The stories you tell about yourself become self-fulfilling prophecies. They drive your behavior, influence how others respond to you, and either empower you to achieve your dreams or place unnecessary limits on your potential.
Let's look at an example. Imagine that you are a high school student and you tell yourself this story: "I am not very good at school."
This belief would make you feel insecure and anxious in the classroom, which would likely make you reluctant to participate, as well. This would cause your teachers to judge you poorly and give you lower grades, which would corroborate your belief in your academic ineptitude.
All this would probably make you less likely to try very hard at your schoolwork, which would further perpetuate the cycle.
On the other hand, if you told even a slightly more empowering story, the cycle would perpetuate on a more positive track. Imagine if this were the story instead: "It sometimes takes me longer, but I always figure it out."
This belief would make you feel hopeful and determined in the classroom and would likely cause you to engage with the teacher until the concept clicked for you. Your teachers would see you as resourceful and tenacious and give you higher grades. All this would confirm your belief that if you work hard, you ultimately figure it out.
The stories we tell about ourselves shape our lives. When we judge ourselves negatively, we limit our potential for growth. When we believe in our ability to learn, we unlock our capacity to flourish.
What stories do you tell about yourself? Finish this sentence: I am ...
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