Who are you? If I met you at a party what would you tell me about yourself? Maybe you’d tell me a job title or a qualification, a role or a name. Maybe you’d tell me you’re a mum or a dad, a sister or a brother, wife, husband, other half, better half, girlfriend, boyfriend, partner, single, divorced, dating, tired of dating... Maybe you’d tell me that you have hobbies or pets, a car you love, a motorbike in the garage, a holiday booked. And if I kept on saying ‘Yes, and who else are you?’ what else would you tell me?
You are all of these things and maybe you’re none of them. You are the stories you tell yourself about who you are and what you do. And you're the badges you attach to your chest that you point out to yourself and others. I wonder how many of those badges say positive things and how many say something less helpful. I wonder how many of those badges were stuck on you by someone else at some time in your life but you're still wearing them?
Last time you dropped something did you say ‘Oh, I’m so clumsy’ Are you? Or did you just drop something?
Last time something didn't go your way did you say ‘I’m a failure’. Are you? Or did something not work out the way you wanted?
Last time you didn’t get a job you wanted did you tell yourself ‘I’m useless, worthless, stupid, unemployable’. Are you any of those things? Or did you just not get a job?
If those things happened to your best friend what would you say to them? I guarantee it wouldn’t be ‘Oh, it’s no wonder you didn’t get that job. You’re useless and unemployable’ I suspect it would be something kinder and more supportive.
You can be all the things you tell yourself or you can be something else. You get to choose the stories and the badges. If you're still wearing badges from your childhood or from past relationships maybe it's time to take them off. Maybe you could create some new ones that are more about who you are now. Start to listen to the stories you tell yourself about who you are and what you are capable of. What if you're not the clumsy one? What if you are actually not a failure...? If you change the story maybe it will have a different ending…