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Are The Stories You Tell Yourself Ever Positive?

Fear, anxiety and uncertainty can fuel negative self-talk. As humans, we crave meaning and understanding. When we don’t have that information we tend to make it up in our minds. Have you ever noticed that most stories you tell yourself are negative and occur in the past or future?

For the longest time I thought I was the biggest A-hole to myself. I didn’t realize that what I was doing (negative self-talk) was common. All of that changed when I read Jessica Honeggar’s book Imperfect Courage: Live a Life of Purpose by Leaving Comfort and Going Scared. In the book, Jessica introduced me to the Itty Bitty Bullshit Committee. Her IBBC concept was life-changing! Imagine a committee of tiny people inside your mind that go to work creating the most negative and worst case scenario outcomes and then yell them at you over and over again. When I read about the IBBC, I finally had a way to understand the stories I was telling myself on a daily basis.

“The most important conversation you will ever have is the one you have with yourself.”


As I work with my clients today, one of the most frequent topics we discuss are negative mental narratives. Our conversations often start by my client saying, “the story I am telling myself is” and then we go to work on understanding the story, beliefs behind the story and how to re-write the story.

Understanding that your mind plays a huge part in your ability to achieve goals, grow and reach higher levels of success is paramount. I am driven to learn more about mindset and how what we think impacts what we do. If the story we are constantly telling ourselves is negative then no wonder we don’t reach our full potential.

I often wonder why we default to the negative versus the positive. For example, you receive a voicemail from a client. How often do you think I did something wrong or they want to cancel their business? What would happen if your first thought was, oh look my client called and I can’t wait to connect!? Or, I wonder if they are calling to give me a referral? Perhaps they want to buy more! Nope. For some reason, our brain is hard-wired to focus on the negative. Our mind is literally working against us and keeping us from reaching our full potential. Unless…

You learn to re-write the negative mental narratives and tell yourself a different story!

I am going to let you in on a little coaching secret because I think it can help you make progress towards more productive narratives. Here are the questions I ask a client when we work to silence their IBBC.

  1. What is the story you are telling yourself?
  2. How does this story make you feel?
  3. Why are you believing this story?
  4. What proof do you have that this story is true?
  5. What are a few examples that prove this story false?

Pay special attention to #4. The most common answer…NONE. That’s right, most of my clients have zero proof that the story they are telling themselves is actually true. Mind-blowing I know.

Sometimes recognizing the story that you’re telling yourself is bogus is enough to move forward and make progress. Sometimes you need to enlist the help of professionals. You could consider hiring a coach to keep you focused on an achievement mindset (hey I know someone!) or a therapist to talk through your feelings. If hiring a professional isn’t in your budget yet, you can still make progress towards telling yourself positive stories. Review your answers to question #5. Include these reasons in your short-term vision statement. Stick post-it notes on your bathroom wall to remind yourself of these examples. Or start tracking your weekly wins to re-write the story focusing on what you have achieved. Whatever you do, send the IBBC on a permanent vacation.