Leave them all behind

Rosanna Machado | March 17, 2021


I have often spoken to coaching clients about letting go of old, unhealthy narratives and decided this week it was time to practice what I preach. I write this in my 40s, still hanging on to sporting hang-ups from school which I know no longer serve me, so I explored this in an NLP session with Miranda Ellis.

In the past 10 years, I have taken up more sport, pushed myself to take on challenges, often been in my discomfort zone and yet still in the back of my mind, I enter those situations with a nagging voice assuming that I will be rubbish, that I will be the slowest in my swimming lane, that I will let my team members down and whilst this is rarely the case, this is always my mindset going into these situations.

What I discovered this week, was my memories of not being able to do a forward roll, or not being picked for the team were all associated with an unsupportive environment, one where I felt mocked or made to feel inadequate. I had always said I felt fear but when I dug down it was about not feeling good enough.

My more recent sporting memories where I have thrived have invariably been in hugely supportive environments where I have been encouraged to go for it and not made to feel like a failure or mocked before I event started.

Leaving those old narratives behind and embracing who you are today is such an exhilarating thing to do but in order to do it, you do need to be in the right frame of mind and to put yourself in the right environment. And we can support other people in this journey too. So have a think about:

  • Which part of your story would you like to change?
  • What’s important to you and what are your values?
  • It is a safe environment?
  • Am I surrounding myself with supporters?
  • Do I understand what my emotions are really telling me?
  • Am I being kind to myself?
  • What can I do to turn down those unhelpful memories in my mind?

Dan McAdams, a psychology professor says you have to “believe your story – but also embrace how it changes over time, according to what you need it to do. Try out new stories about yourself, and keep editing them, as much as you would your résumé.”