Storytelling works: Here’s proof

Most of the storytelling we do is self-talk

Not all stories you tell yourself are true

Your brain is a busy little doohickey. It has not only captured everything you’ve ever been told, everything you’ve ever done, everything you’ve ever experienced, but it has catalogued it, filed it and archived it. Most amazing of all, your brain has made up its own stories about every single item in its archives and even fetched items out of other drawers and messed ’em all together in some very tangled yarns.

Here’s proof that storytelling works


Just listen to the ridiculous stories we tell ourselves and how they’ve worked for us.

    ‘I was slow at school so I never get promotions or opportunities.
    ‘Other kids didn’t like me. I go to parties today and I feel the same.
    ‘I didn’t have any friends. I think that’s why I’m shy.
    ‘I DON’T have any friends. That’s why I’m lonely and depressed.
    ‘I’m no good at sport. They asked me to join a team at work but I was too embarrassed.
    ‘My sister died in a car crash but I think God meant to take me. I’m not much of a person.
    ‘I grew up poor and so I am no good with money.
    ‘I grew up poor and so I hang on to every penny I earn, so for me, charity begins at home.’

Some people actually believe these and other miserable stories and live their lives in desperate slavery to their brain’s cruelty.

Others – and hopefully you are one – get their brain to behave itself to their great benefit.

    ‘I love Christmas. It was always the best time of the year growing up.
    ‘I love entertaining. We’re the kind of family that always has people around as my grandma and grandpa did.
    ‘When I was 12 Mum opened a bank account for me and taught me to get all I could, save all I could and give all I could. Today I own my own home, my factory building and three rental places.
    ‘I grew up believing I could succeed at sport because my dad always said I could achieve anything I put my mind to.
    ‘I’m a teacher today because I always wanted to be like Mrs Douglas, my grade 4 teacher.
    ‘I saw The Beatles live and said, ‘That’s what I want to do when I grow up.’ I’ve been around the world 18 times as an entertainer on ships.’

Oh yes! Storytelling works all right. You are living proof.


Storytelling works harder than a pile driver.
Storytelling works better than a Saturn 5 rocket.
Storytelling works faster than seagulls swooping on chips.

I reckon we are the sum total of our own storytelling, beginning with the stories other people told us, what happened to us, and what we observed happening around us. The incidents and observations didn’t make us who we are. Our reactions to them did and they became our self-talk stories. See how storytelling works for us? And if it has worked so well for us, could it work just as well in our other connections?

Heed this wise saying, Change your story. Change your life.

Some people I’ve given this advice to protest that they can’t go back and erase the past. Well, Duh-uh! Of course, you can’t. But the past isn’t where your stories are. Your stories are in your brain today. You can change them.

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