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We are a species who love to tell stories!  Good thing, too.  Except that we also believe them.  Sometimes without question. I  was talking with someone to the other day who said he had been told he was careless as a child.  And had just been that way ever since.

I understand:  Schools like to label children. It’s easier that way. (At least it was when I was in school.) When you’ve heard something over and over as a child, you tend to repeat it to yourself and then, consequently, live it. We are a product of the stories we tell about ourselves.  Most of them, however, were fed to us by others.  And if someone else says it, we are certain of its credibility.  So, over the years these stories (and the proof, as well) get ingrained in us.

But you know what?  These are stories.  Made up tales of what once was or may have been. As a writer, I can tell you, stories can be changed.  They can always be revised, characters reshaped.  You can make a hero more believable or more lovable.  You can sharpen the edges of the antagonist.  You might even paint the sky green if you like! There is just no reason to hold onto a story that isn’t serving you.

For instance, stories like I’m lazy or I never win anything.  He always takes over the conversation. She’s’ not a nice person.

My brother used to tell me about how if he spoke kindly about someone, the word would spread and the person would be well liked. You can build a story around someone.

It really is possible to tell the stories you want to tell.  You could say, “I may have been careless in the past, but now I am careful to always check my work.”  It’s really just a matter of awareness and practice.  You might want to guard against falling back into the familiar story.  Remind yourself that just because you were careless today, doesn’t mean you have to be careless tomorrow.

I believe in this storytelling business.  It’s how affirmations work. If you continually fill your head with good thoughts, you will eventually, start doing good things.  It’s all in what you tell yourself.  There may be much we can’t control in this life.  But we can control what we tell ourselves. 

With the right story, you could change your life, maybe even the world.

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