My earlier posts have created a shift in the thinking process of my readers. I’m glad that they have started paying attention to the inner chatter that keeps going on. I’ve received emails where readers have asked me to help them out in rewriting the inner story. While I did reply them personally, I also sought their permission to share the questions on my blog. I’m sure many of us can relate to such stories.
Here’s a question I received yesterday from a reader.
“Gayu I love reading your posts and most times I follow what you suggest in the posts. But I couldn’t decode and rewrite my inner story as per your earlier post. Every time I tried to do it…I felt horrible. The voices in my head refused to go away. It went on saying…. ‘You’ll never get a good job. You’ve to struggle a lot. You’re not confident, you’ll fail in the interviews.’ Currently I’ve quit my job and at home. I’m feeling horrible. What can I do? Any suggestions? Thank you for your time Gayu.”
Here’s the snippet of our conversation.
Gayu: Thank you for reaching out to me. Let me try to make this simple for you. Yes, it does feel horrible to have those voices in your head. The first step I want you to do here is identify the voice/voices which is/are telling you those statements ‘You’ll never get a good job. You’ve to struggle a lot. You’re not confident, you’ll fail in the interviews.’ Whose voice is it? At times the story that goes on in your head could be the voice of your parent/teacher/mentor/spouse/friend/manager. At times it can be your own voice too. Identify it.
Reader: It’s not my voice. It’s the voice of my manager. She always felt that I wasn’t good.
Gayu: Really…? Always…?
Reader: Hmmm….I mean when I didn’t perform as she expected, she told me that “You lack confidence and you must improve or else you’ll have to struggle a lot.”
Gayu: Any specific situation?
Reader: Hmmmm….yes…I had to present our team MIS in front of our management. I fumbled, forgot some important points and couldn’t handle the questions posed by the HOD.
Here’s the catch, what began as just voices saying some random statements, has now become a particular incident that bothered this reader. I further kept questioning her and we realised that she is replaying that one incident every time she applies for a job or goes for an interview. The images and voices keep troubling her when she is working and she is unable to put her 100% in any task. Naturally this affected her performance.
Gayu: Okay now we know that the images bother you. Can you shrink the images, drain the colour and make it black and white. Can you push them farther or best can you wrap them in a box and throw them far off…like maybe to the space.
Reader: Hahahaha! How can I do that..? Sounds funny.
Gayu: Yes!!! It does sound funny, isn’t it? So how can you push these images?
Reader: I can’t push them, but can kick them…like a football. I’m a football player you know.
Gayu: Awesome, then do that….kick them really hard so they never come back and as you do that, mute those voices or add a funny cartoon voice to the statements.
Reader: I can’t believe it….I’m kicking them….and you know what…I’m feeling much better…lighter….
Gayu: Lighter…as if something heavy has fallen off your shoulder?
Reader: Absolutely. How did you know that?
Gayu: Hahaha! Magic…! Do you remember a time, when you felt super-duper confident? Was there a time when you performed exceptionally well in a job (any job)?
Reader: Hmm…yes…It was during my first job. I was reporting to the HOD directly and handled complex situations with ease.
Gayu: Super…now all I want you to do is go back to that time again, relive that moment, as if it is happening now and feel all those emotions (confidence) now, in this moment. See how you handled things differently and performed with ease. Hear the compliments you were showered with and feel the confidence encompass you, now.
Reader: Thinking of that memory energizes me Gayu. It’s a WOW feeling.
Gayu: Then let that WOW feeling surround you always and in all ways, now.
Reader: Thank you!!! Feeling good.
Gayu: My pleasure. Let me ask you one thing. What are some of your dreams? How would your dream life look like?
Reader: Hmmm….I want to travel the world alone. I want to do something for women. I want to start my business someday…..
Gayu: Good. So let me ask you- How can you use this time for the best? What if you could use this time to learn a new skill or polish an old hobby? Could this be the time when you think of entrepreneurship? Could you travel or consider this as a sabbatical? Can you volunteer? Can you do any of these?
Reader: Gayu…I never thought this way.
Gayu: Then maybe you should….and when you continue to think in this way…maybe you’ll discover new possibilities and transformation will happen, effortlessly.
Reader: I was feeling sad since last 6 months. I didn’t know what to do and whom to approach. But this conversation with you has made me think differently. I can see some things that I missed before. Thanks so much.
Gayu: May you continue to see new possibilities and may life unfold new ways. Stay blessed.
This conversation made me wonder how one incident filters and alters our perception and how magically our life transforms when we rewrite and reframe that perception. Like I said in earlier post, events keep happening, but the meaning we attach to the event shapes our lives and destiny. The story that we keep telling ourselves, the movies and images we keep creating in our minds slowly becomes our reality. The shift begins, when we become aware of those stories.
So what story are you telling yourself? Is it limiting you from achieving a life that you want? If yes, then how can you rewrite it?
Love and gratitude,
PS: Shared with the reader’s permission.