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The Story You Tell Yourself Matters

Updated: Mar 27

I don't understand.

I was having a great day.

I'd just launch the new affiliate program, my SEO was coming back after a brief fall down, and I was hopeful about the future...

Then just like that ... I want to quit everything and when I say everything I mean everything. I'm tired of struggling, getting nowhere, and things not working out. Due to having depression and anxiety with a brain that tells me suicide is the only way out... I am very cognisant of my emotional reactions and state of mind.

If I allowed my mind and emotions to go down the rabbit hole to the big long sleep, I'd be leaving my parent and my kids in a tough spot and I don't want to do that, so ... I have to make the choice to pull up my socks, put on those big girl panties, and do what I do to move towards a place of strength.

Some days are harder than others because at times my mind will tell me they don't care and will be happier without me in the world. Yes, my brain can lie to me and find false evidence to back up its lies... It's not a mild or situational problem.

Either I let depression control me or I control it - Today, I got back into the drivers seat.

In my tool box are stories with the right narrative and the proof to offset these lies and bring me back into reality. Now, I help women rewrite their narrative and use story to understand themselves, the villains in their way, and use tools to slay the dragon and win the prize.

This does not define me or stop me from pulling myself into the next moment.

How to Stay Strong when You Feel Weak

Entrepreneurs and those of us who are self employed, we tend to be overwhelmed and over worked with little to show for it at the end of the day sometimes because we can't see the progress we've made. We work on our little treadmills and think we're getting ahead - Then, we see someone who makes it look so easy and we begin to wonder what is wrong with us.

You aren't alone

We all have weak moments and weak days. We all feel doubt, fear, and fatigue due to not getting what we need or want from others. At times we can feel alone in a hostile world that doesn't care if we live or die. It's at these times when we must dig deeper than ever before and find the strength to take one more step.

First, you need to stop feeling like you are on the edge of tears so, either cry until you fall asleep and have a nap or watch a comedy.

For some people a walk helps put them in a better mood or cleaning the house. -- Yeah no, not for me - no way - no how. Those two things leave my mind in a place where it can wonder down those rabbit holes that convince me that my only way out is a long never ending sleep. I need to occupy my mind and give my emotions time to regulate back to neutral.

Some people feel the need to call someone and vent, complain, and talk it out. If you have a friend, coach, or counsellor who is really good at listening and sitting with you in empathy to help you process your emotions - CALL THEM NOW... and thank them for being in your life.

For me, this hasn't worked out so well and I only have me, myself, and this blog to help me process what I'm feeling and how I'm going to move forward. NO, that doesn't mean I don't have people in my life. It means that the people I have in my life are fixers. They want to push when I need them to pull. I don't have the finances to pay for help, if I had the finances, I wouldn't feel like this right now because I'd be succeeding not struggling to compete with bigger sites and bigger players.

I need to work. To take the next step to move towards my goals. It's important that I don't spend a lot of time on social media or waste time texting / iMing and just do the work. Do the things that need to be done everyday to build content and attract the right audience to my site.

Does Vulnerability Result in Rejection

You're talking to the queen of rejection here.

If by reading this story, you think I'm incapable of knowing about brand storytelling, being able to help you define your brand story and get known in the marketplace - Chances are you are the wrong person for me. There are many people out there who only tell their winning stories and have a positive only policy, they are your people - then that is who you need to go to for help. I get dirty and play in the mud.

Every one out there has people who think they walk on water and people who want to hold them under the water. OK maybe not exactly hold them under, but they won't go out of their way to see if your sinking or swimming because you're just not on their radar.

By sharing my struggles with mental health, I hope to inspire, motivate, and hopefully give someone a tool to help them pull themselves out of that mud pit they are drowning in. That is the whole point of the story of women program, to help others learn how to change their narratives so they can make their way to a tower of strength.

You have a story to tell tell it

Our Stories can Heal or Hinder

The reason, I'm where I'm at emotionally right now is that I used the wrong narrative and in doing so, I made myself feel bad.

A friend called and we were talking about who showed up to my webinar and I jokingly said, "No one wants me. Ready or not here I am - even though no one wants me." This statement started my mind down the rabbit hole of self pity and excuses until the pain came back.

This statement opened the wounds of my heart and mind. Words are powerful things.

When I was younger, before I slid into a mud pit of life, I had a lot of confidence in my ability to succeed and get a job whenever I needed one. I knew I was smart, capable, hard working, and full of potential... That was the story I told and I was successful.

As my life began to unravel, which was years before my divorce, my narrative changed. I no longer was the person who always saw the silver lining and could spin a negative into a positive. I was slowly slipping into a negative narrative, which became the core of all my communication once I was under the muddy muddy water unsure which way was up and which way was down.

Words of Affirmation

Throughout my teen, early adult year, I thought self help and words of affirmation were BS and a waste of time. I was wrong. Once my life fell apart, I learned that the story we tell other people and the stories we tell ourselves have more power than anything else when it comes to our emotional state.

This is why crafting the stories you want to tell about yourself, your mindset, and your emotional state are important. Write them out and re write them when you are feeling weak. Cast yourself as the hero who needs to find the strength to move forward and win the ... (insert what you want here).

Tell these stories to other people until you believe them and by believing them you make them truth.

Whether you SAY you can or you can't, you're right. -Henry Ford

On an aside, I've watched the biography of Henry Ford and he wasn't a nice man. I think he was highly insecure in the world he found himself in and needed to control everything and everyone around him to get rid of those negative feelings. No matter how rich or poor you are, you can experience doubt, fear, and insecurity.

How you conduct yourself during those times of doubt, fear, and insecurity will tell you what kind of person you are and if you are going to make it or continue to wallow in the mud pit you've dug for yourself.

I get it - I've been there and I still have my moments. I've been fighting with the darkness most of my life and will continue to fight it until my dying day.

BUT WAIT SHANNON - didn't you just say you always saw the silver lining? Yes, I did. I was confident in my 20s and 30s, I did see the good in the struggles, but even then something would happen and I'd be facing that demon looking for the easy way out - which isn't really the easy way out because I believe in God and Heaven so the big sleep isn't going to solve the problem of not wanting to exist.

Others have always seen me as strong, smart, and self assured, but I rarely felt that inside. So, when things got so bad, I broke, no one knew what to do or how to handle it. And I had no clue how to ask for help and when offered, how to receive it... I still don't. I share this to let you know that even the most confident, happy person you know may be suffering from a dark secret they are too ashamed of to seek out support.

Affiliate Program for Storytelling Program

The Narrative We Tell Ourselves

We tell ourselves stories all day, every day, and some stories give us confidence while others break us into little pieces.

Today, I'm OK - It didn't take long for me to stop my mind from wandering down the wrong path and get back on track. I'm here writing this blog post and not drowning my sorrows in some macabre fashion.

A few years ago, I struggled with getting my mind out of the darkest recesses of my mind.

The first thing I did back then was to write on a big piece of paper where I'd see it when I went to sleep and when I woke up, "I am Good Enough" I can still remember when I started to believe those words and how strong I felt after years of feeling weak and broken. All I'd heard from those who said they loved me was - "You are not Enough let alone Good Enough." It took removing myself from them and focusing on my own narrative to rewrite my story and find strength to be the hero I need to be.

I Don't Know What Tomorrow will Bring.

All I know, is right now I am here doing the tasks to build the platforms and finding ways to get in front of people like you, who might need to change their narrative to become a stronger individual.

I Know I will Succeed.

I will find my pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

I will make it - one word at a time.

DON'T QUIT - Keep moving forward, one step at a time.
Right now, do one thing to move yourself forward.
Do one task that will build on tomorrow's success.
Believe that you are enough and you will succeed.

The Stories of Women Who Came Before Me

This summer, I received a box of letters my great great aunt wrote to my great grandmother after my great grandfather died. They are dated from 1924 - 1947. In these letters I learned she was unmarried, without kids, poor, and depressed. In her letters, she complained about her lot in life and how she wanted better things but didn't have the money to do anything to help herself out of her situation.

As I read these letters, I met a woman who didn't do anything beyond feel sorry for herself and judge those around her. She was alone in life after her mother died and didn't have many friends. Her story was one of helplessness, sadness, and loneliness but did it have to be?

Her niece, my great aunt shared her name and she lived alone in the family home after her mother died. After my brother was born she stopped talking to my mom and my dad, in fact she stopped talking to everyone. She stayed inside and became as much of a shut in as possible during the 70s, 80s, and 90s. I don't know her story - yet. There are more family papers coming my way as my dad's sister has started to transfer them into my dad's care. My dad doesn't care so - I get them, which is a gift to me. He can't believe I read all the letters in the box or why I'd take the time. - We all have our own interests and our own passions.

The reason I convey the stories of these two women is because I could be next. Though I married and had kids - I'm now alone. I could easily remain a shut in and keep people at bay. I could drop into the story of self pity, woe, and victim of circumstance. I could be next, unless I tell my story differently.

Below you will find other articles to help you learn more about emotions, what they are and how to deal with the negative ones.

Storytellers use story to elicit emotions in the audience and get them to engage with the characters they are writing about. They can do this because they understand the depth of emotion and how they affect our decision making and our behaviours. When you tell your brand stories or personal stories, understanding how emotions can help or hinder your efforts will improve more than your storytelling. It will improve your life.

Other articles you will discover on UnPeeled

Professionalism and Emotions

Empathy not Sympathy in Brand Storytelling

Depression - a Complete Guide to Help You Understand it

Hope is a 4 Letter Word

Hope, What is it and Do We Need it

Business and Emotions Don't Mix. Do you need to be unemotional at work

Professionalism and Emotions Don't Mix

In today’s digital world, your personal brand story must reflect your professionalism because whether we receive a promotion or a pink slip can be contingent on how leadership perceives our behaviour, image, and the quality of our work, all of which, define our professional image.

Many of us get tripped up our emotions and behave in a manner that causes a negative consequence we weren't expecting. Professionals show up and do the job no matter how they feel and this expectation can give us the impression that professionals are robots instead of feeling and flawed humans.

The personal branding advice telling us we need to be authentic, honest, and real can have long reaching consequences in our professional lives because people are still human and humans are judgemental, unforgiving, quick to dismiss, and slow to trust. We want to believe people will give us the doubt and help us when ... Click the button to read full article