The Power of Your Story

16129968_823790006687_186494987_oHave you thought about your yoga story? How does this story play into the larger narrative you tell yourself everyday?

What the hell am I talking about? Let’s explore. Before you read the rest of the blog, try this very short activity.

Imagine you walk into a room full of complete strangers.What are 3 adjectives that these strangers would use to describe you?

Take a moment and write down these 3 adjectives.

All done? Great! What are the 3 adjectives that you wrote down? Would you categorize them as positive or negative? A mixture?

This simple exercise is a great way to assess the  larger storyline  you have created about yourself. If these adjectives are critical, this is likely affecting you in a negative way. If they are positive, the effect is likely positive. And we want the positive!

In the last blog, we discussed the power and importance of a story. Do you remember a story from your childhood that was used to warn you about a danger? Think of a common story everyone seems to know: don’t take candy from a stranger! Perhaps yours is more specific, but you get the general idea. Stories can help us interact in situations, even if the situation is completely new to us. Bottom line: stories are a good way of influencing how we see and interact with our world. We hear them and we tell them to ourselves and others every day.

Bottom line: stories are a good way of influencing how we see and interact with our world.

The story we have about ourselves can make us who we are. Think about it. If you tell yourself you suck, you may not suck right away, but you likely will in the future. In psychology, this is called a self-fulfilling prophecy: you hear a story about yourself, then believe a story about yourself, and inevitably become the story (hence fulfilling the prophecy). The good news? You do not have to be defined by a single story and succumb to a self-fulfilling prophecy. You can empower yourself to write a new one. And you can start by making sure your 3 adjectives are positive, not negative. And remember, these aren’t meant to be ego-inflating compliments, but rather words that empower you to thrive.

And remember, these aren’t meant to be ego-inflating compliments, but rather words that empower you to thrive.

That is why so many wellness groups promote positive thinking. It isn’t just to make you smile once, but to perhaps change your mindset and story for the day. Positive thinking changes the way you see and deal with situations in your life. It can make you feel better, see things better, and ultimately make your community better. Positive thinking is empowering.

Positive thinking is empowering.

The story you tell yourself every day has a huge effect on your mindset, behavior and energy toward others and your community. If you do not think you are great, then you aren’t going to be. This negative thought pattern is not just bad for you, but it is bad for the community and larger society. After all, we all need people to take action and make our world, on both small and large levels, better.

So how do you either keep up a positive mindset or shift in the right direction?

Every day, say to yourself: I AM (followed by some positive words).

For example: I am worthy, I am strong. I am resilient. Boom! All done. Write it down and remind yourself of these words every day, even multiple times. Adjust the compliments depending on what you need in your life.

Every day, say to yourself: I AM (followed by some positive words).

Give it a try and bring it to your yoga practice. Meditate on it. Breathe it. Use it as your mantra. Remind yourself of it often. Remember to keep exploring and discovering things about yourself and your life. Write your own story, and start sharing that story with others!

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