“Why Can’t I Lose Weight?” The Story You Tell Yourself is More Powerful Than Reality
The story you tell yourself, about why your life and body are the way they are, is more powerful than reality itself.
A few weeks back, I met this girl that always described herself as unlucky. She said that every time she fell in love with a guy, she kept getting screwed over in some way. And at work, she always got passed up on promotions, that she could never lose weight, or shake her health problems, and that her life was one non-stop mess after another.
She believed people could not change. As a result, what do you think her life looked like, from these inner beliefs? Like garbage. She was a victim, in every sense of the word.
She believed that every guy she liked would end up cheating on her (many did).
She believed that it was impossible for her to get ahead in business and her career (it was).
She couldn’t shake the 20-30 pounds she had gained, and nothing had seemed to work (it didn’t).
And her life seemed to be one mess up after another, where nothing went right for her (not much did).
But the biggest thing of all, was that she believed that none of these things could change (so they didn’t).
She was locked in her own story – a narrative she told herself, which eventually, became more real than reality itself.
The Tale of Two Twins of an Alcoholic Father
There’s a famous story I heard in an Earl Nightingale audiobook, about two young boys who grow up in a home with an alcoholic father.
The boys are beaten, abused, neglected, and traumatized for their entire childhoods. Eventually, they grow up, move away from home, and are no longer at the mercy of their father.
Ten years later, the boys are in two very different positions. One boy is homeless, living on the streets, and is a drug addict.
The other boy is happy, healthy, and is very financially successful, doing work he loves and cares about. He has a happy family.
A news reporter catches wind of these interesting differences, and decides to interview the two boys.
First, she goes to the homeless boy and asks:
“Why did you end up here?”
He snorts back, “How could you NOT end up here, with a father like that?”
Then, she interviews the happy and successful son, and asks the same questions.
“Why did you end up here?”
This boy replies,
“How could you NOT end up here, with a father like that?”
The story we tell ourselves about why we are, where we are, is stronger than reality.
One boy believed his father was a curse, the other, a blessing.
Whether or not their father was an objective curse or blessing didn’t matter – the story influenced the young mens’ lives.
It affects our life more than “facts” or “truth.”
It impacts the direction and trajectory of our life more than anything.
And it ultimately warps our sense of what’s real, and what isn’t.
What story are you telling yourself about why you are where you are? What would it take to change that?