Drop The Story

636. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

Skip came home from a weekend workshop with poet David Whyte carrying a few good questions. He told me about the workshop and shared the questions and this one made me catch my breath; I’ve been thinking about it for weeks: What is the old story that you need to let go? Flip the question and ask it another way: What do you get from hanging on to an old story that no longer serves you (this is the question I think educators need to ask – a post for another time)?

Often in my coaching practice I hear clients argue for their limitations. Do you remember the line from Richard Bach’s book, Jonathon Livingston Seagull: “Argue for your limitations and sure enough, they are yours.” Old stories are arguments for limitations. Old stories are like a too small cocoon; the struggle to push through to the new story is precisely what makes our wings strong.

We hang on to things that no longer serve us because they are known. They are comfortable. At least that is the easy answer. The deeper truth is that letting go of old stories invites new stories and along with new stories come new identities. Along with new stories come new powers, responsibility and ownership. Power, responsibility, and ownership are things that people say that they want but generally avoid until pushed; life in the cocoon is sweet – lot’s of naps and no culpability – although the price is withered potential and frustration.

What is the old story that you need to let go? What if no one else was responsible for your happiness or your success? What if your circumstances were just that, circumstances? This will sound as if it is a new topic but consider this experiment: turn off your television for a few months and check your personal email only once a day. Detox from the electronic time-fillers. What questions come up when you are no longer anesthetized? What patterns change? What limitations will you need to transcend when you can no longer ignore them or drown out their call?

One Response

  1. Perfect thoughts at the exact right time, for me. I’ve been recognizing and shedding old stories. The power’s within me to create the life I want to live, to make daily choices to be the person I want to be…fully. Not dipping a toe in the waters, watching and observing, but fully investing in myself and my potential. Creating. ” What if no one else was responsible for your happiness or your success?” Yes, indeed.

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