“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” Henry Ford
April Fools’ Day, recognized worldwide and sometimes referred to as All Fools’ Day, is widely celebrated as a day that tolerates practical jokes and general foolishness. In fact, the earliest recorded association between April 1st and foolishness can be found in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (1392), so the celebration has been with us a long time.
What about when we fool ourselves? Everyone has a story about themselves and their lives. I know I do. And unless I am mindful and curious about what I am saying to myself, how much power I am giving these words, and if my “story” is true for me. Stop and think about your own story: is it inspiring, humorous, tragic, dramatic, or sad? Oftentimes, our story will change, depending on how we are feeling about life at that moment. The way we feel about our lives is always impacted by our physiology, our thoughts and our perception at the time. The most important contributor to any person’s story are thoughts that are created in the mind. Our stories have less to do with circumstances or situations than is commonly believed. Our stories are shaped, instead, by how we relate to our circumstances and what our thinking is in response to what happens or what doesn’t happen.
Once you accept that your story is a function of your thoughts, most specifically the thoughts you have about yourself, you can be empowered to consciously transform not just your story, but your life as a whole. Try asking yourself: who am I truly and what is the story I am telling myself? Go beyond any judgment, and really inquire about how you relate to yourself. The more honest you can be about the story you have about yourself, the easier it is for you to acknowledge it, own it and ultimately reshape it. Remember, these stories are not “true”—they are simply your interpretations, judgments and beliefs. You created them, so you have the power to transform them at any time.
Wondering where to start? Here are a few suggestions to kick start your new “story”:
Get unstuck: try something new! This will get you out of your rational brain, detach you from your usual “scripts” in your head and create space for answers and insights.
Have faith: trust that circumstances in your life will align to support you on your path.
Listen: underneath your mental chatter, you may have a clear instinct for how you want to act and be in your life. To get in touch with your inner wisdom, practice letting go of the way you think things are “supposed to be”. Be willing to be surprised!
Notice: there are many gifts in your life and many people who support you. There are resources all around you – be open to what they have to offer.
Now, bring one aspect of your “story” to mind and allow yourself a few minutes to breathe and relax. Is there a new perspective that is possible? Can you bring appreciation to your inquiry and see what unfolds? Can you dwell in gratitude and allow self-compassion to be your guide to a brand new script…one that honors you and your best intention?
Ready to learn more? Check out the following excellent articles:
Change Your Story to Change Your Life by Leo Babauta, Zen Habits
How to Change Your Life by Changing the Stories You Tell Yourself by Lovelyn Bettison, Tiny Buddha
How Changing Your Story Will Change Your Life by Kate Horodyski, Huffington Post
Change Your Story, Change Your Life by Michael Hyatt, author of Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller
And then take a few moments and watch this very powerful Dove commercial: Beauty on Your Own Terms