The Story You've Been Telling Yourself
Narratives are a really big thing. And narratives come from everywhere. Our mind actually believes what we tell it. It's the way it works. That's just how your brain works. It's like a movie and it plays through so what we tell it, when we tell it, "I'm never going to be able to do that. "I'm never going to get where I want. "This is never going to work out for me. "I'm never going to have the relationship I want, "I'm never gonna lose the weight I want, "I'm never gonna have the business I want, "I'm never, never, never..." That's what your brain believes because that's the loop that plays in its head. Yes. The narrative that we tell ourselves is sometimes our own narrative that we've made up for ourselves and sometimes the narrative that other people have told us. It's the stories that we've taken from other people. It's what they have told us about us, about how our life should be, right? About who we should be, what we should do, how we should behave. It's someone else's narrative ...
but we've taken it on and that narrative, when you're talking about it looping through in your head and having that narrative playing all the time is crippling because you put that in with fear, you're already a little scared, you're scared that no one's going to want the product that you're selling. In my head, I'm hearing and I believe the movie that's playing in my head all the time so I believe; no one's gonna what you want. Why would they want what you make? Well, why would they want your stuff? Why would they come to your business? Why would they listen to you? Who are you? You put those two together, you've just created your own little movie that you've produced, written, directed and starred in and it's on a loop 24/7, right? That's what's in there, that's what's stuck. And that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. You know... Every thought... Think about this; when you become mindful of it, you can feel it. Every thought has a reaction in your body, right? You feel it. When you're fearful, you tighten up. You can feel yourself tighten up, your heart starts beating. When you're happy you feel lighter, it feels lighter, joy, love. You can feel all those emotions in your body and your story does that because think about the loop you're telling yourself. If it's constant fear; I'm never gonna have, I'm not good enough. I'm not worthy. I'll never get this, it's never gonna happen for me. I fail anyway, why would this time be different? And that is constantly playing. All those emotions that we feel when we feel different emotions, right? The good ones are kind of light and juicy and butterfly. The bad ones are crap. They feel heavy and like make your stomach go all weird and give you headaches and all of those things. That's what you feel all the time because this narrative, the narrative that I have heard was, you'll never amount to anything. You'll always be fat. You've got no education. You're not smart enough. You're a bitch. Why would anyone want to listen to you? So here I am. You have to change the narrative. Otherwise, you will not be able to move through and break through. Just like that fear, where you don't know where the end of the journey is, with fear, the narrative doesn't mean anything. Sometimes it's as simple as what we were told as a kid. You're so bad. You're a kid, you did something that was a little naughty as a kid. You got in trouble. You're so bad, you always do this. Why are you always like that? You're so selfish. You're never going to be anything. We take another person's narrative of us, an opinion and we put it in our beautiful crazy brain and we play that. And we play it over and over and over until it actually becomes our own and the longer you sit with it and the longer you play it and the longer you listen to it, it literally becomes your own. There's a line from a song and I can't remember who sings it that the only dance you've ever known is the one that you've always... The one that you've done the longest. It's the same with the narrative we tell ourselves. If we've been telling ourselves this terrible narrative of we're not good enough, no one's gonna want it. No one's gonna listen to me. I'm ugly. I'm fat. I'm unlovable, then that is what it's going to be and how it's going to keep continuing. I want you to listen and I want you to do an exercise. Every time you tell yourself, I don't care what it is. I dropped my Fitbit earlier. You dropped your car keys, "Oh I'm such an idiot, "such a moron. "I'm so stupid." I want you to actually listen how many times you say that to yourself. It seems so simple if you dropped something or you forget your keys or you don't do an errand, "Oh, I'm such a moron. "I'm such a fool, such an idiot, so stupid." Just seems natural to do it to yourself. I want you to catch yourself how many times you're actually doing it, along with the other loop of what you're playing of I'm never going to be able to do this. I'm never going to succeed. No one's ever going to want my services. No one's ever gonna love me. I'm never gonna lose weight. Whatever it is you're playing, count how many times you're doing that in a day. Be aware of it, be mindful of it. I'm never gonna be able to grow my business. I'm never going to be able to change my business. I'm never gonna be able to get a new career. See how many times it shows up for you. You'll be astounded, when you're mindful of it and then I want you to ask yourself, if you were your own best friend, would you speak to yourself that way? The stupid, I'm an idiot, I'm never gonna have it, I'm never gonna do it, would you say that to a best friend? Do you speak to another human being the way you speak to yourself sometimes? The narrative that you're playing, is that how you speak to other people or is it just reserved for you? You got very quiet all of a sudden. Patty and Tara, why don't you come and talk to me? Everyone's sick of my voice.
Okay so you you gave us a little bit of homework to start counting how many times we tell ourselves things.
What about when you're thinking those things about other people? What causes that and how do you stop that?
That's a great question. So sometimes it's ego. Sometimes it's denial, right? What are you trying to tell yourself? Are you scared? Are you telling yourself that someone's no good because you're too scared to commit to them so it's much better to go, "They're no good. "They're no good for me." So that you can keep yourself safe in your creative brain--
To keep yourself safe and be in denial so it's much easy to transfer and say, "They're no good. "That person is no good for me. "It's never gonna work out," and it keeps you safe, right? Often the things that we see in other people that we dislike the most, are the things that we dislike the most in ourselves, it's a mirror. So it could be a denial factor for you. It could be a safety factor of you having this narrative about other people and you know what? Sometimes it's true. If you had someone that was really abusive to you, if you had a terrible situation with a person then it could be true, they could be a terrible person but them taking up rent, in your head is not going to help you move on and get your life into a better place so you're the best best version of yourself. So why let them stay there rent-free? Why are you holding on to them? You need to learn to let go and work with the outcome and the disappointment. Does that make sense, that help?
Absolutely, thank you.
Hello ladies! Oh g'day, I got a good day. I love that. Are you Australian?
Yes, I am.
Oh g'day, like a real good day. How fantastic is that, a real one? I love that, that just chopped me.
Go ahead, make you feel at home.
Hope you have some Vegemite on there because that'd be reals... Oh yeah, well, not very good sharing, are we? So with what we've been talking about, do you have narratives? What's the story that has been holding you back? Do you have a story that's holding you back? Do you have a fear that is holding you back? Yeah.
I think for me when you said the analysis paralysis, that really rang true because I feel like undereducated, inexperienced, my resume is not fantastic. Any success I've had my whole entire life has been by chance, like it's been a freak accident that we have a successful business. (laughs) Or like I met the right people at the right time. So it hasn't been of anything that I've proactively done in my life because I don't consider myself a go-getter. I'm terrible at follow-through. I'm a visionary. I know I'm really self-deprecating here.
See what I live with? This is what I live with.
So with your fear, right, you also clearly have this narrative that's playing of all the things you aren't because you just gave me a laundry list, you didn't tell me one positive attribute except you had a successful business.
Yeah, that's very much our story, I think. But I could sit here and tell you all these amazing things about her. We're partners, by the way, in life and in business but yeah, I think we clash in that way because I can see all of these great things and things that she can do and should be doing, yeah but... (laughs)
That was really interesting though because... I mean to hear her, you really gave a laundry list of not educated, right? Showed up at the right place at the right time, I guess. I don't know how I have a successful business. But the successful business is what jumped out but if that's the narrative you're telling yourself over and over again, then that's what creates the fear and the fear creates the narrative.
And something's gonna have to shift so that one can be broken free and not be a caged beast anymore. Because when you have both of them and they sit on top of each other, they just chase each other around all day and then chase each other around, they feed off each other. The fear is then feeding off the narrative and then the narrative is making you more and more fearful so you're stuck and you're not going to move forward. See how that works? That's how it goes. So what's gonna have to change to change that narrative of fear?
I'm gonna have to look at my success in a different way, I think and really recognize the parts of who I am that got me to where I am that aren't--
Why do you have a hard time owning your success? What is the problem with you owning your success?
Because my story is that I came from a working-class house and I'm uneducated and all these things so my story, in my head, is that I'll always just be... It'll be like a mediocre, like whatever happens to me, I'm kind of along for the ride.
Sound familiar? So that narrative comes from, because you said it, so it comes from your childhood and how you grew up and I'd probably throw in there maybe things that people had said to you?
Right, because we all have that. So it's what people have said to you. So everything I do is kind of mediocre, sounds like you don't think you deserve success.
Yeah, yeah, for sure. I feel like she does. It's almost like I created... I innovated a business that became successful and I kind of handed it to her and now I'm just floundering, like waiting to do something else but all those things are stopping me.
And it doesn't help that I'm a control freak. So I'm just like, "Fine, I'll take it on then. "It's mine, it's my job now." And I'm a people pleaser and fiercely like loyal to our vision. So I'm gonna carry it because we created it together and yeah...
So, well, isn't this good?
It's like couple's therapy.
It's interesting though, because here's the thing that is really interesting is because you clearly have a successful business. Am I correct?
You're both sitting here going, "We've got a successful business." So congratulations because just to say that is a hard thing.
So just, every business owner out there knows. Just to say, "I have a successful business," full stop, end of story, pat on the back should be proud of yourself because that, alone, is hard.
Yeah, for sure.
Yeah, it's one of the easiest things we can recognize, I think, which is odd. (chuckles)
And it should be the thing that you recognize most because do you want to grow your business or you sound like your...
Can I just...
So one of my fears is that she is kind of like, "Well, we did that. "Now it's time for me to move on and create something else." And I'm sitting here with all of these ideas of how to propel and sort of up level us to the a sort of new and bigger and better thing.
The next level?
And I feel like she's like, "Oh I'm not sure I want to do that," because I feel like this is what we created and this is good and she's sort of ready to hightail it. (chuckles) Which is not in the business but which is fine because again, I'm a workaholic. I can do this. I take it on but part of the joy in the business, for me, is doing it together and it always has been. So without her, as my sidekick, it's different and it's different for our clients.
Yeah, for sure. I mean if it was your dream, was it your dream or your invention of the business?
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
So how do we get you to recognize your success and own it and feel... It'll take a minute, right? It's gonna take a minute and I want you all to recognize this; it takes a minute to own your truth: the good and the bad. It doesn't happen like this. (fingers snap) It's something that has to be worked on but when you can't even say, "Yeah, I've got a successful business," and feel good with that to look at what the next step would be, you're looking for the happy and you're looking for the pot of gold of, not in monetary, but feeling those good feelings about yourself and about what you've done but don't you think if you started again in another business that it would just be the same? It would probably be successful by chance because you have no talent and then all of a sudden, it would be a success and you would give me the laundry list again and go, "But I'm ready to move on to the next thing." Do you think that maybe could kind of be true?
Possible, for sure. That is likely. (members of the audience laughing)
Do you ever follow things all the way through?
Not often, no. I get antsy, I don't know what it is. I don't know. I fear sitting with something and experiencing the whole entirety and taking in the approbation, the success, the attention,
The joy and... Yeah, so maybe I, yeah...
And you just said fear?
So we all have that narrative. We've either picked up our family's narrative of whatever we were told as kids or what our level was that this is our level. We're lower class. We're middle class. We're high cl... Whatever it is and that's what we are. Like the story has been written and it can't move anywhere. That becomes our movie. We pick that part of ourselves up and we take that from what we were given and then we put our own bits into it and we make it true. And it can change, we know that. You have a success but until you learn how to stop that loop because the success is so subtle in there. It should be the celebration and it's really just another word on a reel. You can't even let yourself just listen to the success in the fact that you two have built this great business and it's successful. And nothing happens by chance. I just don't believe it. I believe that there are circumstances. There's serendipity sometimes. There's whatever you want to call it. But it doesn't just fall in your lap and become an overnight success. It takes work, takes dedication, it takes heart. It takes sacrifice, right? It takes sweat, it takes energy. It takes a lot of things out of you. So for you to say, "It just happened by chance," that I do not believe for a second and I think if you sit and really think about it, neither do you. You may not think you deserve it because that's your narrative. We all have that. I don't care what it is. I don't deserve my business. I don't deserve my husband. I don't deserve to be skinny. I don't deserve money. How many times do you hear a lottery winner, win really big in the lottery and then two years later, they're totally broke and they've lost everything? Because they didn't feel like they deserved it. Happens all the time and if the narrative is that, then unfortunately, it does become not just something that you make into being and your reality. It also means that you can't be really fulfilled and be the best version of yourself and overcome the fear until you press the stop button on the movie that you're playing. Thank you, thank you. (audience applause) So we all do this, right? In a different version, we all do it. I really want you to be mindful. Think about, as I said, all the times you call yourself the names; think about the narrative. There were no names in the narrative we just heard but there was no pat on the back, positivity, praise or actually, look what I did. There was no ownership of it. We do that to ourselves. We tell ourselves that and then, you know what happens? It makes it harder to get through the fear. It makes it harder to be resilient. It makes it harder to have self-esteem because you're tearing it down and you're sabotaging yourself and it doesn't change the pattern. So sometimes you think, if I just do something different, it will make it different. It doesn't, it's just the same habit that is going to keep repeating and keep replaying and keep looping because that's the movie that you have built for yourself.
Thank you. Hi Tabatha, my name is Tracy Renee.
I'm just wondering, and talking about fear of success, do you think that there's a difference between fear of achieving success like being afraid of the hard work and there also seems like there's a fear of maintaining success; like maybe stopping yourself before you start because you're saying after I do all this hard work, how am I going to continue to be successful?
Great question. I absolutely think that some people just don't want to put the work in, right? I don't want to say lazy because I think that's a horrible word. And I think that sometimes there's more to it than someone just not, what we think of as lazy, not having the energy to be able to do it but I think some people don't want to put that work in. Remember when I said you have to be willing to sacrifice for it, for your passion, you have to be willing to sacrifice? The only reason is because it's going to take some hard work, it's gonna take some tears, it's gonna take a lot of sweat, it's gonna take a lot of heart and a lot of love; some people just don't want to put that in, especially if we're talking about a business. Some people don't want to put it into themselves and that's okay. That's their choice but for me, it means for a very flat life and you're not living up to your potential of what it could be and the possibilities that are there for you because you're not grabbing them. And I think the other part of success is being afraid of it and you my friend, were a perfect example as were you. I'm sorry, I don't call you out in that way but it's so great to hear those examples because here you have a successful business but you can't take the ownership of the success and the hard work, and the blood and the sweat and the tears and the money, and the emotion, and the ideas, and the creativity and all the stuff that goes into building a successful business. And then here you are, that had a successful business, things went pear-shaped because that happens in life. It goes pear-shaped, right? And now how you're dealing with the outcome of that is you're scared to go back to success because success for you registers as; I'm going to go back to those ways of that other person and I don't want to do that so you'll just keep yourself here instead of realizing that you're going to be successful as your new version. So yes, there are two ways that we block out success and it happens all the time. The other thing is that when you're successful, you have to show up. It takes you to another level. Takes you to another level of responsibility and dependability and follow-through and hard work and some people, that is frightening. Some people don't have the energy to do it or the follow-through or the wherewithal or some people just have that narrative of I can't do it or I don't deserve it so it just stays where it is, right? Which is flaccid.