We all have unconscious stories that run our lives. Those stories that we took on as young ones. These stories kept us safe and connected in our environment. But as we grow and learn, sometimes these unconscious stories can hinder us in moving forward with what we want.
These unconscious stories, or limiting beliefs, are so a part of “who we are” that they are very hard to see (hence the whole unconscious thing). It takes an effort to really look at how we do things and why.
Stepping out of yourself
One way to begin to look at what you do is to take a moment and step outside of yourself. Play the observer role. At first you may need to do this physically.
Grab a piece of paper and put your name and the situation that occurred on it. Put everything on that paper that you felt, said, did. Then, place that paper on the floor. Stand on it. Feel all the feelings. Remember the situation.
Then step back, off the paper. Take a moment to shift your perspective. Look at that paper as if it were your son, daughter, mother, father, spouse, or best friend.
If they came to you with this situation and told you about their feelings and actions, what would you observe?
- What fears do you see?
- What patterns unfold?
- What can you see, as an outsider, that might help them navigate the situation?
- What is trying to be justified?
- What needs are trying to be fulfilled?
These are just a few questions to ask yourself, as the observer, to get you started.
Unraveling Unconscious Stories
Once you have the feedback of your observer self, you can begin to determine how to move forward. You can begin to see patterns and start to unravel where and when those patterns began.
By teasing out the why of your behavior you can begin to see if the pattern and story fit your life where you are now.
All of our behaviors are there to keep us safe or gain connection in some form or another. For example:
- If you had a neglectful parent or authority figure, you may have patterns that cause negative things to happen so that said figure HAS to pay attention to you. Or you may have patterns that cause you to display as confident and not needy.
- If you had an abusive parent or authority figure, you may have patterns that cause you to remain small and unobtrusive. Or, you may have patterns that cause you to lash out to defend your position.
These are just a couple of examples that are common. There are plenty more twists and turns on how we remain safe and connected.
You Get to Choose
This life was given to you and it is yours to choose what to do with it. Many of us spend our time living within the boxes that have been handed to us. Familial expectations. Authoritative commendations. Outside commentary.
We take them on, most times unknowingly, and try to live within their structure…even when that structure is confining and constricting, making us grow in unnatural ways. We become twisted versions of ourselves, never seeing what we could be.
You have the chance and opportunity to see a new vision. It will be difficult and confronting, but it will also be extremely freeing. You will begin to see where the hooks and ties are of the box you’re living in and start to turn the keys, unravel the knots, and free the latches.
Your first steps out of the box will be awkward and you will fall into old habits, because they are comfortable. But with time, you will start to stand tall and walk the life YOU want.
Want more? Download the Finding Your Stories worksheet and start exploring where your stories may come from and how you can start shifting them to fit your dream life.