Storytelling: Inspiration or crushing blow?

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Last minute paper writing is never pretty

Yesterday, I talked a bit about the stories that underlie my daily routine (or overscheduling of said routine). That, coupled with a Facebook post by Danielle LaPorte on Saturday, had me start thinking about whether my internal storytelling is inspiring me or dealing me crushing blows.

See, last week was just about midterms for me. I had just come off an exam the week before, a case study, had a huge paper due (which I later learned is said to be one of the hardest papers in the entire MS program), not to mention the 100+ pages of reading. And that’s just school. So, if you couple that with negative self-storytelling, that would be more of a crushing blow to me. And it showed in my resistance to simply sitting down to do my work, let alone my practices.

I really would have preferred to sit in my chair, knitting and watching NCIS. Or sleeping. And I did plenty of both, instead of my work.

But, here’s the kicker – I knew that those things needed to be done, and so I became really frantic the night before that major paper was due. It got done (after staying up way too late and getting up way too early and not being able to finish some of my reading), but was it the best it could be? Who knows, because I wasn’t able to tell myself the story of being my best. Instead, it was a story of overwhelm, of resistance, of running away.

I realize that there are a lot of things that could have helped with that story – starting earlier, doing my practices, and breathing. See, doing my practices reminds me that I have enough to do my best. We always have the opportunity to do the best we can with what we have in that moment. When I forget that my best is what happens when I show up (regardless of the actual outcome, mind you), I am more frantic and much more prone to reinforcing those messages of “I can’t. I don’t want to. I won’t. I am not good enough.”

Vicious cycle.

I recognize we can’t just snap our fingers and change these things. That’s one of the hardest things to remember. That it’s all a process and we can’t simply rip out the pages of one story and replace it with another. Rather, it’s about curiosity and learning what our story is in the first place – even when it’s hard and not pretty.

Is your currently storytelling inspiring or crushing? What is one small area you can be curious about, right now?

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