Change Your Story

Katie responds to a question from a participant at the Forgiveness Workshop in Ojai, California in Sept. of 2009.

Byron Katie, the author of Who Would You Be Without Your Story? says that,

All the suffering that goes on inside our minds is not reality; it’s just a story we torture ourselves with.

Many of us have a story we’ve created about who we are and what is possible for us in this life. Often, we will want or need something but reject the idea because of a story we tell ourselves about why we can’t have it.

Some examples of stories we tell ourselves:

I’m too fat to have a great relationship.

I can’t be happy because I had an unhappy childhood.

I’m too old to try anything new.

I don’t have time to work out.

I’m not smart enough to get a good job.

Nobody appreciates me, so what is the use of trying. 

I’m not good looking enough to be successful.

And many more…

The stories we tell ourselves determines our feelings which affects our actions, and ultimately creates our whole life!

They become self-fulfilling prophecies!

Therefore, in order to get rid of the suffering and improve our life, we have to find a way to disconnect from our story.  

This starts by questioning our thoughts and beliefs; realizing that we don’t have to believe everything we think.

Katie suggests we write down our stressful thoughts, and then ask ourselves the following four questions:

  1. Is it true? Ask ourselves if the thought we wrote down is true.
  2. Can we absolutely know that it’s true? Open our mind and to go deeper to find the answers that live beneath what we think we know.
  3. How do we react, what happens, when we believe that thought? Begin to notice how we feel when we believe the thought and the level of disturbance it causes us. 
  4. Who would we be without the thought? Imagine how our life would be different if we didn’t have the ability to even think that stressful thought and how we would feel!     

 Action Step:

Ask yourself, what is my story? How is it holding me back?

 

 

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12 thoughts on “Change Your Story

  1. Cathie,
    I love this post. It is so very important for us to monitor the dialogue that circulates in our minds and to be careful about which thoughts we are willing to accept as true (about ourselves and others). I encourage everyone to simply say, “No, that’s not true” to any thought that is self-deprecating, and ignore any “evidence” to the contrary that the inner critic might throw our way. The truth is that we are what we believe ourselves to be. To choose to believe in what is good and beautiful about ourselves and to see all the wonderful possibilities that exist in our lives is the ultimate act of strength, courage, and wisdom. Excellent work, my Lovely Friend! Namaste, Sloan

    • Beautifully stated Sloan! Good to see you! Love your wise and heartfelt comments! So true on all of it! How powerful to know we have a choice on what we focus on, so why not focus on thoughts that make us happy? Thanks so much for your positive contribution! Best, Cathie

  2. What a brilliant idea to write these questions down and answer them. I carried the wrong story about myself for years convincing myself I was totally worthless. Then I discovered the truth and was able to start living my life so differently. Lovely post. Thank you!

    • Love hearing about personal transformations Carolyn, so thanks for your honesty! Yes, writing down thought provoking questions, as well as our answers, is a very powerful exercise! I always appreciate your great comments!

  3. Loved your post. I just up and said one day “this isn’t working.” I left a well established career and a marriage and basically started again. Why not?
    Friends and encouragement along the way helped. Your book helped too because I realize it gets down to “what am I worth to myself?” and “am I worth taking proper care of ?”. Horror town past doesn’t have to write the future.

    • Good to hear from you! Thanks for your great comments and kind mention of my book. So glad you have such a wonderful support system that helped you through all the life changes you made this far. I like the thought and image of ‘writing the future’ as well! 🙂

  4. Hi Cathie!

    It’s interesting… I just came back to exactly the same questions, myself – although I have heard them being referred to Katie’s work, before. This time it seems as if another part of me is listening and willing to ask these questions. Thank you for the reminder, it’s a great one! As I haven’t written my morning pages, yet, I will use them to investigate and explore on the action step you are offering, today.

    Much love,
    Steffi

    • Hi Steffi, always a pleasure to see you and read your wonderful comments! So glad you enjoyed the questions on a new level, and will be including the action step in your morning pages. Writing it all down does seem to add power to the exercise, rather than just thinking about them. Hope your investigating and exploring brings enlightening insights! Love, Cathie

  5. Cathie , this is good and we always see how our mind does hold us back. I have finished your book and it is absolutely brilliant, I will refer to it many times and listen to it.

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