This week was birthday week!
My boyfriend planned such an amazing day, making me feel so special. Everything from arranging for a wheat-free cake to be delivered from the Hummingbird Bakery, to indulging my Christmas lights obsession. It was the most perfect day.
It ended with a trip to see Derren Brown, who’s a psychological illusionist. He’s pretty impressive, and definitely worth checking out if you haven’t heard of him before – your mind will be blown!
However what really got me excited about his current show, Miracle, was the opening. He opened his show talking about how the past is simply stories we tell ourselves. Our memories and views based on things that have happened are not accurate representations of events that occurred but are affected by our beliefs and perceptions. Our past is just our story about what has happened to us.
We wouldn’t let a story we’d read affect how we feel or act, but how often do we let our past inform how confident we feel in our abilities? I think critically of how I acted in meetings in the past and as a result think the same will happen in future meetings. I think about how I used to binge when presented with large amounts of sugary carbs and assume the same thing will happen.
I see myself as a poor communicator in meetings and as a binger. But I never question how realistic my memories are. I don’t pay attention to the good aspects of meetings. Nor do I remember all the times when I’ve not binged, or how when I binged I was in a dark place (and that a lot of life changes – including a lot of therapy- have happened since then.
I have a story of myself in my head…but that doesn’t mean it’s reality.
There’s lots we can do to change our story and realign it to reality (for example questioning our thoughts rather than taking them for granted) but sometimes it’s enough to remind ourselves that our past is just a story. Stories are not fact; they’re not prophecies of what’s to come. They can be rewritten and they can be perceived in different ways. So next time you think you can’t do something, or you’re not good enough, because of something your past tells you – remember it’s just a piece of fiction. And think about things that happen today in a way that you want to create your future stories of yourself.