Can we change our inner stories?
Yes, we can.
Many of our inner stories are harmful, or they at least hinder our happiness.
To change our inner stories, we must first identify the micro-story that expresses the inner story.
(for more information on what a micro-story is, please read my blog post: What are micro-stories?)
Then, we need to identify the form that micro-story takes. Is it a belief? A value? A wounding? An attitude?
How does it express itself? As a behaviour? A way to perceive or interpret? An opinion or judgement? A repeating pattern, or an experience?
With this basic information, use practices such as journalling, free writing or centring, or intuitive tools such as meditation or tarot, to help drill down into the details of the inner story, maybe even its origins.
How does this micro-story make you feel?
Truly, fully feel any feelings you have around this story. Feel where in your body that inner story is. Is it a pressure feeling in your chest? Throbbing in your lower back? A hard knot in your neck? Cascading pain in your temple?
What have been the consequences of this inner story? How have you dealt with these consequences in the past? Did you want to deal with them differently from now on? *Can* you deal with them differently?
What’s the earliest memory you have of this story playing out in your external life?
Who else has been impacted and influenced by this inner story?
What words or reactions do you normally have to this inner story? How have they changed over time?
What repeating patterns in your life is this story connected to?
Once you know your inner story as intimately as possible, then you have a choice to make.
Do you want to keep the inner story?
Do you want to modify it?
Or do you want to overhaul or reverse it?
That’s the hard part done.
Changing our inner stories is as simple—and as complex—as following these simple steps.
The rest is following through on your choice.
If you choose to modify, overhaul or reverse your inner story, but feel you can’t do it alone, then PLEASE ask for help from a trusted confidante to act as a guide or support, or a professional helper such as a counsellor, psychologist or therapist.
If, on the other hand, you feel you can change your inner stories without outside help, then you will need:
- an extreme self-care program
- patience (with yourself and with the process)
- a realistic expectation about the timeframe for change
- an understanding of the process of change, and
- a realistic goal for your outcomes.
Some inner stories will require little effort to change.
These are usually the ones flitting around in your subconscious, or newly arrived in your conscious.
Other inner stories will feel like you’re moving mountains within yourself at glacial speed to nudge, let alone change.
But you’ve got this.
Do you know how I know?
First, you grew in self-awareness to reach the decision to change, and the skills required for that growth ground and nurture your ability, skills and willingness to change.
Secondly, by exploring an inner story, you’ve brought the related micro-story from the dark depths of your unconscious into the light and love of your conscious.
That act of bringing your inner story to light also raises any attached fear- and shame-based feelings and emotional charge from the story into the light, making it much easier to acknowledge, assess, heal, release and transform.
One suggestion I’d make, especially if you intend to make a daily practice of increasing your self-knowledge of your inner stories, is to start with inner stories that are so strong, you’ve worked out how they play out in your external life, *and* they have a strongly positive influence on you and others.
This will give you the practice you need in your own processes to change an inner story, making changing deeper, negatively-influencing inner stories that little bit less scary and hard.