Letting Go of Your Story


Name

Letting Go of Your Story

Purpose/Effects

The stories that we repeatedly tell ourselves about our lives, others, and the world can be very limiting and inaccurate. Identifying and then letting go of our stories can often be quite liberating. It can also open us to new directions and possibilities in our lives.

Method

Summary

Examine the stories you currently believe about yourself, others, or the world. Question their validity, and practice letting go of them.

Long Version

  • Find a quiet place where you can be undisturbed and have time to reflect.
  • Ask yourself, “What stories about myself or the world do I believe that keep me from being happy, trying new things, and doing what I really want?”
  • In order to discover your stories, think about how you introduce yourself to people or explain your actions, emotions, and history.
  • Once you have identified your story (or one of them), notice how it feels in your body when you believe it.
  • Also notice what thoughts arise when you believe this story.
  • Now, ask yourself who created this story and if it is accurate.
  • Begin to imagine what it would feel like if you didn’t believe this story, and see how it feels to let go of it, for even a moment.
  • Observe how this feels in your body and mind.
  • Ask yourself what you would do differently if you didn’t believe this story.
  • Optional:

  • Throughout the day, whenever you are upset, ask yourself, “What story am I believing right now?” Examine whether this story is really true or if it is limiting and negatively affecting you.

History

Changing or letting go of one’s story is commonly practiced in psychotherapy and some meditative and religious traditions.  The method presented here was adapted from a practice created by James Baraz in his book Awakening Joy.

Cautions

Letting go of your story can be difficult, especially if it has existed for many years. Be patient when working to let go of your story and remember to practice great self-compassion throughout this exercise.

Also, it is not necessary to let go of your entire story. Just identifying and questioning the limiting parts of your story that do not help you is beneficial.

Notes

If you are having difficulty letting go of your story, begin by just considering the possibility of letting it go and see how this feels in your body and mind.

See Also

Taking Other Viewpoints/Tunnel-Busting
Identifying Core Beliefs

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