What stories are you telling yourself?
This photograph (taken outside the Louvre in Paris) looks like the perfect moment doesn’t it?
A huge smile, nice weather and just a sense that everything is good in my world.
And whilst this is all true (I was having a great day), the image doesn’t show some of the thoughts floating around inside my head.
You see, the following day I had planned to climb the Eiffel Tower.
If you are wondering why this is any kind of issue, I should let you know that I struggle to step up on a kerb without feeling a little queasy!! – I am terrified of heights.
So the more this day went on and the closer I got to my ‘moment of truth’, the more nervous I got.
But why was I worried or nervous at all?
What on earth was going to happen to me if I went up the Eiffel Tower?
As we all know, nothing was going to happen to me but I had filled myself with fear, nerves and dread purely by the stories I was telling myself leading up to the event.
What if I get scared and have some kind of panic attack?
What if I am sick?
What if I look like a big wuss and embarrass myself?
What if terrorists blow up the tower?
What if I fall off?
What if a plane hits the tower?
What if it sways a lot in the wind?
What if the lift cable snaps?
The list just went on and on.
Totally irrational thoughts of all the things that could go wrong.
It took me a long time to acclimatise to each level before I even contemplated moving up a level. I was embarrassing myself but I didn’t really care that much. I NEEDED TO DO THIS!!
Then, I started to tell myself a different story.
When I finally plucked up the courage to join the queue for the lift on level 2 (to take us up the final 200 meters to the top of the tower) I turned to Hayley and said “This is going to be amazing!!”
“I cant wait to see this view”
“This is going to be the best experience of my life!!”
I was telling myself a different story.
In the lift I got, and the 8 of us in the lift started to ascend the final 200 metres.
As much as I had convinced myself that I was about to have an amazing experience, I wasn’t expecting the elevator to have full glass windows showing the amazing view on the way up!!
I didn’t look out.
Once I arrived at the summit, I stepped out a different man.
Gone was the fear, the nervousness and the negative self-talk.
Instead it was replaced with a new confidence that allowed me to walk around the small platform with ease whilst recording video’s, recording Facebook lives, taking pictures and laughing with strangers.
I had changed the story I was telling myself and as a result, my outcome had changed.
To put this into context, when I was on the first floor (around the height of the arc de triomphe or London eye) I had what Hayley could only describe as my “Parkinson’s moment”!!
Seemingly fine whilst reading some info on the height of the tower I had a ‘wobble’ and had to grab hold of a rail and work my way back inside to the centre of the tower!
A very embarrassing moment!!
So, if you look at your life, what story’s are you telling yourself that are allowing you to be held back?
What would happen to you right now if you changed the internal story you have been telling yourself?
If you would like help changing your internal story, you can register to work with me in August HERE