How to Rewrite Your Story in 10 Days or Less

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I was traumatized by their narrow, hateful way of seeing other people and I developed low self-esteem because of my inability to connect with them, and with others. Now I have vulnerability and general anxiety issues. We all carry around some kind of tragic or wretched story with us. These stories — whether created about the past, the present, or the future — quagmire us in resentment, self-pity , prejudice and anxiety. In other words: we make a habit of repeating stories to ourselves all throughout our lives.

But the truth is that most of the stories we carry around with us weigh down on us heavily; they completely limit our ability to experience a life of peace, gratitude and joy. How do you know whether you are dragging around a poisonous story in your everyday life? Usually toxic stories manifest themselves as feelings; feelings of heaviness, feelings of sadness, feelings of regret, feelings of resentment, and feelings of unease.

Take some time now to settle into your body.

Life Story Quotes

Breathe slowly and calmly. How do you feel? Do you feel clean, placid and vibrant?

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Or are you feeling sluggish, tense, and weighed down? Our stories are like leeches or parasites: they suck the vital energy needed to heal, to feel joyful and at peace in our lives. Our stories, in essence, pollute the landscapes of our existences. When we consciously choose to explore what tales we are unconsciously dragging around with us, we open the door to change, recovery and freedom. In order to begin the process of exploration, you must see that there are three different types of stories that can be told about the past, the present or the future, these include:.

There is no hope for me. They screwed up my life. There is no one like me in the world. Everything must be predictable and able to be controlled for me to feel happy and a sense of relief. How are these stories contributing to your well-being and peace of mind?

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How are they limiting you? One of the most powerful ways of liberating ourselves from suffering in life is by rewriting our toxic life stories. Basically: life is a perception. For a long time I carried a lot of bitterness and sadness inside. The story I mentioned at the beginning of this article was literally leeching my health and my happiness every day because it formed a backdrop to my entire existence. Eventually I discovered how destructive this story playing like a broken record in my mind was … and I decided to rewrite my story.

Their beliefs introduced me to the concept of God from an early age and motivated me to explore other types of religions and spiritual practices as I got older. Their intense devotion rubbed off on me and allowed me to intensely devote myself to a life of self-discovery and transformation. Thanks to my upbringing, I have grown into the person I am today. What does your rewritten story sound like? Our experiences in life are truly what we make of them. Our perceptions can liberate us or enslave us. Once I rewrote my story … suddenly an immense burden was lifted from me. Finally I could feel cleaner, clearer and more satisfied with life.

Finally I could make peace with my family, my past and my upbringing. Finally I could feel gratitude, forgiveness and love again. Focus on the gifts, the opportunities, the doorways, and the advantages that you received. If you carry a toxic story about your divorced parents who divided your household, for example, you might choose to rewrite your story in the following way:.

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I would live with my mother for half of the year and my father for the other half which allowed me to travel, see and meet more people. There might be many benefits and gifts you received, or only a few that you gained from your experiences in life. No matter how much or how little you received, focus on identifying any hidden treasures you can find.

Our stories can free us or encage us, portray us as hopeless victims, or hopeful champions, feed us misery or feed us thankfulness. It is not necessary for us to wait to be saved, redeemed or emancipated by other people in order to better our lives. No, instead we are more than able to liberate ourselves , and learning how to identify and rewrite our toxic life stories is one of the most powerful ways to do this. Aletheia Luna is an influential psychospiritual writer whose work has changed the lives of thousands of people worldwide.

After escaping the religious sect she was raised in, Luna experienced a profound existential crisis that led to her spiritual awakening. As a spiritual counselor, diviner, and author, Luna's mission is to help others become conscious of their entrapment and find joy, empowerment, and liberation in any circumstance. We spend hundreds of hours every month writing, editing and managing this website. If you have found any comfort, support or guidance in our work, please consider donating:.

We would love to hear from you:. To customize your avatar, you can upload an image to gravatar. Receive our latest posts in your inbox! Thank you so much for sharing your experience so that others may also heal. My teen years were painful, so anxious and depressed. Shy and craving solitude.

Although it was very traumatic I am thankful for the lessons and am happy to have crawled out of that after several years to start the healing process. I read a book a couple weeks ago about being an empath. It clicked. Tonight I connected instantly with your website. I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. I look forward to the process.

It’s time to Rewrite your Story

Namaste beautiful souls. Thank you. This is it , a toxic life story thats just been waying me down all my life. Thank you so much for this article , i just re-wrote my story and i feel so light and peaceful inside. I want to know the easiest way to stop having feelings. Rather than rejecting and running away from them, your life will be much happier if you learn to accept and embrace them. Why embrace? And no one will give me it, neither.

I could be completelly engaged with my learnings, but I feel the preasure these emotions do on me. So, I abbandon everything. What do you doubt? About love? In a long-term study spanning the critical years between ages 13 and 23, Allen's team tracked early-adulthood outcomes for males and females. The individuals within this group labeled "pseudomature," based on early assumption of adult-like qualities in a variety of areas, were most prone to hang onto the myth of invincibility.

And why not? At 13 and 14, they were the most popular, the most likely to engage in acts of minor delinquency, and the earliest to experiment sexually. They were also the most likely to prioritize popularity and looks and to choose friends based on appearance. When we're young, our personal fable is a scenario of projected accomplishment. As we age, we constantly revise our story to incorporate bouts with failure. Our vision of our lives—what I call our life span construct—is a direct outgrowth of our identity projected into the future and recalled from the past.

Ideally, we each adapt it to take into account both success and failure. By their early 20s, their promise fails to materialize, and many start to backslide. They are more likely than their peers to use alcohol and marijuana and have problems related to substance use; to engage in criminal behavior; and to have poorer relationships with others. This pattern of early promise followed by a downward spiral into adulthood is consistent with the findings of my own study of adults followed from college through their mids. Some of the brightest and most talented of the participants were less fulfilled in late middle age , and more embittered, than their "average" counterparts.

They peaked too early and locked themselves into a story of expected success that their future efforts could not sustain. In part, this was because they rested on their laurels. But they also built into their identities an image of early stardom, and so everything occurring after that seemed like a letdown. Being successful early is fine as long as you remain willing to accept the realities of later accomplishments or failures. For most healthy, well-adapted individuals on what I call the authentic road, setbacks don't become derailments. Life happens, and we realize that there will be times that experiences don't meet expectations.

Bringing your personal fable and life span construct more into sync requires incorporating the knowledge you gain from disappointments into a more balanced sense of who you are and what you're capable of. The ability to make the adjustments allows you to adapt to, and enjoy, your life's ups and downs. Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph. At the beginning of a relationship, most of us feel happy, confident, excited, and hopeful. We are our best selves. As the relationship progresses, however, we sometimes lose that energy and become mired in older behavior patterns that leave us feeling unfulfilled, disappointed, irritable, or downright hopeless.

I often hear clients exclaim that they don't like who they are in their primary relationship—they don't like how they feel or how they behave. If they are insightful, they accept that the problem does not entirely reside in the behaviors and attitudes of their partner. So the question is how to remain, or return to being, the person we want to be.

Philosophers and cognitive scientists agree that the world, including yourself, can only be known to you in terms of how you think about it. Your reality, including who you are, is a story you tell yourself—and you can change it. To begin, accept that your conscious thoughts are words going through your head, but they are not you. Think about yourself in relation to your partner through a series of "I" statements.

Now ask yourself, "Who or what is this 'I'? My thoughts? Something that exists before my thoughts?

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  • Or something that I get to influence and create? By extension, then, you should be able to choose to "do" your thinking differently. This notion is consistent with cognitive behavioral therapy CBT , which suggests that by altering your thoughts, and changing your life story, you can intentionally change the way you feel and behave, on your own and with your partner. The common misperception is that you have to "figure things out" or change your attitude before you can change your behavior. Research shows, however, that changing your behavior first can influence your thinking.

    Sometimes, for example, the best thing to do after a spat or a testy exchange is to greet your partner warmly on your next encounter, as if nothing ever happened. This can break a cycle of negative interactions. You can choose the words that you say to yourself in your head, but a great deal of brain activity relating to perception and emotion happens below the level of conscious awareness, some of which gets wired into our personalities through interaction with our social environment notably, our family in childhood.

    You can understand your pattern of detecting threats, reacting emotionally, and behaving defensively or supportively in part via your attachment style. When you feel scared or threatened in your relationship, the emotional centers of your brain might trigger an anxiety response, or lead you to emotionally "shut down"—even before you have a chance to figure out rationally what is really going on. When you know that this is your automatic reaction, you can work to change who you are in your relationship by learning to intentionally reengage with your partner if you've shut down, or to observe and accept your emotions without acting on them if your narrative leads you to express an anxiety response.

    Techniques include mindfulness and acceptance and commitment therapy.

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    We all have basic thoughts about ourselves, the world, and the people we are in relationships with—thoughts we've held so long, and repeated so often, that we forget that they're just thoughts. They have become our story—a narrative we've locked ourselves into living. The problem is that these "core beliefs," as we call them in CBT, may be irrational.

    And yet we still rely on them as roadmaps for navigating relationships, unknowingly eliciting behaviors from our partner that support these beliefs in a self-fulfilling prophecy. Fear of rejection, for example, leads us to behave in ways that increase, not decrease, the possibility of rejection. Even when you think that your partner's behavior is in error, remember that you get to choose your response.

    When you accept that you have the freedom to change how you behave in the relationship, you should be prepared to see corresponding changes in the attitude and behavior of your partner. Relationships are like small ecosystems: Everything is in balance, even if that balance is characterized by conflict and chaos.

    When you change your role in the system, it can go out of balance, and the other person, in an attempt to restore balance, might unconsciously try to pull you back into your old role, even if it's a role they have not always embraced. But if you stay the course and choose to think, feel, and behave as the person who you want to be, rather than who you have always been, the resulting shift should be a positive one for both of you and lead to a truer and more rewarding relationship. Hal Shorey, Ph. Career fulfillment has taken a hit lately. Many Americans, especially those under 35, struggle to find work that pays enough and fits with their skills and talents, not to mention their perception of who they believe they are and how they should be seen.

    Even those who have a "good" job often wonder, "Is this all? Perhaps as a result, young people are increasingly cynical about work. In , one in four high-school seniors agreed with the statement, "To me, work is nothing more than making a living. Millennials are also less likely to take pleasure in work than are previous generations, less likely to say it's important to have a job that's interesting, and less likely to aspire to make friends at work. It's a serious problem, because the intrinsic rewards of work—how our careers support our life stories— are among the best predictors of performance.

    Studies find that workers who fundamentally enjoy what they do perform much better than those who focus primarily on extrinsic rewards like money. Valuing intrinsic rewards is also linked to greater happiness and better mental health overall.

    The Case for Writing a Story Before Knowing How It Ends

    To rewrite your career story, buck the trend and focus more on what work gives you while you're doing it. Social media doesn't help us live the career stories we want. We constantly judge ourselves via comparison to others, and social media fuels this fire. Seeing posts from friends about their seemingly glamorous, high-profile work can make us question our focus on intrinsic rewards. It helps to remember that every job has its downside, or at least its dull side, which few share on Facebook. Keeping that in mind, begin to reframe your workday in ways that better fit your story.

    Knock off your mundane tasks as quickly as possible, at the times when you're naturally least engaged waiting for a train, sitting in the car during your kids' sports practices, or waiting for a conference call to start. And when you get to the part of your job you really like, that most lets you be yourself, savor it.

    Put your phone on vibrate, don't look at your email, and let yourself become immersed in what you're doing. Aim for a flow state—the smooth passage of time that surrounds you when you are truly engaged. Opportunities to be intrinsically engaged are harder to come by in distraction-filled workplaces, which is why it's so important to direct yourself to them. Do it enough, and your performance will also improve.

    In the end, focusing on intrinsic fulfillment should lead to extrinsic rewards, too. And if work offers you none of this? It might be time for a change. If your job really is just making a living, you probably deserve a better story—and can still create it. Intrinsic rewards abound in other spheres. Enjoying friends and family, helping the community, and engaging in activities you love outside of the office are all deep sources of intrinsic rewards.

    Jean Twenge, Ph. If you would like us to consider your letter for publication, please include your name, city, and state. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. Back Psychology Today. Back Find a Therapist. Back Get Help. Back Magazine. Subscribe Issue Archive.