Posted in The Tough Stuff

Change Your Story, Change Your Life

Wondering what’s with the fun button at the bottom of my blog? It’s a link to one of my online favorites Nicole’s Change Your Story, Change Your Life project. For years, Nicole has been one of my favorite bloggers, but this year I joined her beginner half-marathon training group, and to say she inspires me is an understatement. Her Life Less Bullshit blog is usually just what I need to read.

But, specifically Change Your Story, Change Your Life? I’m hooked.

So, the natural first step is to evaluate what you tell yourself, right? When I started thinking about the stories that run through my head every day, it wasn’t an enjoyable exercise. I did a rewind through my day to examine the judgments {I could remember} that went through my mind. And, holy shit you guys, I’m an asshole to myself.

  • Upon waking later than “ideal me” would get up… “You’re so lazy. You’re never going to get a marathon run. You always wish you had time to drink a cup of coffee in peace each morning, but instead you stay in bed way too long.”
  • Getting ready for the work day… “Don’t wear those jeans – too tight. Don’t wear that lipstick – too bright. Don’t wear a dress – too fancy. Don’t offend anyone. Blend in. Don’t stand out. Do just enough to get by. Don’t look like you’re trying too hard. You clearly have nothing that will make you invisible enough.”
  • Attending meetings… “Don’t speak up, you don’t know what you’re talking about. No one is listening anyway. You’re not important. You’re not an expert enough to have an opinion on this.”
  • Writing a grant… “It’ll just be rewritten anyway, you clearly don’t understand the scope of the project appropriately.”
  • Walking in the door from work… “Ugh, don’t throw your bag on the kitchen chair. Organization… wish I had it. This place is a mess, why can’t you get it together?
  • And it just goes on. In the evenings, either I am way too unproductive for my “ideal me’s” opinion or I go out too much and drink way too often.

The stories I tell myself are pretty much all focused on how I am not good enough. How I don’t live up to the person I thought I was, or thought I would be. {Is this childhood me’s vision, or a delusional present-day me, I wonder?} And I know I am not unique. We are all hard on ourselves. In some ways, I am going to refocus my crappy stories on productivity. My house could be more organized. If everything had a place, I just KNOW I would feel better. I am definitely one of those people who is affected greatly by having clutter at home. So, I’m going to figure it out.

And the whole running thing is a funny one. I truly hate it. But I’m doing it. Mostly thanks to Nicole’s half-marathon training program. I will never be a fast runner, and that’s okay with me. But I’m sticking with it this time. Running a full marathon is the scariest thing I have committed to since my mistake marriage, but I’m up for a new story. One of success. One of commitment I can stick with.

Everything else… I just need to get comfortable with who I am, and quit talking to myself so terribly. Obviously, I am able to dress the way I want. Wear the lipstick I love too, because what’s so wrong with standing out a little bit? Obviously, I also could stand to inject some confidence in the work I produce, and even more my kick-ass work ethic (thanks, Mom and Dad!) into my days. And, in general, I could stand become more true to myself every chance I have to do so.

But I also need to speak the truth to myself. To take it easy on myself because life isn’t easy. And I can certainly work on believing that I am absolutely good enough.

It’s a journey. But the first story I’m changing is that this marathon WILL ABSOLUTELY happen. I know I can make it so. I have that power. And it starts with a 10K “race” {it’ll be a fake one b/c I haven’t registered for a real one} this weekend.

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