Our brains are wonderful instruments that naturally construct stories, giving structure and meaning to our lives. With the evolution of language, came the wherewithal to define who we are – and all that that entails. Stories promote a systemic thinking – they tell us who we are, where we’ve come from and where we’re going.
There is even a branch of psychology, namely Narrative Psychology, that deals with the stories we give ourselves and encompasses those we hear from others too.
And there’s a well-known saying in NLP: “The map is not the territory.” In other words, we all live in the same world (the map) but we all see and experience that world very differently (my ‘territory’ will be completely different from yours).
The trouble is, we forget that our life-stories are just that, simply stories. We tend to take our own personal stories as fact. We also take the stories of others as fact, as if we really know what makes them tick – and, of course, 9 times out of 10 we have no idea.
So much of our joys and our pains come from what we tell ourselves – how we see ourselves and how we think others see us; and all the judgements we make, whether we realise it or not.
The boy who thinks he’s ugly - because someone made an off the cuff remark years ago – continues to think he’s unattractive years later.
The child who, once upon a time, was told they couldn’t draw, will believe they are hopeless at art.
It has become part of ‘their story’, part of who they are. It helps to define them, whether they like it or not.
As a result, our own life-narrative (or parts of it at least) can be self-limiting, debilitating even, defining who we are in a negative way throughout our lives.
The great thing about hypnosis is that it works with these stories, with people’s imaginations, with their perceived experiences and has the capacity to transform all of these by gently erasing a few sentences that are no longer needed, or adding in a paragraph where appropriate – some vital information that was perhaps there all along but the ink had faded a little over time. The direction the story takes from then on can be much more positive, if we so wish. We can even add pages to chapters yet to come, seeing the future more as how we actually wish it to be. And we can create whole chapters or a whole new volume, depending on what we desire.
Our own life stories, or rather seeing ourselves as the authors of our own life stories can, therefore, be incredibly self-empowering.
By understanding how we create our own internal narrative in the first place, and how we have come to structure it, if need be we can begin to rewrite our own experiences, giving ourselves a different beginning, middle and end to this or that particular chapter. We can even begin to see things that happened in the past a little differently – the end result being that we may become a little more gentle with ourselves and with others.
Remember that your life story is constantly changing and that you have more control over the various options than you might have previously imagined.
So… what would you like your story to be? What is the next chapter going to reveal?
If you’d like more information on how hypnotherapy can help, do please get in touch.
07733 839 591