's alerting me that I'm either in need of feeling valued, safe, or in control. And so, asking that question helps me to spend some time creating more awareness. 

2. Since some stories can impact my "feels" negatively, I think about how I want to feel instead. And once I identify a more empowering feeling, I brainstorm things I can do to create that feeling. Then I do one or two things that's on my list. This is a great way to unhook from the disempowering story.

3. I use "third person talk" - thank you Ethan Kross for this trusty little tip. (Ethan is the author of the book, "Chatter" ) Third person talk goes something like this, Pam, you're telling yourself a story and you know that story isn't true. Pam, you can rewrite it, you can. So, Pam, how do you want to do that?

It unhooks me from the story every time and helps me to feel better. Then I'm able to create a new story.

As always, if I can be of support in helping you rewrite or reject your most disempowering stories, I'm just an email away.

Just remember, you are far more powerful than any story you ever tell yourself. 


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