The stories we tell ourselves

I’ve recently taken part in a storytelling workshop organized by Crossing Borders, in Copenhagen. The two days were full of emotion, laughter, and interesting stories.

Weeks later, one major theme is still stuck in my head: the stories we tell ourselves! Lori Webb, the facilitator of the workshop, gave a good example: if you tell yourself over and over again that you are bad with names, you’ll end up putting less effort into remembering names. All based on your belief that you can’t help it, you’re just bad with names!

Now, I’m guilty as charged with telling and believing certain stories about myself! One of them is that I’m not good at coordinating my hands and legs, especially in group exercises. I’m the person that goes right when everyone goes left because I’m just not good at coordinating. I had moments when I very consciously stopped for a second to catch up with everyone, but I also had moments when I fully embraced this ‘bad at coordinating persona’ and took a bit of pride in this quirk.

This brings me to the day when, in a desire to shake up my cardio day, I went to my first Zumba class. What a fun nightmare! Half of the class my brain ruminated on this idea and how I adopted ‘bad at coordinating’ as part of my identity, while my eyes and body tried often successfully to replicate the instructor’s moves.

I know shifting my thinking helps, but won’t do much if I don’t take action! So, I plan to continue to work on my coordination in Zumba, but to no longer accept the lack of it as being an innate part of myself.

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