Storytelling for life

This week is National Storytelling Week.

Stories are sometimes thought of as frivolous and childish, things we leave behind us as adults. But actually, whatever age we are, stories matter.

We all tell stories about ourselves and the world we live in. We might tell ourselves that we are happy and friendly, or lazy and rubbish. Both are stories.

When someone ignores us, we tell ourselves that they are mean people, or that they don’t like us, or that they simply didn’t see us. All are stories.

When we miss our yoga class we could tell ourselves that we needed to just relax tonight, or that we are bad and will never get better. Again, different stories.

What is clear is that depending on the story, the reaction we have to it will be very different. It will influence how we feel about ourselves and how we behave in the world. The more we tell a story the more it becomes part of an ingrained way of being. If you tell anyone – child, or adult – something, anything, repeatedly, they will believe it.

Many of the problems that people struggle with in their lives are rooted in the stories that they tell themselves. Those stories are often ones that have messages such as ‘I’m not good enough’ or ‘I’m a failure.’ My work is about changing those stories, and in the process, helping people to change their lives. It’s not easy. Those phrases and words have often been spoken repeatedly over many years, and feel such a natural way of being. But it is possible. Changing your story really can help you change your life.

You might never feel ready. Or ‘sitting comfortably.’ But if you want something new, it’s time to begin.