So many people get stuck replaying the story they have created in their heads--blocking their own wins.
I'm not good enough.
I can't go on.
Nothing good ever happens for me.
What I carry in my imaginary bag
Too much thinking of this nature could lead to a mood disorder diagnosis like depression.
What is your story?
"I suddenly lost my partner and I don't know how to live now."
"We lost everything in the flood."
I lost my leg. I'll never do the things I love again."
"I was sexually assaulted. Now my life is ruined."
"I came back from the war and I'm just all messed up now."
Mood-boosting plan - Compassion to incitement
I have compassion for the terrible events that have happened in your life.
Now it's time to let go of your story, the story that you have chosen for yourself.
The one where you're "the victim" or "the angry veteran."
You are more than the traumatic event.
You are more than a mood disorder diagnosis.
These are part of your life experience but they are not what defines you-unless you make it so by telling and retelling this story.
A Marine wins life back fast after four-decades
A year ago, I was at a workshop. A Vietnam veteran who looked every bit the poster image of a male Marine-even at over seventy years old and we became my fast friend.
I could tell that he was a strong and proud man, but every time that he spoke about his service during the Vietnam war he began to cry.
I finally asked what was causing so much pain when he spoke of the war.
He said it was because he missed so much of his children's lives during the war and when he came home he was "so broken," that he shut down on his family and did not open up until he asked for help before becoming a grandfather.
He regrets all the years that he spent "not being a good husband and father."
"Are you a good husband and father now?"
"Yes, and a good grandfather."
"Well, that's all that's important now."
The Marine was not buying what I was selling so I had to take another approach, and I'm going to say this to you now so replace his trauma for the circumstances of your trauma, and know that I am talking to you.
went on to tell the Marine-
"Do you see how old and crusty I am?
I'm as old as your children, right?"
"Yes, I think so-but you ought not to ask a lady too much about her age."
"That's true, but listen to me carefully. You've carried around a hurt and are beating yourself up for it for nearly as long as I've been alive.
That's an old pain. It's time to let it go!
Let me see how heavy your pain is, pick it up and show me how heavy it feels."
The Marine picked up an imaginary bag and struggled to hoist it over his six-foot frame without saying a word.
"Now drop it, just let it fall to the ground."
He dropped the imaginary bag, and as he motioned toward dropping the bag I yelled "Wham.
Did you hear how heavy that pain was?
"The Marine nodded yes, with tears in his eyes.
For the rest of the workshop, he had a goofy smile on his face and he told me that he felt like a new man.
#1 Mood-boosting strategy - Drop your imaginary bag of pain
He took the first step toward recovery by dropping his painful story-it's your turn!
Ready to change your story from suffering to success?
Great--I'm happy to be on this journey with you.
Tomorrow, I'll post step-by-step instructions on changing the story in your head from one that doesn't serve your goals to one that propels you into the life you want to live.