Episode 29 Stories We Tell Ourselves

March 8, 2023

I woke up this morning with this incredible sense of excitement and adventure and curiosity brewing. The clock is ticking and I’m heading out on Saturday to Baja, California in Mexico to the Modern Elder Academy. It’s something I’ve been really looking forward to. If I close my eyes, I can feel and taste and smell the experience I’m going to have the ocean, breeze coming through the windows, the wonderful food, the conversation, the beach. That is super exciting and tantalizing to me, but what’s really got me excited is this idea that I had over the weekend.

I finally got quiet and focused on the trip. As I looked at the logistics of the travel, I realized that what I really want to do is give myself permission not to have a plan. I’m traveling like 10 hours to one of the most beautiful places on earth, a place I’ve never been to, and I want to see if I feel so inclined to stay. But here’s the thing. I’ve been telling myself this story and saying it out loud for over 40 years that I don’t like to travel alone, and the truth of the matter is, I need to unpack that. Is that really true? Where is that coming from? I spend enormous amounts of time by myself.  I’m very adventurous. I think what it comes down to is that I like to have a base. I like to be somehow tethered, and then I feel freer to go out and explore. Quite frankly, saying to myself that I don’t like to travel alone has held me back and I think it’s time to unpack it. I may get to the end of the week and really feel like I’ve had enough vacation and that I just want to come back home.

I’m in a very happy time in my life in New York, which I’ve mentioned before. I’ve got new energy and new stimulation and new friendships happening here, but you know how it is. You never want to leave, and then when you get to where you’re going, you don’t want to leave there either, and I suspect that’s going to happen to me. So, I’ve stopped trying to decide where I’m going, and I’m choosing to be led.  I’m choosing to see how I feel and to figure it out as I go.

I don’t know where this idea of traveling alone came from. I suspect that I got myself into some uncomfortable situation the first time I went to Europe when I was 20 years old and thought it was cool to go off on my own. I do remember feeling uncomfortable, but I don’t remember any particular incident.

This whole thing has me thinking about something that’s actually a recurring thought that comes to mind. It’s about the stories we tell ourselves. I could do 20 episodes on the stories I tell myself. Over the past few years, I’ve been starting to pay more attention to that.  What are those stories I’m telling myself and is it time to look again and think again and unpack them and peel back the onion? One of the big stories I’ve been telling myself for years and years is that I could never use my voice because I cry all the time and it’s embarrassing and humiliating. I’ve always expended so much energy to control the tears or to avoid situations where I could cry with anyone other than my immediate friends and family. And of course, I’ve discovered with Dear Constance that my voice is actually one of my greatest treasures.  Creating Dear Constance, has opened the floodgates yet I told myself for years and years that I could never do anything with my voice.

As I said before, I could tell you many stories I’ve been telling myself that aren’t true or that were maybe true once and aren’t true anymore. Another big one I’ve been telling myself is that I’m not creative, and I was confusing creativity and artistry.I did an episode on that and I’m going to do another one actually today about artistry and creativity.

I think we all have those stories and narratives taking up bandwidth in our operating system. They can be about time, about money, about our jobs. They can be about the dynamics in a relationship or about why we can’t do something. If you’ve followed me for any time, you know I really dislike help-rejecting complainers.  Some people simply don’t feel motivated to move the needle, and you have to let those people go by.

This newfound willingness I have to examine the story that I don’t like to travel alone has ignited my imagination and my curiosity. I feel really excited about this trip to Mexico. In order to get myself to test it out, I’m telling myself I can come back. I may not want to explore. I may be so filled up from that one week in this incredible community I’m going to be in that coming home is just fine.  It’s simply this willingness that I’m bringing to test my own assumptions that is igniting my curiosity and fueling my thoughts and excitement for this trip. I think you get.

This of course begs the question, what are those stories that are running by default in your operating system? What can you get curious about in your own stories? It’s a good thing to noodle.  You might just discover like I have that you’ve been holding yourself back unintentionally. Some of our stories are old and need to be updated or at the very least reexamined.

I’ll leave you with that. That’s all for now. Until next time, from my heart to yours.

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dear Listeners,

Friends say I live my life out loud. That’s because I’m a curious, adventurous person and, as an appreciator, I simply love to share what lights me up. Consider this is your invitation into my fun, multi-faceted world.

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