“She’s angry with me”. I was pretty sure about it. I had not heard from her on a – for me – important day and I tried to understand why. My thoughts kept going in circles. Had something happened? Did I say something offense? No, I didn’t think so. And yet: it was alarmingly quiet. I had experienced situations like this before and in the past it had indeed occurred that someone was angry with me while I was not aware of any harm. That had lead to trust issues. After all, you could never know for sure if everything was OK. And so I started telling myself a familiar story: she’s mad at me. I did something (or didn’t do something) that was wrong. See, I’m not good enough.
The “not good enough” belief
Yes, there it was again. I’m not good enough. No matter how much energy I have put into my personal development and how positively that has worked out for my self-image, this old belief is still rooted deeply within my system. I may never get rid of it and that’s OK. As it is with most painful things in life, it’s much more about dealing with it, than getting rid of it. So how to deal with the “not good enough” belief?
When do you tell yourself your old and negative story?
You probably have your own situations and triggers that make you tell yourself old and negative stories. Just think about it. When do you enter the “see” state of mind? See, nobody sees me. See, I am not appreciated. You might find it difficult, just like me, when there is an inexplicable silence which causes you to tell yourself you did something wrong. Or perhaps you are prone to belief it is your fault when someone’s not in a happy mood. We all have our own triggers and belief system.
What happens when you choose to go along with the negative story
The kind of stories I talk about in this article are dangerous ones. They usually assume the worst-case scenario and are quite clear-cut. The result? The moment you choose to belief the negative story you are telling yourself, it becomes really hard for other, more positive scenarios to become reality. This is because you probably shut off once you start to go along with the negative story. This may cause you to act indifferently, become angry and/ or play victim. Not very constructive behavior, as you probably understand. Chances are it will make other people who are involved think negatively as well. Soon you will end up in a negative spiral with each other and you will sink deeper into your own story.
Being aware of it and being vulnerable
Your story is difficult to change because it is probably based on deep-rooted beliefs. What you can change however, is the way you deal with it. Being aware that you tell yourself stories is an important first step. The second step is a bit scarier, namely being open and vulnerable about it. Give words to what is going on inside your head. For example: “I find myself telling myself that you don’t like me.” Or ask a question, like: “I have the feeling that something is wrong and that makes me feel uncertain. Is there something wrong indeed? ” Regardless of your approach, it is important to realize that you only really know whether your story is true or not when you have actually checked it. Without a check it is nothing more than a story that you tell yourself.
Sincere conversations and a deeper connection
From my own experience I can say that dealing with stories like ‘see, I am not good enough’ works out very well. Practice has helped me to become increasingly better at recognizing the story, giving it words and being vulnerable. It usually leads to a sincere conversation and a deeper connection. Isn’t that what we all want deep down inside?
How my experience with my ‘see, I am not good enough’ story ended
You might wonder how my experience with my ‘see, I am not good enough’ story ended. After giving it a lot of thought and after having activated all defense mechanisms, I realized this strategy was not working out well. So I decided to be brave and vulnerable. I called her. “Are you mad at me?”, was my pressing question. My heart was pounding. The answer turned out to be so very different than the story I had been telling myself. No, there was no question of anger at all. She had just been busy. What a relief!
A helping hand for your own negative stories
You might read this and think: I have no idea which stories I tell myself, but I am pretty sure that I do tell myself negative stories. If you want, I can help you gain insight into your stories with life coaching. I would also be more than happy to guide you through the second step: vulnerability and communication. Interested? Than I would love to hear from you.
Intuitive Life coach | Hart & Ziel Coaching | the Hague