I am a bad sleeper. End of story.
As someone who has struggled with insomnia my whole life, I don’t remember ever waking up feeling truly refreshed.
It got so bad after my daughter was born that I had 5 nights in a row where I’d go to bed at 9:30 and stay wide awake in bed until 5:00 in the morning. No joke.
Obviously, at that point I went to a doctor – although they couldn’t find anything “wrong” with me.
I tried every natural sleep remedy under the sun. I did all sorts of bedtime routines. I took supplements, I meditated, I removed all light from my home.
Nada. Still a bad sleeper.
Slowly over time things got better. But I still would wake up each morning wishing I had more time in bed. Each morning when my husband would ask me how I was doing, my response was almost always: “I’m tired.”
In case you’re wondering, this story isn’t about insomnia.
This is about the stories we tell ourselves – and the mess they can make when we believe them.
My whole life I’ve believed I’m a bad a sleeper. And I’ve done everything to gather the evidence and share it with the world to prove my story true.
And obviously, something’s not right when you’re only getting an hour of sleep each night. It’s important to step into reality and get the help you need when it’s necessary.
But an interesting thing happened the day I gave myself permission to question my long held label of “bad sleeper.”
What if it wasn’t true? What if I just had some nights of bad sleep? What if I changed the story and told myself a different ending?
I’m guessing you know where this is going:
The thing that has helped my insomnia more than anything else was changing the story I was telling myself.
What stories are derailing your goals?
I’m too out of shape.
I’m too unorganized.
I’m not qualified.
I’m bad with money.
I don’t have enough time.
I don’t have any support.
My kids are too young.
I’m just not the type.
The stories you tell yourself shape your life, but are they true?
How often do you stop and question the core beliefs you tell about yourself? If you’re like most people – probably not often enough.
Creating stories are a part of life – it’s how we make meaning. Your parents told you stories about you, and their parents told them stories about them. And all of us take these stories at face value.
But here’s the important thing to remember: Whether your story has been circulating since your preschool days or popped up after some big incident… you do NOT have to own it.
In fact, if your story is keeping you from your potential you have to let it go.
The real problem, however, is that you may not even be aware of the stories that are infiltrating your life.
If that’s the case, it’s time to look inward and investigate.
Three Steps To Uncovering Your Untrue Stories:
- Take five minutes and write down what you REALLY want from life. Maybe it’s a health goal. Maybe it’s a financial goal. It doesn’t matter. Get it all down on paper, and don’t hold back. This is your fairy-tale wishlist. Dream big, don’t worry about “reality.”
- Now let your inner-critic loose, and pay close attention. Go ahead and let the nay-sayers in your head speak up. What are they saying? What are the excuses they are telling you? Is it time? Money? Talent? Whatever it is, write it down.
- Take a deep, hard look at those excuses. I’m guessing that most of them (and in many cases – ALL of them) are stories you’ve been telling yourself for years. And none of them have to be true.
Your power as a human being is the ability to change your beliefs and own the stories that better serve you.
To be clear: I’m not talking about living in a fantasy world.
This isn’t about lying to yourself to hack your way to a better life. I’m talking about recognizing that so much of the things that hold you back aren’t real.
Changing your story is about owning up to the fact that human beings have an amazing track record for getting incredible stuff done when they believe they can.
Change your story. Change your life.
Now that you know the stories that are influencing you – give yourself permission to change them.
If you think you have “too much of a sweet tooth” to give up sugar, change the story. You have the same body as anyone else, why couldn’t you give up the white stuff for a bit?
If you think you’re “too busy” to get that new business going, change the story. Chances are you have pockets of time that you could use to start working on your goals right now. Don’t underestimate what even five minutes a day can do when you’re focused on something meaningful.
If you think you’re “not talented enough” to audition for that show, change the story. Audition and tell yourself you’ll do your best and come away knowing how to get even better.
If you are willing to believe the false stories that keep you from your dreams, why not believe the new story that can make them come true instead?Click to tweet
What about you? What’s the story that’s holding you back? Or better yet, what’s the new story that can launch you forward into the life you really want. I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
Be aware of the stories you believe and choose to believe the ones that help you make your best life.
A super-duper good sleeper.