The stories you tell yourself about yourself have the ultimate impact on the way your life unfolds.
The movie Something’s Gotta Give illustrates this so beautifully.
Harry (Jack Nicholson) is a perennial bachelor who only dates women under thirty. Erica (Diane Keaton) is a successful, divorced playwright – and way over Harry’s thirty year old limit. Harry and his latest fling, who happens to be Erica’s daughter, go off to Erica’s beach house for a romantic weekend. At the beach house Harry experiences severe chest pains and Erica reluctantly agrees to nurse him back to health.
Naturally (after all this is a rom-com), Harry and Erica fall in love.
Once Harry recovers he returns to his previous bachelor life. Only now he keeps thinking of Erica. They start chatting over the Internet.
This is where you see the huge power of Harry’s story which is that he is a bachelor who has brief relationships with young, gorgeous women.
Almost without thinking, Harry types the words “I miss you” onto his screen. He about to hit send, when he hesitates.
You get a sense of his inner turmoil – I don’t do this. This is not me. I don’t DO relationships. Commitment is not my game.
The story wins….
Slowly he backspaces until the message is deleted. The relationship fades away.
Harry’s story prevented him from living authentically, from following his true feelings and from experiencing love and contentment in a relationship that he craved.
What about you?
When you say/ think things like “I’m the kind of person who …..” Or ” That’s not me – I’m more like …. ” then ask yourself the following:
- How authentic is that?
- What are you preventing in your life by defining yourself that way?
- What possibilities exist if you choose to let go of your story?
Spend time reflecting on how your story impacts your life.
So what happened to Harry and Erica?
You’ve probably seen the movie – it’s almost a classic! So you know the answer.
If not …. Settle on the couch with some popcorn and a blanket …. And enjoy.
Change your thoughts
and you change your world.
Norman Vincent Peale