Ever since, I moved to Chiang Mai (CM), not that long ago, I have been on a personal pilgrimage. I started off thinking this trip was going to be about one thing – working on my business, and that alone was my reason to come to CM. The first week passed in a flurry of getting used to my apartment, finding internet, finding a water delivery service, finding good places to eat at, fixing broken microwaves, lamps, and finally, getting used to the damn heat.
Throughout this, I kept on doing my morning pages that I had started on September 11th, 2016. Every morning, I sat down like clockwork, and wrote 3 long-hand pages of stream-of-consciousness. Due to my move to CM, and the resulting loss of identity, ego, and routine, I found that the morning pages were revealing long-lost parts of myself. I rediscovered a love for the theatre, singing, watercolour painting, walking, and fashion. It was as if I had been asleep for a long time, and all of a sudden, I was waking up.
Self-Discovery Is A Journey, Not The End Product
The self-discovery process is still going strong, but a lot of my ‘I’m nots’ have been disappearing away. I used to believe, I’m not an actress. I’m not a singer. I’m not a dancer. I’m not a writer. I’m not a storyteller. I had a billion stories I told myself, all of which were false. In taking these stories out of myself and seeing them for the falsehoods they were, I realized, Yes, I’m a writer, singer, dancer, actress, painter, and whatever else I wanted to be.
The interesting thing for me has been as I talk about this stuff with others, their own ‘I’m nots’ pop up to clash with mine.
- I tell them, I have been taking voice lessons, and I’m loving it. They say, ‘Oh, I’m not a singer. My parents told me a long time ago that I can’t sing, and I have always known that I can’t sing.’ I tell them, everyone is a singer – you might not know how to use your voice or use tone yet, but it can be learned (like everything else).
- I tell them, I have been doing improv, and I am surprisingly great at it. They say,’Oh, I could never do that. I’m not an actress, and I don’t know to make people laugh.’ I tell them as before, everyone is a comedian, and an actress. We all are playing a role on this huge stage that we call life, some of us are better at playing this role than others.
This are just two examples. I could translate this into singing, comedian, writing, story-telling, public-speaking, and whatever else you can think of.
What Story Are You Telling Yourself
The item doesn’t matter. It’s what story you tell yourself that matters. Do you tell yourself you are great at it, or do you tell yourself that I’m horrible at it, I’ve always been horrible at it, and I’ll always be horrible at it.
I had all of these false stories in my head for the longest time. They were put there by so many other people, but they had no basis on truth. Just one random comment by a friend or a passing stranger, and I believed that I was no good at writing or dancing or whatever it might be.
Slowly over the past year or so, I have been discovering, I’m actually a great dancer, I’m a singer, I’m a great actress, I’m a writer, and I can paint. All of those false stories have been examined me from a distance and they have been thrown away, far away from me.
I don’t want to be infected by them anymore.
This has taught me to be really careful of the stories I tell myself. In every moment, you need to be careful what are you telling yourself.
Do I tell myself, I’m awesome every morning when I wake up and during random moments through the day? Or do I say to myself, Oh God, I have no idea what I’m doing with my life, why am I even bothering?
In the past, my self-talk was mainly the latter kind. Now, it’s mostly the former kind. I tell myself I know what I’m doing and I am on the right path constantly.
It isn’t being facetious, or wrong. Our thoughts create our reality, so if we tell ourselves enough times that we are successful, awesome, hot, and rich, then we will be.
Rewrite Your Story
I implore you to rewrite your story right now. I spent a long time hearing what I was about from others. If others told me I was a great writer, I believed it. If others told me, I was a crappy dancer, I believed that too. If yet others told me, I was a crappy writer and a great dancer, I swayed and believed them as well.
It was this random roller-coaster that I rode everyday, depending on others for my identity. I waited for others to discover my talents, and tell me I’m awesome.
Nowadays, I don’t need anyone else to tell me I’m a great person. Not to be immodest, but I know who I am more now. I know what I contribute to the world, and I know that the world is a better place because of my existence. This way, I am making the world a beautiful place by doing everything I do.
I bring myself in my authentic self into every human transaction enriching everyone’s lives in the process.
I know what I’m great at, and I am not waiting for others to discover me or tell me how I am so great. No more time wasted. I tell myself what I need to know in order to get on with the day.
You’re A… Fill In The Blank
You are whatever you believe you are. You are a bad dancer if you believe it. You are a great opera singer if you believe it.
So why not believe the best? If you are going to believe something anyway, why spend that time and energy and brain power believing negative things? How is that going to help you at all?
In this world, we have the choice to fill in our life’s blanks, the way we want to. How are you going to fill in the blank?
Tell yourself, whatever you want to be. You are a dancer. Or a singer. Or a writer. Or a tennis player. Or whatever you want to be.
What story will you write for yourself today?
Write it now. Don’t wait. Time is passing by way too fast.