Tell Yourself a Better Story

I have a friend who is a remarkable hypnotherapist in Portland, Maine. Her name is Maggie Clement, and I have been a grateful client of hers for many years, dating back to when I first acquired my voice condition, spasmodic dysphonia.

At the peak of my speaking difficulties, years ago, Maggie helped me to realize that I was having hundreds of negative thoughts a day about my voice and how it would likely fail to function when I needed it most. These were all future-based thoughts about the problems I might have. Maggie taught me to become an observer of my brain, to detach myself, and to learn to watch these thought patterns go.

Once this awareness was created, Maggie then taught me how to go beyond just observing. Soon I could actually observe a thought and then intervene and redirect. Stop, acknowledge, and shift, Maggie would tell me.

Within a matter of weeks, I could do this on my own. “Stop,” I would tell myself each time my brain began to create a future-based story about my potential vocal shortcomings. I would acknowledge the thought, and then shift my perspective.

Stop, acknowledge, and shift quote bubble.

A few years later I went back to see Maggie about another set of negative thoughts my brain was composing. I had recently turned fifty-seven, and thus had outlived my dad—a goal I’d held for decades.

My dad died young, at the age of fifty-six. I was just thirty-one when he passed, and now, suddenly, I was older than he had ever become. As a result, I’d begun having lots of negative daily thoughts about my own health. After all, fifty-seven was old in the context of my dad’s experience.

So, I went back to see Maggie, and within a week she’d helped me to redirect my brain.

“Tell yourself a better story,” Maggie said to me. “Your body knows everything it needs to know to be completely healthy,” she continued. “The Universe loves you, and your dad is with you. Keep him by your side, and together you can explore what living for decades beyond middle age is like. Tell yourself a better story.”

It was that simple. Two sessions later I was out the door and on my way, grateful for Maggie’s coaching and care.  

There is transformative power in becoming more aware of the stories we tell ourselves. Said often enough on the inside, they become our reality on the outside. The first step is to become an observer of your mind and recognize the stories it’s telling. When you don’t like the story, you can just stop and redirect. Stop, acknowledge, and shift, as Maggie says.

Show yourself some love today and tell yourself a better story!