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The stories we tell ourselves

By February 11, 2020August 24th, 2020No Comments

Sarah Linton

Professional & Personal Coach

Is Yours a Fairytale or a Nightmare?


Reading and storytelling is an inherent part of our childhood.

Imagination, creative thinking, creative writing. They hold powerful sway over memories, behaviours and identities.

As children, we create our stories. I’m recalling years of creative play with our treasure chest of dress up for our boys. The superheroes, princesses, the villains and the – afternoons of laughter and tears that invariably finished with cake, ice cream and storytime.

Photo Credit:  hiddencatch | Stories and creative imagination

Storytelling is an act of communication. At the time of Mum’s passing – her final few words were ‘keep the story going.” Stories get passed down through generations and her magical stories had been part of our DNA.

Storytelling is an intrinsic part that makes us human– our unique ability for creativity & imagination sets us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom. The art of storytelling carries on for a lifetime, unless we intervene.

Our experiences become our story. We all have a unique version of events and no 2 humans are the same. Ever been in a conversation where you have shared the same event as those with you and hear a recount of the situation which is not the same as yours? That’s because you will see things through your own unique lens based on the narrative we have created for our life story.

Photo Credit: pfluegler photo | is yours your Fairytale or your Nightmare?
Photo Credit: Allen Penton  | Heh…. let me tell you a story about you…

Not all the stories we tell have happy endings. Often the stories we tell ourselves are truly destructive.

We can create the stories from our childhoods and over the years, this becomes our narrative.

Have you ever caught yourself thinking any of these?

      • I’m too X for that
      • I’m not good enough
      • I can’t do X because I’m not that sort of person
      • I can only do Y because X happened to me
      • I’m not creative
      • I’m too fat or too thin
      • I don’t fit in here
      • I’m not loveable

Parts of our stories get erased & we are left with these remnants that become the beliefs about ourselves.

We create narratives to move us into – and through – the moments in our life

We connect dots that happen to us, subconsciously delete the dots that don’t serve our narrative, and we can also distort the dots to fit a story that serves us well.

And, we keep recreating the story over and over and over again.

We have an incredible in-built editor that continually creates and updates.

Take a bow Editor-in-charge : our brains.

⇒Our thoughts become our beliefs
⇒Our beliefs influence our behaviours
⇒Our behaviours drive our actions & reality

When you think about a story you are telling yourself right now.

    • What are you telling yourself about your current circumstances?
    • Have you consciously or subconsciously created it?
    • Was this story passed on by a friend, a parent, a sibling or some part of society?
Photo Credit: TBC   | Stuck in your nightmare?

Has any part of your story become part of your nightmare?

Here are 5 hacks to help you discover and connect to a future path amidst any overgrown forest and you won’t need a superhero to rescue you.

1) Life Is A Process – Trust That Process

Spoiler alert: Life does not come with a neat beginning, middle and ending. There are days when the surf is up & we have to face that BS that can bring us down. Believe those tough days will come to contrast with the bright days and there will be lessons to learn. They may not appear immediately – trust that they will appear in time.

2) Find Your Fantastic 4

Invest time with your Fantastic 4. Thinking in Marvel terms, find Your Mister Fantastic, Your Invisible Woman, Your Human Torch & Your Thing.  You are influenced by the people you spend the most time with. Life is too short not to be with those that support, encourage, listen & know you. Be mindful when you are choosing your 4.  You will stretch, nurture & nourish each other and grow in strength together. You will share the raw and real and always have each others back. Choose wisely.

3) Sew New Seeds

We grow through what we go through. Sewing new seeds opens possibility and opportunity. Be courageous in trying new approaches to embrace different perspectives. Give them time to grow roots and notice how updates are impacting your narrative.

4) Comparison Is The Thief Of Joy

If you are comparing yourself to others, you are depleting your own happiness. You are depriving yourself of all the great things you have & it is stealing your joy. When we compare ourselves to others we end up focusing our energy on bringing others down instead of raising ourselves up. There is one thing that you’re better at than other people: being you – forget the rest & be your best.

5) Rewrite Your Happy Ending

Do you know any author who has not had the power to change the ending of their novel? You are your own author and have the power to slay the villain, You can choose who and what you take with you into any new chapter. It’s a decision and you only need to turn the page.

Just like any software. You can update your narrative.

“We can stop defining ourselves in terms of our stories. We reach a time when we have to accept our past as precisely what it is, and it cannot be changed. We can change the story & the meaning we tell ourselves about it, and by doing that, we can change the future.”


  • Be mindful of the stories we tell ourselves.
  • Your past will influence your future decisions, yet your past does not determine your future.
  • Be the author of your own story.
  • Stay open to possibilities & opportunities.


What stories are you telling yourself that are ready for an update? Leave a comment below.

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Sarah Linton

Sarah Linton

Sarah Linton is a Catalyst Coach specialising in change and transition, in all aspects of life. A former business leader at global organisations including the Walt Disney Company; now a Mum, Founder & Entrepreneur, Sarah is passionately connected to her True North as a prolific creator of new horizons & holding that as a vision for her clients. Tides of Change operates across time zones, partnering with clients in the UK, USA, Asia Pacific.

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