The stories we tell ourselves define who we are.
Have you ever found yourself in a critical situation and could not understand how you got there? When you ask yourself who you are, do you like the answer you hear? The stories we build in our heads about us and our reality are not always necessarily true. Stay tuned, and learn which stories you should hear about yourself, and which you shouldn’t.
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[00:00:00] Hey everyone, and welcome back to the divorce Angel podcast. I’m Tanya Somerton. Wow, I’m over here in Australia as a lot of you know, and I’m down the bottom part of Australia, in Victoria, and like seriously, it’s spring and we should be getting beautiful weather. instead, I’m sitting here with the big jump around and it’s pouring rain outside, thunderstorms, It’s just nasty. But you know what? I’m going to be grateful that it’s raining in a country where we are struggling with drought. Some farmers don’t even have two cents to rub together and as such, they’re so hard at what they do so I could be carrying on about it. But to be honest, I’m grateful that we live in such an amazing world and Country.
Today I wanted to [00:01:00] firstly celebrate. Yay. Today is my 40th episode of this podcast. When I started this podcast, I did not know how long it would go for. If at all anyone would even listen to it. And I’m lucky enough now that I get emails, I get questions. I can see by the data where people are listening from and we’ve got listeners from all over the world.
I just cannot tell you how grateful I am to know that I am hopefully adding some sort of value to your life. And hopefully making whatever it is that you are journeying through right now a little bit easier. Even if you just know that you are not alone and someone else and other people are going through exactly what you were going through. Because you’re not alone and I got this beautiful email from this [00:02:00] amazing lady yesterday.
And that’s a shout out to Shelley who’s over in Arizona in the US. And is battling and I just wanted to say to her that she’s not alone, that we are all here with her and do whatever we can to help and support in any way possible. Today I wanted to talk about stories. Stories are what you tell yourself.
Quite often when I’m talking to a client case in point was yesterday. I had a lady ring me as a referral from a financial advisor and I was having a chat with this lady and she spoke so quickly. Even when I tried to talk to her, there was no break. She wasn’t even taking a breath like she was so overwhelmed and just going through a list of all these things that we’re going on in her life, that she never stops to think. [00:03:00] She’s in victim mode 100% victim mode, but not just that. The number of stories she was telling herself about what was going to happen.
The issue with stories is they cause us to feel these emotions, and like I say all the time, from the emotions we then act on them. And it’s dangerous because the stories may not be true.
They are stories that you could be telling yourself. And I know this better than anyone, I’ve been telling myself a lot of stories for a lot of my life. And when I addressed why I was telling myself particular stories, it made my life better? Because at the end of it. What do I care about what someone thinks about me; or what do I care if I’m going to upset someone; [00:04:00] or what do I care if people think I’m no good at what I do? I don’t care because at the end of the day, and this is big for me to say, I now know for certain that I am making a difference in people’s lives.
If we are always worried about what people think about us, we are never going to do anything. We’re always going to stay in that be marriage because we don’t want to upset our family. Or what will our friends say, or what will our in-laws say, or how will the children react? All of these questions that we ask ourselves we come up with these stories of answers, which we do not know to be true.
We just surmise that they’re going to be true. So some of the stories that you may have told yourself could be: I can’t do this, I can’t do this alone. I’m calling BS, you can. [00:05:00]
The children will suffer. I hear this all the time and there are actual evidence and studies to say that children in unhappy marriages grow up to be unhappy people. They’ve learned from what they’ve witnessed. They take that into their relationships. We don’t want to just continually have this perpetual circle of divorces within our families. If we can stop it, that’s what we want to do. We want to make sure that our children learn to be happy, independent, and resilient adults. And they can do that by being into happy single families better than what they can do if they’re in one very unhappy toxic family.
You could also be telling yourself life will be hard. Well, I’m sorry but [00:06:00] life can be as easy or as hard as what you make it. And that might be a story you’re telling yourself as well. Just imagine if you said to yourself life is easy and you truly believed that life was easy. What harm is it going to do? There’s no harm in thinking that something will be better than what it is. You’re hurting no one, you’re believing something. Wouldn’t it be amazing if that was what life was like? Life is easy and it can be easy, it really can. You just have to believe it. But if you’re continually telling yourself life is hard, that is what your reality will be.
Other people will have stories around money, we’ve all got stories around money. I’ve certainly had my fair share of those. Money doesn’t grow on [00:07:00] trees, money doesn’t come easily, we have to work hard for money, he’s going to give me no money. Like this so many stories that just go on and on and we don’t know that they are true. And just because we’ve learned something does not mean it’s factual. And right now is the time that you could change all of your stories.
You could be just turning your life upside down. This is certainly how I looked at divorce. I looked at it like this: I’m finishing one chapter, but the next chapter will only be better. The next chapter will be what I want it to be, it will be on my terms. The stories that I told myself when I was going through my unhappy relationship were that my parents got divorced, so I don’t want to go through what my mom [00:08:00] and dad went through. I don’t want to do that, that was unhappy for them. And then that was just a story I was telling myself because that was their choice. They made their bed and they laid in it and the results of their decisions don’t need to be the results of my decisions.
I don’t need to follow suit and that was just a story I was telling myself. I was witnessing my dad being unhappy. So, therefore, I thought that could be what would happen to me. But it didn’t need to be that. I also continually told myself: I’m not smart enough.
How many of you are telling yourselves: I’m not smart enough.
Now I look back and see what I’ve been able to achieve, and you know what? I am smart enough. I can do whatever I want to do, but I have to tell myself that. I have to believe that I can do whatever I want to do, and you can do that as well. You’ve got to [00:09:00] trust in yourself, and you’ve got to trust to know that you can have a better life.
Whatever stories you are telling yourself, you need to stop it because they’re not true. They are just stories. As humans, we look for all this supportive evidence to probably confirm our beliefs. We think things like: If I’m going to leave I’m not going to be able to survive. Who’s going to pay the bills? I’m not going to have the same life I have right now. We’re all going to suffer. Who knows whatever it is that you’re telling yourself. There’s no evidence to say that it is true. And even, to be honest, if there is evidence you can turn it around, you can change your destiny if that’s what you want to do.
I just case in point in that you don’t need to be unhappy. You can find a [00:10:00] purpose and go out and make everything that you want from your life. You might have a hobby right now. That hobby might be something that you could turn into an income. So you might be telling yourself a story about how I can’t survive, I don’t have enough money. But in this day and age where we live right now, you have the ability at your fingertips on your iPad, on your laptop to start a business that you can make money from. You just have to sit there and think about what it is that you want to do with your life, but don’t allow your negative stories to take control of your destiny.
It’s not okay. You need to stop it. If that’s you right now. And I know for a fact it is you because every single client I talk to, every email I read there are threads of these reasons. [00:11:00] Why you can’t do something, there are reasons why it won’t work out, but they are just stories. You can do and be whoever you want to be, you can do this.
And I’ll be honest. Let me put it to you right now. You will do this. You will do this. So when things get hard, have a mantra. Tell yourself over and over again, this is easy. I can do this. I will be happy. Think of whatever it is that will make you grateful for the simple things in life. Every night when you go to bed, you need to think about three amazing things that happen. If things are dark right now for you there have to be at least three little things that you can be grateful for. I discuss this [00:12:00] before, for me, when someone mows the grass the smell of freshly mowed grass is just one of the happiest moments for me.
There are other things like we can’t survive without water and air and lungs in our body and there are so many things, even if stuff is so bad right now, you should be grateful for. Your heart pumping, you would not be able to walk around and look after your children or go to work and your body allows you to have the power to step into a new future.
You can just get up and change your life if you want to. Stop telling yourself that everything is too hard because it’s not, it’s a lie. It’s a lie you’re telling yourself. Life can be as easy or hard as you want it to be. If you listen to last week’s podcast, I spoke about my client that made it harder than it [00:13:00] needed to be because emotionally she just wasn’t dealing with stuff. It was all these stories that were going around in her head about what he was possibly going to do, or how he was going to react. And none of it was true and simple communication and hindsight have made her understand that it was just the chatter in her mind. It was just the story she was telling herself. If there’s one thing I can do I can share other people’s learnings so that you don’t make the same mistakes.
I don’t want to see anyone going through something preventable. And mostly what I see is the stories that we tell ourselves are simply not true. They’re just something that keeps us comfortable. We think that they are keeping us safe. But all they are doing is keeping us [00:14:00] where we are right now in this very minute.
So have a look around, have a look at your life. Where you are right now, is that where you want to be? Or if you’re able to change a few stories about your future, or even the stories about your past which are not helping you at all. And it means that you have a different life moving forward. Isn’t that worth Wild?
Well for me, it is essential because the stories are not helping us in any way shape or form.
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