Telling stories and being heard

Growing up I had quite a few occasions where when I would try to speak up about something it was either dismissed or I could clearly tell that the other person wasn’t listening. Through that I learnt to talk less and be more closed off.

Recently, I realised that I had carried this childhood experience into my adult life. That belief became part of my subconsciousness. I would go around with this story that people weren’t listening, it became a sort of self fulfilling prophecy because I had stopped giving people the chance.

But on the flip-side, it meant that when I did open up it came with too much meaning because it was such a rare thing. I can honestly say that that factor has put a lot of pressure on relationships I’ve had.

So now, moving forward with this gift of self awareness, I’m making a conscious effort to be more open. I’m working towards being less anxious and not writing things off before I’ve even given them a go.

I’ve met so many people who I, suppose I judged initially and didn’t open up to but I’ve later come to find that those same people are the ones I actually have a lot in common with.

For me though, it’s not just about giving other people the chance. It’s about giving myself a chance to step outside of old habits, patterns and stories that I tell myself.

Seth Godin once said something like ‘if the story you’re telling yourself isn’t working tell a new one’, i think that’s some pretty useful advice.

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