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The Stories We Believe

So what is your story? Sound familiar? We as people live for stories. We have shared stories our whole time. Stories convey so much information. They share impending dangers or help celebrate wins. They tell us of so much about ourselves as a whole but also as an individual. Stories are used even now, today’s social media even incorporate stories. Facebook and Instagram have a section to their news feed of stories told by your friends. When you think of stories, we think of these bold epic tales where Frodo is carrying a ring to a far off place. Yet, we also have stories that tell your boss what is happening in the department.

In the past telling a story was how we communicated history. From how the earth was formed to how the water arrived on the plains. We tell stories that help reinforce moral decisions like Aesop’s Fables, where each story has a moral to it. Telling a tale not only helps communicate facts with others but it helps connect people together. Sharing a good story is key to being able to connect with others. Some people are born storytellers. Like my Uncle can spin a yarn about any event in his life while people like me often struggle to make our stories coherent. Yet we all have a story to tell.

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What is your story?

What is the story you share? Is it that your world is falling around you? What you say and how you say it shares more than just the words you are saying. The story you share tells others what you believe. How you share that story builds on that belief system.

Now I was having an interesting discussion with a guy on Reddit, and we were going back and forth is a great discussion about whether or not positive people are the givers or the takers. The story of his life I was able to see from his replies is that he is frustrated with how positive people bully others into feeling good. That successful people only become successful because they lie. He firmly believed that Liars and cheaters are the only ones who can succeed. He firmly believed the story that he was telling himself about how life is. He has a belief system that he thinks is true. I have had the same problems from time to time. I would tell myself a story and keep telling it until I firmly believed that it was true. Then somewhere I would be faced with a glaring fact that my story was wrong.

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There would be an internal fight with myself as to how could this nugget of new information be true. Could I possibly be wrong? This disruption of a belief is what I want to focus on today. We tell stories to ourselves. Many times we focus on. We as people focus on the key elements that help us to believe what we are saying and often ignore other parts of the story that we don’t agree with. This creates the echo-chamber that we see today in society. One side of our political system thinks our president is a horrible woman abusing a person set to wreck the country if not the planet, yet ignores the facts that the music they applaud has far worse acts on women then grabbing a chick by her cooter. While on the other side people see the left as hell-bent on destroying the golden goose that allows them to have the very freedoms that God gave them.

I am sorry for bringing politics into the matter but it is the best example of people telling themselves stories, and how those stories build up a belief system. Each side has its own echo chamber which reinforces our own set of beliefs. Yet if you are willing to examine that belief and pay attention to it, you can see if what you believe is really true. When you see that it isn’t you can simply change your beliefs.

Don’t believe me?  Do you claim it isn’t that easy? That you are correct. You have to do a lot of introspection and take an honest look at what you believe. Look at people who were once Christians who turn to Judaism or Islam. Those are some pretty hard turns. Yet they did it. Was it overnight? No, but they looked at what the story they tell themselves and measure it against the facts and make a judgment call.

Your belief system

What is a belief? Best put…

a belief is a thought that you perceive to be true.

It doesn’t mean that it is right just means that it is what you believe. Some people believe that the world is going to crumble under flaming icebergs while people believe that the world is flat. Does it mean that they are right? Not always. Does it mean they are wrong? Not Always. Yet people have a choice in what happens to them and the results that come about from those choices are the results.

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Some people take that choice and when it doesn’t go the way they thought it would they sit down and state that they have been made a victim. In their mind, the story they are telling themselves is that it isn’t their fault. Somebody cheated on them. The other person cheated them out of their happiness when in reality the story in full is a bit different.

That is where taking responsibility for your actions comes into play. You cant be a victim if you are responsible for your actions. Your story holds both sides better and you are able to look at the whole story.

Ask questions

Asking yourself questions is one of the most thorough ways to find out if you are getting the full story. You are able to filter through the garbage you tell yourself when you ask your self purposeful questions. Your brain is a lot like a computer you enter a question in your brain will work to find the answer to that question. Why are you fat. It will provide all the answers as to why you are fat you could possibly want. If you ask how you could lose weight? Your brain will work to find the best solutions. So to ask yourself why do you feel the way you do, then let your brain do its job. It will hammer on the problem until it finds a solution to that problem. Do you believe the story you tell? What proof is there that your story is true? What proof do you have that your story is false? Let your mind do the work.

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Also, don’t be afraid to ask your friends. Share that story. If they don’t agree to ask them why to listen to what they have to say doesn’t mean you are wrong nor are you right but you get another point of view. If you talk to those from the other side not to argue but as a means of discussion it helps you come to understand what their stories are and why they have those thoughts. You can show them other ways to think, much like my Reddit friend but you gather more knowledge. The increase of knowledge helps you to understand your story even better.

We tell stories to people so that we can effectively communicate facts and emotions, yet we also tell ourselves stories to help reinforce the belief systems we have created in our minds. You can change a belief system. It won’t be overnight but it will happen. It takes asking good questions and to test yourself. This is changing is at the heart of self-improvement. You learn a new piece of information and you apply it to your story. Does it fit? If not, why? You work it and play with it till it either does fit or you see that there is a glaring problem with that thought. You can explore more or you discard that thought.

If you notice that you are faced with a strong reaction to a piece of information, step back and ask yourself why you acted like that was a rattlesnake ready to bite? Be honest with yourself you may see that it was a piece of truth shining through and it disrupts a part of your beliefe system.

Explore your story. It is there for you to understand the world. You have come upon some parts of your story you know to be true because there are hard set facts, yet many are also perceived truths these are the biggest makers of your story and they are what you believe to be true. However in all reality they are often the chunks of information that are actually blocking your path.

If you would like help in sifting through your story you can have a coach be your sieve and help give you a different point of view. If you are interested please sign up for an initial visit.

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About Bryan Goodwin

I like being able to help people find their "why" and achieve the personal freedom they desire. Besides writing for Relaxed Male I also am a life coach. By helping men find the leader that is found in each and every one of us. I do this by encouraging men to get outdoors and find the balance they are missing. Realize that they need to be in contact with the outside as often as they can. It is not only good for them but for their families and relationships.

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