Our Attitudes Come From the Stories We Tell Ourselves

What’s YOUR story? Everyone has a head full of myths about how the world works.

Oh yes you do. We have this wonderful brain that has the ability to combine truth and fiction in an instant. I didn’t realize how movies had affected my belief systems until I rented “Sound of Music” on a whim one evening. As I watched, I realized where some of my closely held values had come from. All this time I thought they came from my parents or my church.

We learn about the world as we go along. Sure, we have a predisposition for certain things. My dad was very possibility-oriented. His famous words were always, “just around the next corner!” or “You never know! This could turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to you!

And often he was right. That heartbreak in high school turned out to be a good thing. I found that out at a high school reunion many years later! Nuff said. That house I wanted to buy so desperately… later turned out to be a disaster waiting to happen. Because my financing fell through, that disaster happened to someone else.  Even that dodo on the freeway who drove so slowly in front of me last week turned out to be a godsend. I would have been hauling down the road but for him. And just before my exit, there sat Mr. Police Officer with his handy little laser gun.

So – how’s your life going today? Not working so well in some areas?  Try this:

  1. Pick one thing that isn’t working
  2. What story is attached to this situation? (How do you justify the current events?)
  3. What is your story about how you got where you are right now?
  4. Where did this story come from? (family value, TV, Movie, religion, friends, group…)
  5. To quote Dr. Phil, “How’s that workin’ for ya?”
  6. Would it be OK with you if you won this time?
  7. How could you re-write this story so you win?

If you are always on the losing end, pay very close attention to your conversations with yourself and your friends. If the friends you hang out with always agree with that loser story, CHANGE FRIENDS! Then Change Your Story!

You and only you are 100% affected for 100% of your life by 100% of your choices, your beliefs, and your stories.

If you want your life to improve, improve the content of your stories. Change your story = Change your Attitude = Change your Life.


Beth Terry, CSP, is a Certified Speaking Professional, Author, and Corporate Trainer. Invite her to come speak to your group!

© 2008 Beth Terry Seminars, Inc. All US and International Rights Reserved.

About Beth Terry

Beth Terry, CSP, is a speaker, coach, writer and cowgirl. Her audiences are from around the world: she has spoken to almost half a million people in 6 countries. Her passion is watching the "popcorn popper" go off in people's heads when they 'get it.'

5 Replies to “Our Attitudes Come From the Stories We Tell Ourselves”

  1. Pingback: Living-Deliberately.com » Change Your Story, Change Your Attitude, Change Your Life

  2. Stanley – when everything is working just dandy – enjoy it! There’s no such thing as permanence anywhere in the universe. Don’t take it for granted. Be happy, share your happiness, and pop open that champagne.

  3. Beth, I thought I was the only person who grew up convinced I was Maria! I still hum “I have confidence…” to myself when I’m in a pickle!

    Thank you for the reminder to consider all the sources woven into the story of the moment.


  4. Mimi – we learned about commitment to your ideals from that movie, didn’t we? And, being an incurable romantic, I also picked up a few ideas about love and relationship. Come to think of it, I wound up taking care of a lot of OPK (other people’s kids) too! Hmmm. The mind reels.

Would love to hear your thoughts!

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