Why We Need to Let Go of the Stories We Create About Ourselves
The art of storytelling is arguably one of the greatest attributes of humankind. For centuries, we’ve relied on stories to tell the events of history and, on a more personal level, the story of our ancestors’ lives. Stories can be powerful in creating change and in mobilizing the masses to do good or evil depending on the tale that told and how it is received.
But what about our personal stories? The story of our lives and the perceptions we seek to create? In a world that defines success with money, power and influence more and more people are creating false stories about who they really are. In a digital age of FOMO (fear of missing out) and a time when many people are fleeing their corporate jobs to pursue their passions, there is an overwhelming movement towards creating personal stories of perfection, importance and influence.
These false stories are found on social media, in our blog posts, during our coffee and play dates, at work, in school and even during our most intimate conversations with family and friends. We’ve become fearful of the quotidian aspects of life and the fact that our lives are complicated, complex and messy. We’ve forgotten how to let go of our ego and let in each other. We’ve lost our ability to speak to each other kindly, respectfully and patiently because we’ve created the false belief that we’ve earned our story, our influence, our right to be condescending and impatient.
The ego is the one of mankind’s most severe defects; most people are unable to keep it under control. We feed it to the point where it expands and smothers our true self and brings our minds to a place of insanity. This is when we begin to disconnect from reality and live in the story we’ve created about ourselves: I am a CEO, I am an influencer, I am a manager, I am an entrepreneur, I am a VC – I deserve more and I am better because I have crafted an incomparable, glorious personal story.
A human story should be one of humility, of struggle and of great wisdom from years of learning and surviving. We should embrace the true story of our lives and realize that although our circumstances may differ, at the heart of each of our stories we all share the same theme: we are human. Yes, we may be poets, writers and dancers, athletes and mathematicians, but these vocations are not our story, they are simply one of many paths we take in the great journey of life. The CEO will one day rest beneath the dusty earth along with the beggar and the teacher.
As the world seems to revolve at an increasingly incredible pace, we must make the conscious choice to slow down, to listen and to honor each of our stories, keeping an open heart to truth and keeping in mind that each individual one is so vitally important to the story of mankind.
We must not be afraid to let go of the false perceptions of ourselves and embrace the humbling journey of our human lives.
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