The Stories We Tell Ourselves Keep Us From Growing

"how can we have a real conversation if every time we speak I can see in your eyes that my words are not reaching you, they stop at a narrative you created about me that is based on who I was many years ago?"

I cannot stop thinking about this post from Yung Pueblo this morning. I feel myself trapped by the narratives that others have created for me based on a past self, or even just a simple moment in time. As we interact, I find myself directed by that person into those past versions of myself, in the ways that they no longer listen to the actual words that are coming out of my mouth.

Years ago, when I was just starting out teaching, I struggled (like any new teacher). I had yet to find my voice and the depth of my heart in my teaching. I got some mentoring, started working with a teacher, and I got better. In the locker room of the gym where I was teaching, I heard two people talking about me. One was saying that she did not like my class because of some pattern or other (I no longer remember the details). I knew what she was talking about and not only was I not doing that any more, I had not done it in over a year. I knew in that moment, that I would always be held to a former version of myself and my teaching. I decided right then to leave that job because I would not be allowed to grow.

We all experience this within our family structures. We do all kinds of personal growth work to improve ourselves. Then we go home and they treat us like we were when we were kids. We can hardly get out of the trap. Even worse, we treat our families like they were when we were kids. How can we win?

How do we hold ourselves to past versions? What is the narrative that you are telling yourself about yourself? Think about all the ways you shut yourself down and limit your experiences based on some narrative you hold about yourself. There are so many stories that we tell ourselves that limit our growth as individuals. I wonder how many profound lessons we have missed because of some self-imposed limitation we tell ourselves.

I am drawn to this quote for the reasons I outlined above. I am also drawn because of the implications it has within our current reality. We are being asked to change thought patterns and beliefs. For some this change is so drastic. I wonder if some of the people clinging to past beliefs are doing so just because they cannot let go of the narrative they have about themselves and the world. When we stay the same, we know what we will get. If we start to acknowledge that people change all the time, we are dealing with the unknown, which is scary.

The only way I know to move past self-imposed limitations through discomfort. When I find myself in a place of unease, aggravation, or an argument, I question whether I am holding on to what no longer serves. Am I willing to let go and allow my perspective to expand to include another’s perspective? Is this perspective that I am clinging to really of benefit to me? It is not easy work and it is necessary work if we want to live a life of freedom.

About the Author

Rose Kress

Rose Kress ERYT-500, C-IAYT, YACEP, Owner/Director of the LifeForce Yoga Healing Institute, and author of Awakening Your Inner Radiance with LifeForce Yoga. She directs retreats and training programs on using LifeForce Yoga to manage your mood.

6 thoughts on “The Stories We Tell Ourselves Keep Us From Growing”

  1. Kathleen says:

    Love this πŸŒˆπŸ’œπŸ™

  2. Excellent. Applies to family, work, and volunteer groups and the same assumptions.
    “The only way out is through.” = face the discomfort and fear and move on one small changed behavior at a time.

    1. Rose Kress says:

      You are so right on!!!

  3. Merrill says:

    πŸ˜˜πŸ™πŸ»πŸŒˆπŸ˜‡

  4. Merrill says:

    πŸ˜˜πŸ™πŸ»πŸŒˆπŸ˜‡love

  5. Wow, Its a great topic.

Leave a comment.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up for our Research Newsletter

Cart

What People Say

β€œMy life is already changed! I will use the tools I learned in my own practice and in my work. I feel safe and seen.” β€” Susan Andrea Weiner, MA, teacher/expressive arts facilitator, El Cerrito, CA.
β€œThis program changed my life in a significant way. It helped me connect with the spirit which is something you can’t get from psychotherapy and medication.” – G. W., artist, Pittsburgh, PA
β€œI have found the pranayama (breathing practices) especially easy to introduce in a clinical setting. Some people have benefited quickly in unexpected and transformative ways.” β€” Liz Brenner, LICSW, LFYP, Watertown, MA
β€œI integrate strategies like mantra tones and pranayama, but above all I invite myself and those I teach to cultivate svadhyaya, to practice self-observation without judgment.” β€” Barbara Sherman, RYT 200, LFYP, Tucson, AZ
β€œI feel profoundly transformed, both physically and emotionally. The connection between mind, body and spirit was clearly evident to me, but revealed to me through this workshop as an integrally vital link to overall health.” β€” Nadine Richardson, program manager at rehab agency, Monroe, CT
β€œI utilize the LFY techniques in both a class room setting and one-on-one environment. The skills have infused my teachings with compassion, mindfulness, and awareness.” β€” Kat Larsen, CYT, LFYP
I absolutely love this stuff! I have been using it with my clients and I am just finding it to be so incredibly helpful. There seriously something for everything. Although I am not as skilled as I hope to be someday, even at my level of training I’m finding that I am beginning to figure out what to do. It just blows my mind! - Christine Brudnicki, MS, LPC
β€œA client who returned said, "When I came before, you helped me understand and get where I wanted to go. Now you show me yoga practices I use to help myself understand and get where I want to go.” β€” Sherry Rubin, LCSW, BCD, LFYP, Downingtown, PA
β€œGiving my clients a strategy and permission to quiet their minds and rebalance the sympathetic nervous system has been very beneficial to them and in our work together.” β€” Sue Dilsworth, PhD, RYT 200, LFYP, Allendale, MI
β€œYoga Skills for Therapists is the ideal resource for those who want to bring yoga practices into psychotherapy or healthcare. Weintraub, a leader in the field of yoga therapy, offers evidence-based, easy-to-introduce strategies for managing anxiety, improving mood, and relieving suffering. Helpful clinical insights and case examples emphasize safety, trust, and skillful adaptation to the individual, making it easy to apply the wisdom of yoga effectively in the therapeutic context.” β€” Kelly McGonigal, PhD, author, Yoga for Pain Relief, Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Yoga Therapy
β€œThis workshop helped me rededicate my energies and begin to work through some of the blocks I’ve felt creatively.” β€” Steve Mark, college professor, New Haven, CT
β€œI gained perspective of who I am in the world and this will change my life significantly.” β€” Mary Ford, artist, Southport, CT
β€œI learned lots of ways to reduce the anxiety and depression of my patients and myself.” – Aviva Sinvany-Nubel, PhD, APN, CNSC, RN, psychotherapist, Bridgewater, N.J.
β€œI have gained an incredible opening and clearing of old obstructions. I hope to return to my life and fill this opening with things I love to do and that give me joy!” β€” Lisa Shine, administrative assistant, Ballston Lake, NY
β€œI came hoping to learn to move past some of the obstacles blocking my creativity. Over the course of this weekend, I feel I’ve gained a certain measure of faith in myself and in my ability to change. I also had some realizations that I believe will be very helpful to me. I feel encouraged. Both the content and presentation of this program were so well-thought out that I can’t think of any way to improve it.” β€” Andrea Gollin, writer & editor, Miami, FL
β€œI began a fantasy during the meditation exercise... almost as if I’d been there. It’s now an on-going work of fiction.” β€” Serian Strauss, Tanzania
β€œI have been reminded that I am not on this path alone, that others are sharing the journey that sometimes seems so difficult. I have also been reminded of the importance of daily practice and I will do that. The whole program has been an incredible experience for me. Thank you!” β€” Lorraine Plauth, retired teacher, Voorheesville, NY
β€œI have found the LFYP training to be incredibly useful in giving people specific tools to use in maintaining physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual balance, and further opening their intuitive abilities.” β€” Nancy Windheart, RYT-200, LFYP, Reiki Master, Animal communication teacher, Prescott, AZ
β€œI gained tools for working with my own depression and with my clients’ depressions.” β€” Robert Sgona, LCSW, RYT, psychotherapist, Yoga teacher, Camden, ME.
β€œWords do not do justice to all that I learned. This workshop changed my life!” β€” Jen Nolan, Teacher, Cortland, NY
β€œI have gained a softer heart, more receptive mind, and tools to enrich both personal and professional aspects of my life.” – Regina Trailweaver, LICSW, clinical social worker, Hancock, VT.
β€œMy personal practice will change, as well as my yoga classes. I have a better understanding of yoga!” β€” Andrea Gattuso, RYT, Yoga Teacher, Hackettstown, N.J.
β€œMy patients can now have the same effects as many medications without having to actually take medication!” β€” Deborah Lubetkin, PSY.D, LFYP, West Caldwell, NJ
β€œThis workshop has changed so much β€” my self-image and my life. My own heart’s desire is 100% clear. I gained tools to help myself and others to live life fully.” β€” Marcia Siegel, Yoga teacher, therapist, Carlsbad, CA.
Scroll to Top