Write a New StoryJul 28, 2022
When it comes to the story of your life, your brain is the most unreliable narrator there is. It wants to tell you that you did it wrong in the past, that it’s too hard in the present, and that you can’t have what you want in the future.
But it turns out your brain is wrong about all of this.
Your brain is programmed to find what’s wrong with you, help you avoid feeling pain and spending energy, and notify you of any and all possible dangers. This means your brain is very good at keeping you alive, but it can’t be trusted to tell the truth. And the more skeptical you can be about your brain’s negative narration, the more ability you have to create a life that you love.
In today’s episode of the podcast, I’m teaching how to question your brain’s version of things and retell the story of your past, your present and your future, in a completely different way than your brain is telling it, so that you can harness your power to write (and live!) the story of your dreams.
Write A New Story
Have you ever read a book or seen a movie with an unreliable narrator?
Like in The Sixth Sense (*spoiler alert*) - the whole time, you’re thinking Bruce Willis is Haley Joel Osment’s treating physician, having all these deep, therapeutic conversations and being this supportive presence in his life, and then you find out - what!?- he's actually one of the ghosts.
It’s just like that in real life. You think you're understanding what's happening and how the story really goes, and all of a sudden you realize, “Oh my gosh, the narrator has got this all wrong!”
Except it’s your brain that’s the narrator, and it’s the most unreliable one ever.
You can’t trust your brain’s version of what’s happening in your life because it’s only seeing what’s wrong or what’s potentially dangerous and its only goal is to protect you from pain and discomfort - even when those feelings are part of getting where you want to go.
Knowing this is everything, because it equips you to be able to write a new story.
Are you willing to question your brain’s narration and be skeptical about it? Today’s episode is about deciding for yourself what you're going to believe about any story your brain tells about you, so you can start seeing yourself in a different way.
Looking to the old story to write a new story
Your brain is used to offering you all the same old stories - stories about your past, present, and future. “You did it all wrong, you should have known better, you’ve made too many mistakes, you’re never going to figure it out.”
Stories like this feel true and useful, but they’re not. They just create pain for pain’s sake.
When you want to write a new story, really consider this: how is your brain telling the story of your past? What’s the story it’s giving you in the present to try and get out of pain and discomfort? Imagine you could read about your life. What do you want included in that story? You get to decide your brain’s narration is not the only version there is. And changing the version that you believe in will change your life forever.
Start to write a new story for your life today by learning:
- Exactly how your brain narrates your past, present, and future
- Why your brain spends so much time convincing you that you can’t have what you want
- Specific ways to reject your brain’s narration and purposefully write your story
- What writing a new story is actually about (hint: it’s not about getting the perfect life)
Welcome to the 100% awesome podcast with April Price. You might not know it, but every result in your life is 100% because of the thought you think. And that, my friends, is 100% awesome.
Hello Podcast Universe. Welcome to Episode 169 of the 100% awesome podcast. I'm April Price and I am broadcasting today from a different closet. I am not in Arizona in my daughter's closet. I am in Utah in a rented house talking in the closet. So if the audio is a little different, that is why. How are you? Are you hot? I feel like it is hot everywhere. It's all over the news, right? Like there's a heat wave in Europe.
There's a heat wave in the United States. It is July and it is hot everywhere. But the hottest news that I have for you is that registration is open right now for my next coaching group. We are starting in like four days. So it is time to get signed up. It is time to get registered. If you are wanting to be in that group and I know it's hot now, I know it's like the end of summer, but it is going to be falsities and then it's going to be winter. And like if you join my coaching program, we are going to be working together for six months all the way until next February.
And in a few weeks here, your kids are going to be going back to school, your routine is going to be back in place. And I want you to think about what it is you want to be creating in your life and how you're going to do that and offer you that. Whatever changes or goals or things that you want to create, whatever things you have in mind, coaching is the best way to get any of them even. And especially if your goal is simply to love yourself in your life and like like find a way to like, enjoy what you have been given.
Like just for that coaching is life changing, and maybe that doesn't sound like much, right? Not hating yourself, but I think it is everything. Like really changing this story that I'm bad and then and that I've failed and that I'm no good. Like changing that story that was fueling and informing my entire life experience changed so much for me. It changed every area of my life. You are good and capable and powerful and you can have what you want, including peace with yourself.
And I want to personally invite you to it. So my group program starts August 2nd and third. I have a different session. One on Tuesday, one on Wednesday. You can pick the session that you want to be in. There's a group coaching component where you will get coached in a group every single week, and then there's a one on one component as well where you will get coached personally by me one on one every single month. And there are so many other things that make up the program and you can go to my website and see all of those and get all the details. And when you're there April coaching dot com, you can also get on a call with me and schedule a call to see if coaching is right for you.
It is not too late. We have a few days here, but you need to get on that call and get on my calendar today. Okay. So you can do that again by going to my website or you can just text the word call to six, six, eight, six, six. And I will just say that signing up for that call and taking a chance on coaching, taking a chance on yourself, like letting yourself believe that something could be different is the hardest part. And after that, there's just like so much relief and goodness and change that pours into your life.
And I want that for you if you want it. Okay, so we start next week. I want you to be a part of it. You can get signed up on my website. Okay. Today, we are going to be talking about this idea that your brain is the unreliable narrator of your life. Okay. And I'm just like, have you ever read a book or seen a movie with an unreliable narrator? Right. Like you're watching the movie or you're reading the book and you think that, like, you're getting the real story.
You think you're, like, really understanding what's happening. And then all of a sudden, at the end, you realize, Oh, my gosh, like the person telling this story, they like their version of it is all wrong, right? Like, I want you to think about like the sixth sense, like the whole time you think that he's having this conversation with this boy and then you find out, oh, my gosh, he's one of the ghosts. Spoiler alert. I hope that I didn't just fill the whole movie for you. Or like A Beautiful Mind, right. Where you think he's solving, like, these really complex, like, coding things and things for the CIA.
And it turns out like, no, he's just delusional, right? Or like, Mr. Robot, you think he's telling us the story? It turns out he has, like, mental illness. Right? And there are so many books that do this same thing. Right. And and when you read those or you watch those movies, you're just, like, feeling like, okay, I know what's happening. And all of a sudden you're like, Oh, I had it all wrong because the narrator, the narrator led me astray. The narrator, like, changed the story because of, like, the perspective they had in telling it.
Right. And what I want you to know is that your brain is the most unreliable narrator there ever was. Okay. You cannot trust your brain's version of what is happening. And today I want to show you this by looking at the way the brain tells the story of your past and your present and your future. Because the way that your brain creates that story, I want you to be way more skeptical of it's narration.
Yes, it truly is an unreliable narrator, because it's only seeing the things that are wrong. It's only seeing what might be dangerous. Okay. And it can serve you so much and help you feel differently about yourself, about your life, about what's possible for you. If you are willing to really question your brain's narration and and be really skeptical about it and decide for yourself what you're going to believe about any of these stories, about your past, your present or future. Okay. So I'm just going to give you a few examples of this and kind of talk about each one of these.
And I think it would really help you see yourself in a different way. Okay. So first your past. Usually the story that your brain narrates about your past are thoughts like you did it all wrong. You should have known better. It shouldn't have happened that way. You're never going to get it right. You've made too many mistakes. It's too late. You should have figured this out a long time ago. Okay. I know. You're like, Well, how did you know that? That's what I'm thinking. I'm like, That's because these are all the thoughts that my brain tells me all the time about my past.
Okay. Like on default. These are the thoughts your brain is going to tell you. Sometimes it even will tell us that other people did things wrong and that their actions in the past, like have limited you and hurt you irreparably. And now, like everything in your life is ruined. So I want you to know that all the thoughts that your brain has about your past now only feel super true. They feel super useful, and they are neither. They aren't true because if they are telling the story that it should have happened differently, then they are definitely not true.
And it's not useful because like as of the recording of this podcast, we do not have access to a time machine. Okay? And so, any thought that says it should have happened differently is just painful for pain sake. I can't do anything about it except like beat the crap out of myself. Okay, that is not useful. And the unreliable narrator is wrong about the thought that it should have gone differently than it did. It always goes exactly as it should, because it always goes exactly as it did in the past.
You thought thoughts, other people thought thoughts, and then everyone, you, them, everyone took action from the feelings that those thoughts created, period. And the story. We made choices and we didn't make any other choices except the choices that were made. And that means that the ones that were made are the only ones that can be made or should be made. And so because those are the choices that were made, they are also the only choices that can be made.
We cannot go back and make different ones. And I know a lot of you don't like the thought that like, well, we're always doing our best and whatever we did was our best because we look at what we did and we look at what other people do and we're very disappointed in our best. Okay? We're like, Yeah, but my best is seriously bad or other people's best is seriously bad and harmful and awful. And yeah, that's how it is with humans who are on earth to learn.
They are bad at it. They are practicing over and over and over again and you are one of them. And you and I may never get it right, but that doesn't mean that it shouldn't have gone that way. It means that was our skill level, that was our ability to choose, and that is what happened. We are always acting from the thoughts that we had in that moment that we had chosen. And the truth is like we aren't good at choosing or learning to choose. That's why we're here.
And so, your past is just a series of choices, and you can condemn yourself for that, and you can believe the unreliable narrator and and believe the thoughts that it was supposed to be a different way, a different story, a different reality. Or you can believe that you are always choosing to the best of your ability, and sometimes your best isn't good at all. Okay, that's exactly as it should be, because you didn't come to make choices you already knew how to make.
You came to learn the choices you didn't know how to make. So I used to look at my past with total disdain at what I had created and how I behaved and what I had done. I had too much weight and too much debt, and I had too much criticism or too much anger, too much laziness and too much failure and too much mess, too many mistakes. This was the story my brain was narrating. You did it all wrong. It's what my brain kept telling me. Right. And if your brain is telling you the same thing, I want you to know that you can change that even a little bit by saying, Yeah, I did it all wrong.
And I was supposed to. I didn't know how to choose anything else. Brain And so that's okay. This is where I'm at. But I want you to know that's not the last shift, right? The next shift is to say, actually, I did it right. Given what I was thinking, given my level of skill in choosing what I created in the past was exactly right. The exact right result came from the thought that I had chosen. So you can think like it was wrong. And that's okay. You can think, well, actually, it's right, given the thoughts I've had.
And there's another shift even beyond that, which is that those choices were perfect and I'm proud of them. I know that's like really a stretch for some of you, but my paths stopped holding me back when I started being proud of it. Actually proud that I had done what I could as bravely as I could, even without very much skill and without very much knowledge. I had done what I could and I could decide to be proud of that. I decided to like, endorse and approve of my decisions in the past, how I spent my money, what I ate, how little they exercised, how often I lost my temper.
I decided to approve of my practice. To know that I had always done the best I could, made the choices that I had the skill to make, and that let me move on to create something else in the future to try again. Okay. So now let's talk about the present, our thoughts in the present and in our brains, unreliable narration of our present moment. So I think our present brain, the narration that we're always getting is always a way to try and talk us out of present pain.
Like, whenever we're uncomfortable, we're in pain. We have negative emotion. We have some energy that needs to be expended. Our brain is narrating to try and get us out of that, to get us out of the discomfort. So, for example, I want you to notice some of the thoughts your brain gives you, like after you've decided to do something, and then it's time to do it in the present, right? We have thoughts like, this is too hard, I'm too tired, it's not worth it. It doesn't matter. Anyway, that's my brain's favorite. Doesn't matter. Doesn't count. Right? Or it tells us we'll start later.
We'll do it tomorrow. Right. These thoughts are coming from an unreliable narrator, and they sound like the truth. It's hard to see that. It's unreliable. It feels like, no, I really am tired. Right. It's going to sound like the news. But they are always a lie in that we can still take action. Even if they're true, even if we are tired, we can still take action. So you really have to be skeptical and question any thought your brain gives you in a present moment where it's trying to like get out of some sort of negative emotion, get out of some sort of effort.
Everything you want, all the goals you've said, all the things you've decided that are important to you, all the things that your spirit wants, like your brain wants no part of those. Right. And it's it wants the easy way. It wants to talk you out of it. It wants to spend the least amount of energy. It does not care if you achieve or create any of those things in your life. And so you cannot trust its thoughts. So for me, I always use a couple of different techniques to really like get myself into action no matter what my brain is saying. And one of those I got from Russell Brunson, who talks about the Money Honor principle, and he says like, like whatever thought your brain is giving in the present, like get out of doing whatever you're going to do, he says.
Just move that thought to Manana and then do the thing today. So if your brain says it's too tired, like we'll do it tomorrow. Like you just switch and you say, okay, we're going to do the thing today and we're save the thought and I'm too tired for tomorrow. Okay? So whatever your brain is telling you that, like, I can't do this thing, like, save the thought, say, oh, that's all right. We'll think that thought tomorrow, but today we're just going to do the thing. Okay. Another thing that I do is really limit the amount of negotiation that I allow my brain to do. So my brain, if I let it, will talk me out of everything.
So instead, when I because I know that narration is going to be unreliable, I just make the decision ahead of time. And then in the present, whenever my brain is trying to get out of something in the present, I just tell myself negotiations for that are going to happen afterwards. So for example, if I don't want to work out, I tell myself, okay, we can negotiate for tomorrow after we've done the workout. But today's is not up for negotiation. Meaning I never negotiate in the present.
Any negotiation that my brain wants to do has to be for future activities. So at the end of the workout, I ask myself, What do I want to do tomorrow? And the answer almost always is, I'm going to work out again tomorrow. And then the next day comes in. My brain's like, Oh, I don't want to. And you're like, okay, well, you're going to have to save that negotiation for after, right? Only negotiate about the future because your brain is an unreliable narrator in the present. Make as few of those decisions in the present as possible because you cannot trust your brain story on it.
Okay. And as a general rule, when your brain is trying to get out of some sort of negative emotion, and so it's giving you a story or thoughts about that, the best thing that you can do is lean into the negative emotion. So if you're feeling dread before a workout, if you're feeling tired when you get up, you want to lean in to that feeling and get closer to it, experience it physically like your brain is offering you the thoughts so it can get out of the emotion and get away from the emotion of dread or tired or fear or or boredom or whatever it's trying to avoid.
And what you want to do is get closer to it. So, recently on a family vacation I was at a dinner, and one of my kids was just like not performing the way I wanted them to look. Not behaving in the way I thought they should, and they noticed my brain, like, feeling irritated. Like my brain is offering me thoughts that was creating irritation to my body. And I noticed, like, really wanting to avoid that, and I noticed that like, I was almost like emotionally withdrawing from the conversation and trying to like ignore everyone and trying to like, go a different place in my mind and not feel irritated. And when I saw myself doing that, I was like, Oh, no, no. So, there was my present brain trying to get out of that negative emotion. And I was like, nope, I got to move closer to it. And as soon as I move closer to that irritation, then I can see, Oh, this is created by a sentence in my mind. I can just feel this feeling, and then I can change the sentence. And that is really the key to being able to question the unreliable narrator in the present is to get closer to the negative emotion that is trying to avoid, process that, and then decide what you're going to think.
The unreliable narrator was telling me that it shouldn't be this way. My children should be old enough to make better choices. They should be nice, they should be happy. And like my unreliable narrator is telling me all of this because I feeling negative emotion and thinks I'm not supposed to be feeling negative emotion. So somebody else must be to blame, right? And that is not the case, of course they should be behaving the way they are. The only reason I'm feeling negative emotion is because I believe they shouldn't. Again, because of the narration of my brain.
Okay, so finally, let's talk about the future. The narration our brain gives us about the future, honestly, is like pretty grim, okay? Like, it's a whole bunch of, like, doom and gloom, worst case scenario kind of stuff, limiting beliefs. I'm like, you know, if you ever want to, like, have your unreliable narrator, just go nuts about the future, you should just watch, like, an afternoon of, like, Fox News or CNN or something, and you're like, oh, my gosh, the end is nigh.
Okay, so your brain, like, it doesn't know what's going to happen in the future, but it knows it's going to be bad, right? And so, it just has so much, like unreliable narration because, like, it can't possibly know what's going to happen. So,, some of the thoughts that your brain is going to narrate about you in the future is like whenever you have something that you want to create or do in the future, your brain is going to say, no, that's not possible for you. You've never done it before. Who do you think you are? Right? But remember, your brain doesn't know it, can't ever, ever predict the future.
And so, it's so important that you recognize whatever narration my brain is giving me about the future, it is completely made up. The future only exists as thoughts at this point, like when you're watching the news and they're like projecting how bad things are going to be. Like they don't know. It's all just thoughts at this point that the future doesn't exist. It hasn't been written, so it's just thoughts. It doesn't ever exist outside of our own minds. It's all made up. It's all for grabs. And if you change your thoughts now in the present, it will change your future. I just got to reading this amazing book called The Midnight Library. I hope that some of you have read it. It's by Matt Haig and I really recommend it for every single one of you. It's a book of fiction, but it has like such incredible application to our individual lives. And I love fiction like that. So good, right? But in the book, the premise of the whole book is that our life is simply a series of choices and changing any one choice changes the life we have.
And for each of us, there are billions of choices in our life, billions upon billions of possible futures that will come from those choices. There are so many possible lives to live from this point forward, right? And changing any choice moving forward is going to create a slightly different future life at or even a drastically different future life, depending on the choice. And that is so powerful to know and to remember that everything in front of me is choices. And so, even though my brain is telling me that like certain things are inevitable, it it doesn't know because every choice I make changes that future. And it is just so powerful to recognize how much control you actually have over the future. You stop relying on your brain for the information and for the story and start deciding that you are the creator of it and you create it through your choices. So, I was thinking about this because I recently watched the Jennifer Lopez documentary that just came out.
It's called Halftime. And as I watched that documentary and I saw her journey and like how many like different things she did and chose, I, I just was struck by the thought that it could have gone so many different ways at so many different points. She could have given up so many different points. She could have made a different choice and ended up somewhere else, right. And it would have created a different future for herself. It would have created a different reality for all of us. Like certain songs, certain movies would or would not exist.
And it was written her future like which is now the past. Right. It's kind of a trip. It was written the way it was because of her choices, the choices she made in her thoughts. And that is true of all of us. Right. Anyone that you see that has different results from you. All that means is they had different thoughts than you, and anything you want is available if you're willing to change your thoughts. Stop thinking that your story is already written. I know that your brain has written it, but it is a very unreliable narrator.
And anything past this exact moment in time is actually unwritten and available for you to write. And I want you to remember that, like, writing your future isn't about getting the perfect life. Like, I want to make choices and decisions and think thoughts that are only going to create, like, a perfect life or perfect story or perfect scenarios. Like, it is about growing. We are here to grow. And the choices you make are all about growing in the ways you want.
Having the experiences that you want to have. Taking charge of your own story. Deciding the sentences that describe your past. Deciding the sentences that you're thinking in the present so that you can get into action and then purposely deciding what you want to believe about your future. Your brain is never telling you the facts. It is telling you the interpretation of the facts. Only one interpretation, its interpretation of the facts. And that is a very different thing than the actual facts.
Now it takes bravery to believe different stories, the stories your brain has told you like you've heard them for a long time. You've believed them for a long time. And it takes bravery to be able to believe something else. The stories your brain tells you, they do feel true, right? It's hard to believe that. Like they're just made up. But they are. And that's why coaching is so valuable. My coach is always telling me, You just made that sentence up. Are you sure you want to think it right? So like rejecting your brain's narration and purposefully writing your story, I want you to know that that is not delusional.
It is intentional and it is transformational. This is what we do in coaching and I want to invite every one of you to it to be able to make peace with your past, love your present, and create your future. The changes that I made in my life started with questioning the stories that my brain had always given me about my past, about my present, and about my future. And for me, this is just the beginning. I'm just going to keep questioning that narration.
It's not like my brain stopped narrating it. I'm going to keep questioning it. And if you want something different in your life, I really want you to consider how is your brain telling the story of your past? What is the story it is giving you in the present to try and get out of pain and discomfort? And what is the story that you want to write about your future? What is the story you want to read? Imagine like you could read about your life. What do you want included in that story? You get to decide.
Your brain's narration is not the only version there is, and changing the version that you believe in will change your life forever. And that, my friends, is 100% awesome. I love you for listening and I'll see you next week.
Our brains spend a lot of time convincing us that we can't change and we can't have the things we want. But it's always a. You have the unlimited capacity to change and grow and the unrestricted agency to choose something else any time you want. If you are ready to change any aspect of your life, then it's time to change the way you think. And my coaching program is the best way to do that. My next session starts August 1st. Go to Aprilpricecoaching.com to sign up for a free coaching call and see how coaching can help you.
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