It’s Time to Tell Yourself a New Story
We’re all self-sabotaging, and I hate that for us
Growing up, I had a friend named Catherine*, a red-head with an equally fiery personality. Catherine was one of those girls who has always been self-possessed. At 12, she was weird and wild and didn’t shy from coming undone in front of others.
I was no Catherine. As an ambitious Black girl with eclectic taste in a pre-TikTok era, I often felt that I couldn’t fit into the boxes that the world constructed. But that never stopped me from trying.
I used my intuitiveness and EQ to go out of my way to make sure others were comfortable. I watered down the weird when possible. I quieted the confidence. I thought it best to let my work, not my voice, communicate my worthiness. Unbeknownst to me, this came at a price: my power.
My story became: you’re okay playing small.
For many years, I only saw what confirmed this story. I never considered that it might be the other way around: I was picking and choosing the evidence to fit the narrative.
We all have a story that we tell ourselves. Some of us have decided that we’re the family f*ck up. Or we’re meant to struggle financially. Or that we’ll always be overweight. Or that we could never leave our hometowns. Or that we are not worthy of a healthy love.
Whatever your story, you may have gotten the sense that it no longer serves you. If that’s you, here are a few ways you can start rewriting your story.
Question your story
“If you argue for your limitations you get to keep them. But if you argue for your possibilities you get to create them.” — Kelly Lee Phipps
We often take our stories at face value. Since we’ve held them for so long — likely picked up from childhood or societal conditioning — we take them as unquestioned truths. By questioning our stories, we start to see the flaws in them.
For instance, if you’ve told yourself you’ll be poor forever, it’s time to ask yourself: Why is this my story? What did I learn about money growing up that has shaped my outlook now? What role…