In today’s episode, Brandon, Christine, and Justin discuss how your past stories can get in the way of manifesting your desires. When your ego clings to certain labels, those labels can seem like indisputable facts.
How can you escape those labels? How can you become the storyteller of your own life? We will answer these questions in this episode.
Music composed by Collective Intelligence Music
Resources Mentioned in the Podcast
- Blog post on emotional currency: How to Feel Good While Balancing It with Reality
Discussed in today’s podcast (click the link to jump to that section of the transcript):
- Past stories are most relevant for next-level or ultimate-level goals
- Examples of problematic past stories
- Not all limiting past stories really need fixing
- Differences in reacting to limitations
- Does the universe force you to learn something?
- Is the past story even true?
- You can choose your stories
- How to change a story
- How to react to failure in the past
Brandon: Welcome to Co-Create Your Life. This is episode 13, “How to Stop Identifying with Your Past Stories.” I am Brandon Olivares.
Christine: And I’m Christine Olivares.
Justin: And I’m Justin Williams.
Brandon: Today we are discussing basically what to do when you are hanging on to your past stories. You’re letting them label you and say things about you and mean things about you. What do you do when that happens and you have trouble letting that go so that you can move into the future to achieve the goals that you want? What do you do when that happens? First of all, the show notes for this episode can be found at cocreationcoaching.org/create013. Again, that’s cocreationcoaching.org/create013.
If you would like to ask a question for this podcast, we’d be happy to answer. You can go to cocreationcoaching.org/ask and we will be happy to answer anything that you ask that we can generalize to a podcast. Very specific things probably wouldn’t work very well. We love answering your questions, so please go there and ask.
Again, today we’re discussing past stories. Unfortunately, we had someone all queued up. We were going to have someone come on and volunteer to work through a goal with us. We were going to help her and work through her resistance to her goal. It just didn’t work out due to technical issues, unfortunately, so instead we had her ask her question. I asked her, basically, “What is it that is holding you back the most from this goal?” She gave us some good feedback and some good ideas about what we might be able to cover and what is holding her back. The main part of it was basically holding on to these past stories. That’s a huge thing. I think I have covered this in the blog before, but sometimes I think we can go a lot deeper in these podcasts. I figured it would be a good topic to discuss.
Christine: Especially because we’re talking. When you talk, it’s so much easier sometimes.
Brandon: Right. It’s just a lot more impromptu, and we can go a lot deeper, I think, especially because we have all three of our perspectives.
Past Stories Are Most Relevant for Next-level or Ultimate-level Goals
Brandon: So it’s a lot easier. Basically, what happens, I think, is that when you are moving for a big goal (usually this is a next-level goal). Obviously it’s not going to be for a current-level goal. It’s generally going to be for something that’s pretty big to you. It might even be your ultimate-level goal. What happens is, is that this new goal is so opposed to your current vision of who you are, to your current subconscious beliefs and expectations of life, that it takes a lot of changing. I’ve talked before about the subconscious structures and how those structures, if they’re not supporting your goal, then you have a lot of changes to make and a lot of resistance to work through. This is something where it’s down to your ego identity.
What is the ego, basically? The ego labels itself. The ego says, “I am __.” We talked about the power of “I am” statements. It is powerful when you use it consciously, but when you have it unconsciously where you have all these ego identifications (“I am this,” “I am that,” “I am that”) it limits us.
Examples of Problematic Past Stories
Brandon: Some examples are: the ego might say, “I am a poor person.” Not only do I not have a lot of money, but “I am a poor person.” That is who I am. That restricts us. Another example would be “I am unworthy of love.” Not only is it hard for me to find a relationship, but I’m actually a person who is unworthy of love or something like that. These are all very common examples of labels the ego applies to us. Some people will say, “I’m not good with money. That’s who I am. I’m just not good with money.” That is actually their identity. That is actually their label. Have you ever had experiences like that, Justin, of labels you had to work through?
Justin: Yes. I will say for me, I have a lot of natural force of personality. A lot of times I’ll have a label and just blow through it. But I’m going to tell you something—you really want to get rid of those, because they actually hang you up. There are some times that you can overcome it or whatever, but anything that is opposed to your goal, any label that is attached to it that’s a negative label, you want to find out where it is and discard it. You want to let it dissipate and show it no focus. It actually takes your power and energy away.
Brandon: It does, it does.
Justin: If you are trying to get this great job&hellip.“Oh, man, this job is going to pay me a lot of money.” “Yeah, but I’m usually poor anyway. That’s what I do.” It’s going to make it a lot harder to get that job. You may get it, but I’m going to tell you something: you’re going to have stuff sticking to you about this no-money thing for quite some time. Anything related to that. For me, yeah, the one thing I’ve noticed that I will do is funnel a lot of energy into the things I’m good at, and some of the stuff I’m not as good at—later, it comes back. It’s like there’s these certain things. For me, I have a hard time leading. I’m not somebody who organizes groups.
Brandon: Right, right.
Justin: You know what, man? That has come back a few times and messed me up. [laughs] I’ve got to learn to do something better, because it has made it so that it’s hard for me to do that.
Not All Limiting Past Stories Really Need Fixing
Brandon: Right. It’s okay if it’s a label that really isn’t that important to you. If you said, “I’m not that great at organizing groups,” and then you’re like, “I don’t really want to organize groups,” that’s fine. I get a lot of people who say, “I’m horrible with money, but my spouse handles it.” That’s how Christine&hellip
Christine: Yes, that’s me.
Brandon: You’re like that, right?
Christine: Yeah, I’m not good at numbers, I guess.
Justin: But for me, I kind of want to get rid of those if I can.
Brandon: Oh, sure.
Justin: I think the more of those you have around (this is just me), the less capable you are in some respects. Just for me—that’s just me, a personal thing. When I look at those labels, I try to go, “Okay, why am I like that and is this a good time to get rid of that label?” If it’s not, then that’s okay, but at some point I’m going to want to get rid of that label.
Brandon: I think it just depends on if it’s a very good self-growth goal. Your most important labels to get rid of are the ones that are going to get in the way of you achieving your goal. If you have a goal and then you have a label that is getting in the way of that&hellip.“I want this thing, but my labels about myself are getting in the way.” That’s going to be something that you have to deal with. If someone says, “I want to be a public speaker. I want to speak to groups of people,” and then they say, “but I am not a good speaker.”
Differences in Reacting to Limitations
Brandon: Some people might genuinely not be a good speaker, and they have to work at that. That’s okay. If you have an awareness of your limitations, that’s one thing. But if you are saying, “I am not a good speaker, and therefore I just can’t do this,” that’s totally different. It’s something you can work on. Anything that you’re trying to pursue, you can work on that and you can achieve it if you work on those labels and those limiting beliefs. If it’s limiting you, then it’s a label you really want to work on. If you have labels that really aren’t making that big of a difference in your life, you may want to do those anyway, but they’re sort of lower priority than something that is getting in the way of an immediate, very high priority goal.
Justin: Another one is “I’m not much of a leader. I just like to do my own thing.” Well, if you want to run a business, you’re going to have to have some business-running/leadership potential. I’m actually deciding how much of that I really want to remove and how much I need to, because at some point I’m going to want to be doing certain things on my own. You’re going to want that. Or you might want another promotion at work. Right now, I wouldn’t want to manage anyone. I admit that. There’s some leadership skills and management skills. They’re there. I can feel the talent there, but they haven’t really been developed. That’s what I’m working on at this point.
Brandon: Like I said, have the awareness of what you need to work on, but also don’t make that a label. There’s a difference between “I am not a good leader, period” and “Currently I don’t have good leadership skills, but I can develop them.” That’s a huge difference.
Justin: That’s a huge difference.
Brandon: That’s a massive difference.
Justin: That’s the one I’m using. “You haven’t developed those yet.”
Brandon: Right. You haven’t developed those yet.
Christine: What if you don’t really give a crap about wanting to be a good leader?
Brandon: That’s okay. That’s your choice. That’s totally your choice whether you want to do that or not.
Does the Universe Force You to Learn Something?
Christine: And then, you have a situation that I ran into. This happened yesterday. A question could be, “Do you think that the universe could force your hand into learning a skill?”
Christine: Because basically, here’s one. Maybe it’s one to help build your confidence, because I swore up and down I would not learn how to play the organ. But I’m going to be forced into a situation where I have to learn the organ and I don’t have a choice. I have to learn how to play. Actually, that’s not entirely true, because I could use the piano, but it would be a heck of a lot to get it up into the choir loft. It would just be easier for me to learn how to play the organ, but I vowed I would not learn to play the organ, and God laughed in my face and said, “You’re learning to play the organ.” I have to sub at another church.
Brandon: I think that might be something where you had a higher priority goal. You might not even know what that is yet, sometimes.
Christine: I don’t know what it is. I have no idea.
Brandon: You might not even know what that is, but the universe says, “Okay, well, you say that, but what if it can be easy for you? And what if it’s actually in line with a goal that you really want in the future?”
Brandon: So that’s something that you’re going to pursue.
Justin: One thing where it gets me is I find myself more knowledgeable than a lot of people around me, but not necessarily in a position to use it all or I’m in situations where people who are managers in different places are less capable. It was like, “Yeah, there’s that lack of leadership thing once again.” I’ve learned that. That’s why I’ve decided to put myself in situations where I could do more. I’ve just noticed that. What I’ve ended up having to do is not let it be a label that prevents me from doing something so that whenever there’s something in front of me, I actually try to take the challenge on and do whatever it is and try to develop myself.
Is the Past Story Even True?
Brandon: That’s good. That means it’s something that you are actively working on changing that label because you are aware of it. Once you become aware of that label and past story, then you can actively work on it. Ask first of all, “Is this actually a true story?” It may not even be true. For you, it sounds like you’re very aware of it, so it’s probably true that you’re not up to the standard you want to be at. For someone else, they might have a story that is actually not even true. They work on that, but they actually don’t even need to work on that. All they need to do is change that label they have of themselves. Then they’ll be successful.
For example, I always had major, major self-worth issues. I’ve talked about this on the blog before. It was always, even up to after the time I met Christine, major self-worth issues.
Christine: I’ve seen the worst of it.
Brandon: They got in the way again and again and again and again and again. I just was not a confident person. It did get in my way.
Christine: Oh, yeah.
Brandon: Obviously it wasn’t true. Anyone is worthy. I have a lot of good skills. I have a lot of talents, so it’s not true. That was something that was really a big issue and I had to work through. I have realized a lot lately when I’m looking at my work and how I work with others in my business in Co-Creation Coaching, I’m thinking, “I’m so much more self-confident than I used to be.” It’s almost a weird sensation sometimes, because it’s one of those things I didn’t do consciously. It just sort of snuck up on me.
Christine: The more you tried, the worse you were.
Christine: I don’t mean to get personal. I won’t get too personal. If I said one thing wrong, you would get so upset. You really don’t anymore.
Brandon: Because I got sensitive.
Christine: You did, but now you’re a lion. You used to cry. I don’t mean to—but you did. You used to cry every time I yelled at you. But now, you give it right back. I love it because you’re just like me.
Brandon: [laughs] I’m a lot more secure in myself.
Christine: You are.
Brandon: That was something I had to work through. I don’t think I could have had the success I’ve had in Co-Creation Coaching if I hadn’t had that self-worth and worked through that. I had many other projects in the past where it just got in the way, and I wasn’t able to do it.
Christine: This is your—how many?
Brandon: I don’t even know what number. Maybe number six.
Christine: Six, now? This has been the longest.
Brandon: It’s been very long-lasting now.
Christine: I think it’s five or six.
Brandon: It’s been going so well. That is something. Sometimes it’s not even true, and you have to work through it and remove that label. Remove that story. That’s the thing about ego stories. Your ego is basically a master of storytelling. It’s so easy to get caught up in those stories and get lost in them and really relate to them and be identified by them. I see it all the time with people, and it’s not healthy. It’s not good. Again, if you’re aware of it, that’s a great thing.
Christine: I could tell you for me, I used to be really ashamed of some stuff in my past. They weren’t really bad things, but they were characteristics about myself. I’m a very childlike person, and I always have been. I used to be very embarrassed about that and other experiences I’ve had. Now that I’ve embraced them, my life has done a 180. I’ve embraced them and I’ve used those experiences to help people in the future.
Brandon: Exactly, so you have to come to terms with that.
Christine: You do.
You Can Choose Your Stories
Brandon: The ego is so good at telling these stories that a lot of times are disempowering to you, but you believe in them. They seem factual. You have to get to the point where you can see through them and say, “Okay, these stories are not true about me,” or “I get to choose what’s true about me.” When you have these things in the past that have happened, you really have to look at them and say, “This is just an ego story. I don’t have to believe in this. I don’t have to go there. I don’t have to give it my focus. I can just remove my focus from it and let it not be true about me, because it’s not.”
You have to really be self-aware of it because the ego is so good at doing this. It’s not going to stop. It’s really what it does. But you have to really be the creator. You have to be the one who says, “These are the stories that are true about me because I choose them to be true about me. They are only true because I choose them to be true, and that’s it.” No other reason. I choose the stories that I abide by in my life. I choose the stories that match me. I am worthy. I am a successful person. I am good with money. I am successful in relationships. Whatever else is a story that is important to you, you choose those stories. You have to be the storyteller of your own life, because if you’re not, the ego will tell those stories for you, and it will not be empowering most of the time.
Brandon: It won’t be empowering most of the time, so you have to be in charge of telling those stories. If you have a story in your life that you don’t like, then you have to come and say, “I don’t like that story. I’m going to change it. I’m going to change that story.” And then you do so. When you are held by your stories, you are a prisoner of them. You’re a prisoner of those stories, and you can’t get out of that unless you let go of them. That is very important. When you refuse to identify with those stores, when you refuse to be labeled by those stories, then you are totally free. You are the creator of your life, and you can choose which stories apply to you.
How to Change a Story
Christine: Use the positive experiences you’ve had in the past. That’s very important. Use those and remember those, because they really make up who you have become and who you are.
Brandon: Right, exactly.
Christine: At least for me they have.
Brandon: Definitely. They can be really good supports. As you’re creating your new stories, those can be really great supports. If I’m looking at “I am a worthy person,” how do I know that’s true? I don’t have to justify it. I kind of do for my subconscious mind, a little bit. It’s going to say, “No, I don’t believe it.” “What about this experience?” Now, you have to choose experiences that are emotional.
Brandon: You can’t just say, “Well, I did really well in my tests in school.” Ah, who cares? Unless it’s a really emotional thing to you. These things are emotional. Your subconscious mind is not logical. It doesn’t care if you are a worthy person logically speaking, because it’s not logical.
Justin: No, it’s not.
Brandon: So you have to choose experiences to back up your statements, but those experiences have to be emotional. When you can back them up, then your subconscious will start seeing what you’re saying. If you say, “I am a very kind person. I have helped people,” and go back to experiences where you were really a wonderful person, it might feel weird to toot your own horn a little bit, but go back to experiences where you really did help others or whatever it is that makes you feel worthy.
Christine: I do all the time.
Brandon: That’s what’s going to do it for you. That is how you start constructing these new stories, is by going back to these experiences and constructing them and showing them to your subconscious and making these stories more important.
When these negative stories come up, when your subconscious says, “Yeah, but what about that time when __?”, you have to say, “Not important. Doesn’t reflect on me.” You have to give less importance to the negative stories and high importance (through your emotions) to your positive stories. Remember, the emotions are the language of your subconscious mind, so you have to say, “All right, this experience is not that important, so I’m not going to react to it. This experience, very important, so I’m going to really react to it and be really happy and be really excited and feel good about it. That will tell my subconscious that this is a positive experience that says something about me.” Then it will reconstruct those stories to match those new experiences that you are focusing on. That is how you set about constructing your stories.
Justin: That’s how I do it. The other thing I do is focus purely energetically and just ignore the bad stories or stories that don’t serve my purposes. Actually they’re learning experiences, also. They’re stories that don’t serve my purposes. Then I use the energy to more forward. I haven’t had a lot of dates. I’ve had a few. I’ve had a lot of stuff in the way from all kinds of life stuff, from jobs I didn’t care for to being a student with no money. It is what it is. Now I’m actually ready to roll, so I feel pretty good about it, but it’s only because I actually worked on that. I got some of the barriers out of the way that are for-real, physical barriers. Now I can use the momentum to build that pathway. It’s pretty good to do that. That’s one where I’ve had very few good experiences, period. I have to work on that one some. That’s just how it is.
Brandon: Right, exactly. That’s another thing you can do. When I was getting my NLP training, there was a wonderful method called dissociation. This was in my masters training. There was one form of dissociation called “past dissociation.” You can either be associated into your past or dissociated from your past. Association is basically when you’re in the story, you’re really emotionally invested in it, you’re believing in it. You’re there, seeing what you saw, hearing what you heard, feeling what you felt, when you had that experience. That’s association. Dissociation is when you are saying, “What did I learn from that experience?” You’re stepping out of it.
Justin: Yes, third person. Going meta.
Brandon: Some of the questions that we went through to dissociate from your past are: What did I learn by going through that experience? What did that experience teach me as I go into the future? Anything that’s going to basically analyze your experiences and step away from them and take something from them. Take the big picture view of them. That’s going to be dissociating from your past experiences. That’s going to help you get out of your past stories and step out of them. Then you can associate into the stories you want to create. If you want to create a story that says, “I am a successful person,” then you go back and remember all the experiences where you did feel like a successful person. You step into them. You associate with them. You say, “What was it like when I had that experience?”
Justin: You can even take an experience that was similar and use the feelings anyways.
Brandon: Exactly. You can use those feelings. You can cross them over and use those in another place. That’s a little bit of how you can use NLP for creating new stories. Dissociate from the old stories by taking a big picture view of the past—the past that maybe you didn’t like so much, but seeing what it could have taught you. Then step into the stories that you do like. Go back to those experiences that did help you and make you feel the way you want to feel. That’s something you can do there.
I think the final thing is not to put too much attention on this, not to try to change the story. Just like with anything we talk about, you really have to take a very light touch with these stories. Just like with a lot of the stuff we talk about, you have to take a really light touch with these stories. If you try to forcefully change them and make them into something else and really push against the old stories, it’s not going to work. Just like what we talk about with negative manifestations, it’s just not going to work. You have to really take a light touch. First of all, obviously, step out of the old story. Do your best to dissociate. Do your best to really remove yourself. Step out of it. Don’t push against it.
Brandon: The less focus you put on that story, the better.
How to React to Failure in the Past
Christine: One thing I want to say, too—because this is something that I experienced as I went through my journey—is don’t be afraid of the future. Don’t be afraid of failing. If you are afraid of letting the past experiences dictate your future, it will happen.
Christine: You have to take what you can from the past in a positive way, your positive past experiences. If you’re afraid of it, then it’s definitely going to happen.
Christine: You have to not be afraid of it because there’s never, ever a such thing as failure. Only feedback.
Brandon: That’s true.
Christine: That’s one thing that Brandon taught me in NLP.
Brandon: That’s an NLP statement.
Christine: That’s the one thing that I realized. There are a lot of things that I have a lot of feedback about. [laughs] That has happened. But once I decided that the more I delved deeply into those past experiences, the more I immersed myself in them, the more I knew I wouldn’t fail. When you are made up of your positive experiences, you build on them. Then you grow. It’s like a seed. You grow. Even if you’re nervous, the fears dissolve.
Justin: For me, with past experiences, my saying is, “There’s no such thing as failure. There’s just things that didn’t work out.” As long as I know why they didn’t work out, it’s okay.
Justin: There were certain businesses that failed or things that failed due to the fact that I thought I had support I didn’t have. If I think I’m going to have some help or some people to buy into what I’m doing and I don’t, if I was counting on that or thought that was a possibility, and it didn’t work, it’s not really my fault that it didn’t work out. It is. I’m responsible for it, but if I was counting on something and it just didn’t happen (people didn’t do what I thought they were going to do), then that’s life.
Brandon: Exactly, right.
Justin: Different stories like that. “Why didn’t this work?” “Oh, okay. We’ll just make sure that next time that that’s accounted for.” That’s what I use.
Brandon: You always want to [think about] reacting emotionally to what’s going on in life. When something bad happens, you want to keep a very even keel emotionally and not react to it. If you react to it, then your subconscious mind is going to learn from it and take something you don’t want it to take from that experience. You really want to be careful of where you put your emotions.
I talked in one post (I don’t remember which one) about your emotional currency. Where are you putting your emotional currency? If you’re putting it in experiences you don’t like, then you’re going to get more of those. If you’re putting it in experiences you do like, you’re going to get more of those. You want to be careful where you’re putting that emotional currency and how you’re reacting to things.
Again, you want to take a very light touch with this stuff and not make it such a big deal and not push against the old stories. Don’t get frustrated with them. “Why do I feel this way?” No, you just have to recognize that they’re there. Make peace with them. Gradually, step out of them. Dissociate from those old stories, and create new ones.
It’s not really a huge deal. You don’t have to make it a huge deal. The more you make it a huge deal, the more that you’re going to sabotage yourself. You really don’t want to do that because it’s just not going to help, obviously. Really take a light touch with this stuff. Take it slowly. You don’t have to rush this. There’s no race to get this all done. You’re never really going to get it all done. Work at it. But as you work on your new goals, you will run into the labels that are keeping you from what you want to achieve. So you will have the opportunity to work on those.
Realize again that you are the creator of your life. You are the storyteller. I love that analogy. You are the storyteller of your life. You get to tell the stories, no one else, not your ego, no one else. You get to tell the stories. You get to dictate how things go for you. You get to say what your future looks like.
If you’re not doing that, you are really losing out on a huge amount of power that is your inherent birthright. You have that power. If you’re not taking advantage of it, then you’re letting go of a lot. Some people aren’t taking advantage of that, sadly. Don’t believe in those stories. Create new ones. Go after what you want to create, because that is your right to do so.
That was a wonderful discussion, as always. I appreciate everyone who joined us and is listening in. Once again, if you’d like to check out the transcript of our podcast or comment, you can head over to cocreationcoaching.org/create013.
And if you would like to download our free ebook, Ten Reasons You Aren’t Getting Results with the Law of Attraction, you can go to cocreationcoaching.org/loadownload. Again, that’s cocreationcoaching.org/loadownload.
I hope everyone has a wonderful day. You can see us again on this podcast in two weeks. We’re here every other Saturday. The other Saturdays are The Unseen World, so we alternate. Feel free to check that out. Again, thanks, everyone, for joining us. I am Brandon Olivares.
Christine: And I’m Christine Olivares.
Justin: And I’m Justin Williams.
Brandon: And anything is possible.
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How About You?
Now it’s your turn. Have you struggled with your past stories? How have you dealt with them? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.