I think it’s safe to say we’ve all been there.
You have every intention in the world of going after what you want with gusto, yet before you know it, your stories filled with doubt stop you dead in your tracks.
It’s time to let go of those energy vampires once and for all. Free up your energy for more passion and fun.
I can only say this now because I’ve been there.
I recently let go of a story that had been lingering inside me for a while, and I have to say—it was a huge relief.
It started when my mom was admitted to the hospital for an acute asthma attack, which was scary for several reasons. For one, I never want to see my parents sick, let alone having an incredibly hard time breathing. Not to mention my paralyzing fear around hospitals.
I was never afraid of needles or blood, or anything close to that. It was the life experiences I had in hospitals when I was younger. I had seen my older brother go through countless surgeries in his early twenties and watched him nearly die. He was my hero, so watching those events were traumatic and seared a scar into any memory pertaining to hospitals.
I would feel a slight (often not so slight) panic in my chest any time I walked through the doors of that sterile environment. The smell alone would immediately make me nauseous. All of my memories and fears would quickly wash over me.
I tried whipping out every tool, affirmation, meditation, and breathing technique my brain could remember in attempts to bring me into the present moment. Sometimes it worked, but most often it didn’t.
Fast forward to the present moment. Here I am about to walk into the hospital after my mom has been rushed in by ambulance for her serious lack of oxygen. Normally this would lead to the ultimate panic attack with my track record, but instead I told myself, “It’s not going to go down that way. Not this time.”
I had a choice —I could freak out and entertain all that had happened in the past, and all the scary things that could happen in the future if my mom’s health didn’t improve. I could give life to the stories of, “What if this is more serious than asthma?” or, “What if I’m not here and something happens to her?” Instead, I chose to drop the stories all together, take a deep breathe and experience relief within myself and connection with my mom. I wanted to make the most out of every moment with her right now.
Of course those sneaky, devilish stories tried to creep back in during that week. They were full of ‘what ifs’. “What if she doesn’t get better? What if this leads to something more serious, and the nurses don’t get to her in time? What if they misdiagnose her and she gets worse? Then what?” These thoughts shook me to my core. I didn’t want to feel that way, I wanted to be strong, and more importantly, I wanted to be present for my mom.
In that moment, I realized the only reason I was upset, short of breath and about to freak out, was because of the story I was telling myself.
Those stories took me away from paying attention to what’s happening right now. My mom is healthy in her hospital bed, with wonderful doctors helping her. She has all the help she could ever really need. She is surrounded by people she loves, and breathing like a champ. Heck, she even smiled while doing her breathing treatments and asked when the next episode of The Voice was going to come on. Sigh–gotta love the small comical moments in the midst of chaos.
So I did just that—I let go of the stories, and let me tell you—what a game changer that was! It was one big sigh of relief, while being surprisingly energizing. I realized just how powerful it was to let go of the s#!% that was weighing me down.
I drank that in for minute—ahh the beautiful power of our imagination—it can create worlds. Or it can construct a serious case of worries and quickly put our panties in a bunch. We get to choose, which is actually quite liberating.
Later that night, I thought of all the stories I dropped over the years, and all the freedom I experienced as a result. The fears of never finding love, of being that girl who dreams too big, or the woman who shouldn’t possibly start a business during a recession. I dropped all those stories. Every. Single. One.
What happened as a result? Freedom in every sense of the word. I started living fully—every inch of my life with a renewed sense of confidence. I took more risks and showed myself what I was made of. I found love, opened the business, and fell in love with my dreams. I got comfortable with being uncomfortable as I moved through fear. Which eventually made it not so daunting.
Everyone of us can write a new story in any given moment. We can create a new ending and a different beginning. It all starts with the choice to focus on what we want and ditch the ‘what ifs’.
Let’s do it together—drop the stories and pick up freedom. (Tweet-worthy!)
What stories could you drop that don’t serve you anymore? Let me know in the comments below!