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7 Prompts to Shift Your Story Right Now

The stories our brains tell about us by default are rarely good. Luckily, we can change this.


The kind of brainy, anxious people who wind up on my website are whizzes at tracking everything they didn’t manage to accomplish, failed to do perfectly or should have already done.


And as I wrote recently, the stories we tell ourselves about our talents and achievements wind up becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. And that means this story of not-quite-good-enough isn’t helping us improve, despite what tend to believe. It’s actually holding us back.

I know you may be reading thinking, But Jane, MY negative story is all true. I’ve got this giant pile of receipts for all my fails! (That would be that hyper-self-critical part I mentioned.) And that’s where it can be helpful to try some different prompts than the ones your brain usually offers.

Because here’s the thing: your brain only shows you one pile of receipts. It keeps the other pile hidden in a folder called ‘Positive Evidence Re: Use of Talents’. All we need to do is to tell it to remind our brains to actually fucking look in there for once.

To make it easier for you to access this folder, I’m going to divide the prompts below into those for hiders (people who feel like they aren’t really doing their stuff) and for chasers (people who are doing it, pretty much, and it still sucks), but often these get pretty intertwined, so you may find both helpful.

NOTE: If your brain baulks at these, it just means your positive evidence file is buried a bit. Don’t worry! I promise, the file is there or you wouldn’t even be on this list. You can start to access it by beginning each prompt this way: I’m becoming a person who believes I have positive evidence about my talents. As that person, I would answer… And then complete the prompt. It’s OK if the prompt-completion part feels like a stretch. Just focus on the becoming a person who.. part and you’ll still get traction.

You don’t have to respond to all of these. Just pick the ones that feel more do-able and powerful for you.

Hiders prompts

  1. I know I have a talent I’m not yet using (or that I’m meant to use, if that language speaks to you) because…

  2. Proof I’ve never given up on doing this is… (note: reading this email counts!)

  3. Times I’ve used these skills however big or small include…

  4. Good things other people say about me/my work (that obviously I immediately discount!) that I suggest I can do this are...

  5. When I imagine overcoming obstacles to use these skills I feel…

  6. Proof that I can overcome obstacles includes…

  7. Something I could do in the next five minutes to make progress is…

Chasers prompts

  1. Things I love about my particular way of doing this work include…

  2. Past success I can build on includes…

  3. Proof that I know how to show up when it’s hard includes…

  4. Good things other people say about me/my work (that obviously I immediately discount!) that I could choose to believe are…

  5. When I imagine feeling totally certain and clear in using my talents I feel…

  6. Ways I could bring the feelings in the prompt above into my day include…

  7. Something I could do in the next five minutes to make progress is…

Just pick your prompts, write them down and finish them. Re-read them.

Even doing this ONCE will raise the volume on the part of your brain that is already primed for a better story. You'll start to build easier access to the positive receipts file. Do this every day for a week, and you’ll begin to see changes that will bring the story to life.


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