You Can Rewrite Your Story and Change Your Reality

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "You Are A Badass" by Jen Sincero. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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Do you feel like you’re not living the life you want? Do you want to rewrite your story and create a reality that you desire?

What you choose to focus on becomes your reality. If you stop focusing on negative, self-limiting stories that frame your reality, you’d realize that you can rewrite your story.

Keep reading for tips on how you can rewrite you story.

Get Over Your Own Ego: Rewrite Your Story

Sometimes we can get so deeply wrapped up in the stories we’ve told ourselves that we can’t see the endless possibilities and opportunities that surround us. We’re trapped by stories like, “I’ll never make enough money,” “I’m lazy,” “All the good men are taken.” 

But the truth is, what you choose to focus on becomes your reality. If you stop focusing on these negative, self-limiting stories that frame your reality, you’d realize that you can rewrite your story and create any reality you want.

To illustrate the infinite possibilities around us that we don’t see, try this exercise: Look around your room and take a minute to count all the red things you see. Then stop, look down, and try to think of everything yellow around you. There’s probably a lot — but you didn’t see it because you were looking for red.

Leave Your Old Self Behind

We often hide behind our negative stories, using them as excuses to not reach for our dreams. When You Are a Badass author Jen Sincero finds herself wrapped up in her own excuses and feeling sorry for herself, she thinks of Ray Charles. Broke, blind, orphaned and discriminated against, he went on to become one of the most influential and successful American musicians ever. This makes her own excuses feel pitiful.

All of our excuses and missteps did have value. They allowed us to grow and learn. But it’s time to graduate and move on to a better reality. Instead of hiding behind our excuses, we need to make the choice to let go of them and manifest the reality we want. Life is an illusion created by your perception, and we can change it.

It’s time to let go of the current story and rewrite your story to one that fits who you truly are. 

How to Rewrite Your Story

To start shifting your current perspective and rewire a new story for yourself, start with the following strategies:

1. Know What Your Self-Sabotaging Stories Are

Before you can let go of your stories, you have to understand what they are. What do you hear yourself saying over and over? To figure out the lies you’ve been telling yourself, think about how you’d finish these phrases: I always — , I never –, I can’t –, I should –, I suck at –, I wish –, I don’t have –, I’m trying to —

Another way to figure out your stories is to look at areas of life where you’re lacking. For example, if you’re overweight, your story could be, “I have no discipline.”

2. Understand What You’re Gaining From Your Self-Sabotaging Stories

If you’re perpetuating some negative story about yourself, you’re getting something out of it. When you identity the false benefits you’re reaping from holding onto your stories, you can start letting them go and replace them with new, empowered stories that serve you as an adult.

For example, if your story is that you suck at relationships, the benefit may be that you don’t have to commit or risk getting hurt; you don’t have to compromise or share.

3. Lose the Self-Defeating, Childhood Stories and Replace Them With New, Powerful Stories

You get to rewrite your story as you continue to grow. Try this exercise: Write down, stream of consciousness style, what you’re getting from these old, limiting beliefs, and really feel them. For example, if your story is “there’s no good men left and I’ll be single forever,” you’d write something like, “By saying this, I don’t have to take responsibility for why I’m not meeting anyone. I get to be a victim.” 

After you’ve felt the feelings you’ve gotten from your false rewards, replace them with the feelings of joy and power that being your true self will bring you. You then can release these stories and replace each with a new truth. For example, “By saying there aren’t any good men out there I don’t have to take responsibility for why I’m not meeting any,” becomes, “The world is full of awesome men and I am fully capable of finding a good one.”

You’ll see that these false rewards are simply scared parts of you acting out, like a frightened child. See yourself as the adult taking the wheel of a Ferrari away from the child version of yourself who’s been driving it all along.

4. Take Action

Understand you can have what you want, and truly believe it. Pretending won’t work. You can’t go on a date and say you have a great attitude and secretly just know it’s going to be hideous.

5. Change Your Routine

Go a different route, change up the restaurant, talk to strangers — do things that pull you out of your routine. This will open your eyes to all the amazing realities that were there all along.

6. Guard Against Spiraling

Sometimes we can be derailed when something sad happens, spiraling downward and piling on additional reasons to be down. For example, your dog dies, and then you realize you’re now dogless and single and have many other problems, creating an ever-expanding pity party. If something negative happens, feel it, learn from it, but then let it go and focus on your life.

You Can Rewrite Your Story and Change Your Reality

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Here's what you'll find in our full You Are A Badass summary:

  • How to go from wanting to change your life to deciding to do it
  • How to stop your self-sabotaging thoughts
  • How to tap into Source Energy for mental and spiritual strength

Hannah Aster

Hannah graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English and double minors in Professional Writing and Creative Writing. She grew up reading books like Harry Potter and His Dark Materials and has always carried a passion for fiction. However, Hannah transitioned to non-fiction writing when she started her travel website in 2018 and now enjoys sharing travel guides and trying to inspire others to see the world.

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