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The Story You Tell Yourself Matters

Updated: Mar 27, 2023

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

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

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

People mistake empathy for sympathy because they don't understand the definition between the two. John is a manager and believes he needs to be seen as a caring individual. During a meeting he received a text from someone who experienced a loss and John stopped the meeting he was in because he needed a moment to compose himself. He was feeling upset about this text. When the participants of the meeting suggested cutting the meeting short, he said, “I can call him after the meeting. I just need to process this news. I’m feeling empathy right now.”

John was sympathetic to the text and concerned about how the news was making him feel in the moment. If he’d had an empathic response, his response would have been about what the other person needed from him at that moment, not what he was feeling himself. John wanted the people in the meeting to see him as empathetic, but he wasn’t – he was sympathetic.

Sympathy comes from our logical or rational intelligence and empathy comes from our emotional intelligence and experiences. If you are laying someone off and you say something to make them feel better to placating them – it’s sympathy not empathy.

We placate other’s emotions with statements like, “When one door closes, another on opens,” or “You’re better off without him.” When we use these canned positive thinking statements, we are trying to get the other person to feel better so we can stop having an uncomfortable conversation. We want to slap a band-aid on it and move on.

That is sympathy – you feel ... Click the button to read full article

Understanding Depression to Support

How to Battle Depression and Win

There is no denying that this is a difficult time for anyone who sought support from others outside of the home, regardless of whom they live with.

Dealing with change in lifestyle is difficult even when one is excited about the changes. When a negative change is forced upon you, the ground is fertile for hopelessness and depression to take root.

This can happen at any time, not just during a Pandemic shut down. It can happen when someone you love dies, you experience divorce, your kids move out, you get fired or laid off, an investment tanks, your business goes belly up, you are in financial trouble, and when the world pushes you behind closed doors.

Battling Depression Quote:

“I have depression. But I prefer to say, ‘I battle’ depression instead of ‘I suffer’ with it. Because depression hits, but I hit back. Battle on.” — Anonymous

Different types of Depression

Not all depressions are the same and it is important to understand how depressed you are before you agree to medications. If someone you know is depressed, then understanding the type of depression they have will enable you to either accept the battle they are waging for the rest of their lives, or give you an idea about how you can help them get past this dark time in their lives.

Clinical depression is the type where medical intervention is needed. The following are different types of clinical depression:

Hope is a 4 Letter Word

A writer manipulates the hopes of her characters to generate hopes in her readers. The best stories are the ones where the reader has a vested interested in seeing where the story goes because he hopes it will end the way he wants it to.

Hope is a Valuable.

Thousands of people buy lottery tickets hoping they will win the jackpot. They aren't buying an item or even the jackpot. What they are buying is hope and the chance to dream of a different life for a few days. Hope is a valuable commodity corporations and con artists use to get people to part with their money. A promise that satisfaction will visit soon.

Hope is Never Alone.

Personally, I don't like hope because it comes with two distinct brothers; satisfaction and disappointment. Disappointment being the extroverted in your face brother and satisfaction being the brother who lives on the other side of the country and who might visit on holidays, if you're lucky.

Hope is a Daily Visitor.

Disappointment is the staple in my love life. The pain of loneliness and rejection outweighs the joy of hope. Uhm, this part of the story isn't very interesting, so let's move on before I start hoping that I'll find Mr. Right and before you say something like, hang in there.

As a parent I have hopes and dreams for my children. The hopes for my son were dashed when he became a teenager. The good news is that his journey gave me the character Jack for my novel, THIRTEEN. I'm still holding out hope that my daughter will conform to my hopes and dreams. - Yeah I know don't hold my breath.

We hope for love, wealth, success, happiness, and fulfillment of dreams every day. Even though we know that we will be visited by disappointment more often than satisfaction. We can't help it, hope is too strong to ignore.

Can I just Stop Hoping?

Hope is a four letter word that brings more ...

Hope Do We Need It?

We are born with hope. It drives us. Without hope, we would not learn to walk or talk. It is our innate need to Hope which ensures we become better, do better, and strive for better. Over the years, Hope and I have a rocky relationship and I've kicked her to the curb on more than one occasion. Recently, I was faced with the question of whether to Hope or not, so I decided to take a closer look at what Hope is and my relationship with it.

Hope and I used to be very close.

I embraced it and believed, without a doubt, it would always come through for me. I had little reason to believe otherwise because I was the type of person who didn’t need to make contingency plans, everything worked out the way I wanted. I had complete confidence in my future and myself, even if those around me doubted my ability, I did not. So, when the carpet was ripped out from under me and I had my first set back, I was not prepared for the fallout.

In 2006, I tried to buy a business and failed. In the end, I lost money, my confidence, myvoice, and my power. After the financial loss, My husband took control of our finances, my future, and my choices. There are plenty of reasons why I allowed him to hammer nails into my entrepreneurial spirit and take away my voice, my dreams, and my desire for better, but they are for a different story.

After this event, I no longer had any power. What I wanted no longer mattered. I had no control over my life. I no longer cared about anything. I gave up and moved in with hopelessness. Seven years later, my husband demanded a divorce and I entertained inviting Hope back into my life by finding love. But, all I found in the dating pool was rejection and more failure. So, I kicked Hope to the curb once more and wallowed in my hopelessness.

Luckily, Hope is embedded in our DNA and it never really goes away. It can be embraced with the smallest glimmer of light in the distance. As I rebuilt my life after divorce, Hope was there showing me what is possible, and at times, I believed in the possible again.

Hope is the Answer

Last week, as I listened to entrepreneur, Cameron Chell, talk about how to overcome self doubt to accomplish the impossible, I had a visceral reaction to his solution, which was disappointing. You see, I was looking forward to discovering how this man, who does impossible things, can even have self doubt, let alone how he manages it. So, there I was, leaning in, engrossed in what he was saying, when he dropped the bomb - his solution to managing self doubt is - Hope. It felt like I’d hit a wall because there was no way I trusted hope enough to help get me through anything, let alone self doubt. In response, I shared with the group how when I invited Hope into my life, her sister disappointment showed up instead.

Then he shined a light on my problem with Hope - I allowed expectation to crash the party.

Expectation is believing an exact result will occur and there is no room for any other option. It’s black and white. When it doesn’t work out, there is no where else to go. When I thought back on the times in my life when I kicked hope to the curb, I discovered expectation was to blame, not Hope. I had expected the bank would give me the loan to buy the business. I had no doubt it would happen. I believed 100% in myself, my future, and couldn’t wait to get started. I expected everything to go right and was...

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