For the Grown-Ups
The Stories You Tell Yourself Are Powerful

The Stories You Tell Yourself Are Powerful

I just recently caught myself. "It's so hard being a sensitive person. Anxiety sucks! Having to be careful all the time sucks. This is too hard. Everything is hard as a sensitive person." I was bent over my sink, having a good weep into the dirty dishes.

And then one of my sons texted. Like me, he's a gorgeously sensitive kid, and I've been coaching him (a.k.a. badgering him) about ways he can calm his body at night for good sleep. His text went something like this: "It's too hard! I don't have the energy to try something new. Nothing is working."

My next thought was, "OMG he has SUCH a story about this! He has incredible wisdom and a powerful will. If he only knew how it's JUST A STORY and it's limiting him."

O.M.G. I don't usually use that acronym, but it was the right one for that moment. I woke myself right up.

I’m telling MYSELF a story. And it's limiting me.

What's another story I could tell? I'm incredibly healthy. My sensitivity is a gift — it benefits the people in my world. I enjoy incredible privilege: I have more choices and more freedom than probably 99.9% of the world. True, my body reacts strongly to things it doesn't like (caffeine, alcohol, sugar, EMF's, stress) and it lets me know in one very big way: feelings of anxiety in my body. Could that be a gift too?

And more: my anxiety is my body's way of calling me back to me. And when I listen and heed the message, I feel better and am happier.

YES. Those are the stories I want to tell.

We all tell stories about ourselves and our own lives. Some of them appear deeply true. These stories rule the way we see our world, as well as the way we react to our circumstances and experience. I can never get ahead. I don't have the brains for this. I'm so awkward. I make everyone uncomfortable. People are no good. These stories rule the way we see our world, as well as the way we react to our circumstances and experience.

What's more, our brains are wired to look for EVIDENCE of the things we believe ("confirmation bias"). That means we will think we SEE evidence for the story everywhere we go.

How about: I'm always growing. I'm deeply smart in ways the planet needs. I'm adorably goofy and the people that love me, LOVE me. People are deeply good, and I love finding the goodness in them.

What stories are you telling yourself? Just hearing my story, can you sense a little of your own? What stories would you LIKE to tell?

Take a moment to jot your thoughts down. The stories you tell yourself are powerful. Even a tiny bit of awareness is powerful medicine, and can help you begin unwinding the stories that no longer serve you.

Ready for stories of empowerment? Of strong characters on a path to adventure and growth? Of true love and deep friendship? I have stories for your kids AND you. Consider some family story time — I especially recommend Windward Ho! as well as How to Be Super.

Big love from your Big Sis at Sparkle HQ,


PS. This is linked to one of our favorite topics: Growth Mindset. Read more about that here.

About the Author

Lisabeth Sewell

Doer of Many Wonderful and Odd Things (including CEO)

Lisabeth Sewell has worn many hats at Sparkle over the years, from Sparkle Kitchen Blogger to Editorial Director to Doer of All Odd Jobs. Her primary role is as CEO.

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