“Pain is just a narrative,” was one of the most profound things that Seth Godin said to me the other weekend.
Seth made me realize just how powerful the stories we tell ourselves are.
I think that the reason why we have a hard time living with pain and fear is because we tend to feed those feelings with negative self-talk.
Fear and pain wouldn’t be so bad, they wouldn’t feel so overwhelming, if we just sat with them and let them be.
However, we have a tendency to tell ourselves “I’m scared now because I’m taking a risk and it’s either going to work out well or not and if it doesn’t then I’ve failed.”
That narrative puts way too much pressure on us.
“Stop expressing fear through pain and forgive yourself,” Seth advised us.
The sooner we can acknowledge our tendency to express our fear of change (or failure) through pain, the sooner we can push ourselves to overcome it and take the next step in our project.
“When you sign up for change, you have to forgive yourself for being afraid,” Seth said.
It isn’t easy being a maker of change – it’s definitely scary.
But we can make it easier by learning how to adapt the story we tell ourselves.
“The stories we tell ourselves about money transfer to the stories we tell ourselves about self-worth…there’s a difference between the amount that’s in your account and the story you tell yourself,” Seth remarked.
There’s a big difference between the feelings we feel and the story we tell ourselves about that feeling.
When we learn to abandon the narrative, and just accept the feelings as they come, we are able to deal with our feelings more rationally and make better decisions.