THE BLOG

Our Stories

06/03/2015 14:44 GMT | Updated 05/05/2015 10:59 BST

Recently my son asked me, "Mummy, how do we know history is true"?

We talked about examining things like artefacts, documents, and people's records of what happened in the past in order to figure history out. We talked about the fact that often records are made by the winner of a war or a battle and that their version of what happened might be different to another person's version, especially the loser's version. Sometimes different people see things differently.

Our discussion reminded me of a TED talk by the writer and director about the source of his creative inspiration. It's called "We Are the Stories We Tell Ourselves". In it he says:

In this universe and this existence, where we live this duality of whether we exist or not and who we are, the stories we tell ourselves are the stories that define the potentialities of our existence.

If we tell ourselves a self-limiting story might we accidentally limit our possibilities? Could we change our lives for the better simply by changing the stories we tell ourselves? I love this idea.

Recently I heard a program on the radio about the nature of courage which featured an interview with the amazing Kimberley Motley. Kimberley has also given a TED talk called "How I defend the Rule of Law". Kimberley is an American lawyer who works in Afghanistan and elsewhere. She was the first foreigner to litigate cases in Afghanistan's Criminal Courts. She has represented a child who was married off at six years old to settle a debt, the first person to bring a case of domestic violence in the Afghan Supreme Court, a woman who had been jailed for adultery after she was attacked by her cousin's husband and many others. Rather unexpectedly she is also a former beauty queen. At the beginning, what story did she tell herself, I wonder?

We probably all have days when we tell ourselves we are not [inset any adjective from the following random list here: happy, thin, smart, funny, kind, productive, patient, knowledgeable, attractive ...] enough. I know I have had times when I haven't felt ... enough, when my bar for failure was extraordinarily low and my bar for success extraordinarily high. I wondered whether I'd be up to the particular challenge I faced at the time and concluded, probably not. Well that wasn't going to make for a happy ever after.

What about you? Are you waiting for someone else to give you permission to get started, to tell you are ready, to tell you that you are enough? What if you could give yourself permission, tell yourself you're as ready as you'll ever be, know you are enough. Right now!

We can make choices about our stories every day. Imagine this kind of story:

Today is full of possibility

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I am grateful for the beauty that is all around me

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The time is now! I'm enough, I'm ready!

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The soundtrack to my life is raising my spirits

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It's all good

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What story are you telling yourself today?