Who doesn’t like a great story? We all do. They bring back life to an old event over and over again, making it seem like it just happened yesterday.
As coaches, when we hear stories we start to pay close attention. We start to listen and hear how ‘alive’ the story still is for our clients. All stories have certain energy behind them when they are being told. Some are happy and some are sad or worse.
Stories can be a simple reference to the past and are no big deal. You can tell it’s no big deal by the way it is told and the way the client is being when they tell it. But what most people don’t realize is that our stories can keep us stuck. By reliving the past over and over again we are keeping the exact same feelings and emotions ‘locked in’ and alive by repeating them to our self and others.
When this happens it can literally prevent us from healing or letting go of the emotional pain that may be attached to the story. By paying attention to our stories we can begin to loosen the grip they have on us and give us a chance to move on from the pain of past experiences.
So here are a few tips about your stories:
1. Pay attention to the stories you are telling over and over again.
• What is the story?
• What meaning are you giving it?
• How do you feel when you tell the story? Happy? Sad?
2. Ask questions –
• Why do I feel like I need to keep telling the same story?
• What could be the learning or growth opportunity from this story?
• Who would you be without your story?
• Are you willing to let the story go?
3. Quit telling the story.
Realize that repeated stories are keeping that feeling, emotion or pain alive by reliving it over and over again. If you find that you keep telling the same old painful story, it might be time to get some professional help.