What Are The Stories You Tell Yourself Today That Hold you Back?

Last Update: Sep 25, 2022

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What is Your Subconscious Mind

Your subconscious is the part of your mind that you are not consciously aware of. It underlies all your actions you are taking. For instance, in this very moment, your conscious mind is reading this article, but underneath your unconscious mind is making value judgements about it. Depending on the stories you have yold yourself in the past, it is saying twaddle, or makes sense, or if you have had a severe brain injury it may be the story you are telling yourself is,

"TheCatherine is brilliant."

If you think that, then you have my sincerest sympathy.

Every action you have taken today has been governed by the stories you have told yourself since you were a child. Your subconscious self drives your actions. Nothing can change that until you examine the stories you tell yourself.

Why Do I need to Look at those Stories?

Well, the primary reason is the fact that they aren't your stories. Up until the age of seven, your mind, that is, the conscious mind and the unconscious mind, acts like a sponge. It absorbs everything without a filter.

It didn't have a filter because you had no experience to have created a contradictory belief. In other words, you had no real idea what you were seeing or hearing or, in fact, any information from your senses. Your subconscious was hypnotized because there was no contradictory information of any kind. You were a blank slate.

I hope you can now see a glimpse of why this information is a handicap as an adult. Every time you were called stupid, or an idiot, or you would never amount to anything, lazy, a dolt, slow or you just .......................carry on and fill in the blanks.

Every time you heard those stories, your unconscious mind filed them away in its endless storage cabinet.

Other information came in regarding your ethnicity, skin color, gender, and economic status. Believe me, at seven, you don't have an economic status, but your subconscious has already formed one that is still affecting you today.

I have been teaching Internet marketing for twenty years, and I always start with a mindset, your mindset. If you have been here a while and you can't get any real traction, it may be worthwhile examining your stories. Do you believe affiliate marketing works? Of course, you do. There are too many success stories here of people literally changing their lives. it doesn't mean you think you can do it. It may well be your subconscious holds the belief you are stupid, can't write, or are unacademic. You fill in the rest of the gaps.

You have old programs and patterning in your head which are in direct conflict with your desire to have economic freedom. Fortunately for you, it is perfectly possible to change those stories. I can guarantee every single member here who has been to Vegas, everyone that has created their own success, has changed the stories in their head. That, by the way, includes Kyle and Carson, although they are free to contradict me.

You are STILL programing your mind and creating new neural pathways, and your brain is not set in stone. Okay, you are no longer in a hypnotic state, but you can be in control of your thoughts. If you don't learn to control your mind, then other people will do it for you, as simple as that.

You are absorbing and reacting to the people around you. That is why you should limit your contact with negative people.

"You become like the five people you spend the most time with. Choose carefully." Jim Rohn

If you began today with the idea that you are going to research and write an article and you haven't done it, and it is too late in the day, then there are two distinct stories going on here.

Story Number 1

I can't understand keyword research so there is no point in starting


I never get an article ranked so there is no point in starting

Story Number 2

Drumroll please

You do not have a strong why. I am going to be harsh here, bear with me, please, it is necessary. If you don't have a strong why you will not succeed, full stop.

Business is tough, and it means making sacrifices. You have to give it everything in the early stages. Irrespective of whether or not your subconscious mind is sabotaging you. Being successful means changing your mindset and plowing through the tough times.

When I worked in a physical business, I was a chef, and for seven and a half months a year, I worked a seven-day week and seventeen-hour days. I sent a meal out approximately every ten seconds, that is, six meals a minute. That is 60 meals every ten minutes and 360 meals an hour during busy periods. There were only two of us cooking and four of us prepping, but we send out 1500 meals a day on average.

I was mentally and physically exhausted at the end of every day. Often I wanted to cry at 2.00 am because I hadn't had time to eat all day. I was tired, hot, and hungry, and my kitchen temperature was between 59 degrees C and 60 degrees C every day.

Why did I put myself through that every day, day in and day out? Well, I wanted to travel for the other four and a half months. For four and a half months, I could do anything I wanted, wherever I wanted.

I used that time to sail around the Pacific four times, North, South, East, and West. In other years I traveled around one country in South and South East Asia.

I had a really strong why and that allowed me to forge ahead and create the businesses I wanted. To do that, I had to change the stories I told myself and change the stories my husband told himself. In the seventies, no one believed that you could literally carve your life out of thin air. Least of all me, but I wanted to travel more than I wanted to do anything else. So that meant changing countries and creating a new life.

Okay, I made the huge mistake of assuming that I didn't have any limiting beliefs regarding the business. I came from two parents who were both entrepreneurs. I did believe that you could be responsible for your own destiny. I was well equipped to create a new life.

I did not at the time understand the importance of a vision board, but I did have a plastic picture of Sri Lanka on my fridge. I lost count of the times that picture saved me when I was exhausted. I just imagined myself walking along that beach at dawn to see the turtles come in or watch the elephants walking down the beach.

I surrounded myself with one successful person - my husband. I didn't have time for anything else. That meant I didn't have any negative influences. We had to bolster each other up when the going got tough. We had no choice when you have orders flooding into a kitchen; you can't waste time on the thought I can't do this. To make sure that never happened, I had only one rule. I was never to have more than 150 meals in front of me at any one time because I could panic if I did. There was a shoe box outside the kitchen that had the rest of the orders in.

If your mindset is not yet in the right space, spend fifteen minutes a day, daydreaming. Imagine;-

exotic holidays,

quality time with your family and what you are doing,

having sufficient money to pay your bills

an expensive car,

a beautiful home

Whatever it is you want money for

After you have seen yourself doing the things you want, then set yourself a question

How can I create this?

This is not woo woo. This is neuroscience, and your mind reacts to wondering

"I wonder how I can get the money to buy ...............................

Allow feelings of gratitude, love, joy, and peace to flow through you as if you were truly experiencing your vision. Allow your mind to be flooded with endorphins as though you have the experience. This allows you to bypass the limiting messages, as these images can be replayed later.

Your subconscious mind will absorb the messages as if they're real! This is the true beauty of visualization – the power to bypass limiting messages and focus on

pleasing images, all of which are being absorbed right into your subconscious to be replayed later.

I personally don't like affirmations, repeating things over and over. These things work for some people, but they have to be in the present tense.

"I am self employed and happy."

I can do this

I am immeasurably wealthy

etcetera etcera

The stories we tell ourselves influence the voice in our heads, and if the plots are consistently putting us down or they are demoralizing, that voice will certainly tell us we're not good enough, that we are imposters who will never get anywhere. These stories are super powerful, and they have a big grip on our realities.

First Steps to Self Realization

Catch yourself in the act.

The difficulty here is that we don't realize we are telling ourselves stories. The process is so automatic we just don't realize we are doing it. One of the ways I succeeded in getting over this barrier was curiosity. Every time I had a thought I kept asking myself

"what story am I telling myself here?

I still ask myself that question about 50 times a day, it has become an automatic response to my thoughts. This practice of asking what the story I'm telling myself is, makes me more mindful. It draws attention to what I'm actually thinking.

Analyze your stories.

Before you can change any stories you're telling yourself, you need to be aware of whether coming from. I clearly remember, as a teenager, telling my mother about my exam grades. I told her I had four "A's, two B's, and a C. Instead of telling me that most people exams only get three advanced level classes and I had seven, she actually said

"Shame about the C"

That was the final story of perfectionism. It started as a small child. I mean, as soon as I went to school at the age of four. If I did well, I was allowed to choose which chocolate I wanted.

I think it was only when I started to work online that I really became aware of the story I was telling myself.

"I had to be perfect."

I now realize that you just have to get things done.

Luckily I had a mentor that explained to me the concept of paralysis by analysis. Don't over think things just get things done.

"You don't have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great."

I needed to understand where that story was coming from before I could change the story I was telling myself. First of all, I asked myself whether that story was true. Did I need to be perfect? I realized that the stress attached to perfectionism was actually holding me back. When I learned Spanish while living in Spain, I didn't speak until my Spanish was correct. It took me far longer to learn the language than it should've done because I was concentrating on perfection, not practice.

Choose a Different, more appropriate story.

There is a flip side to every story you tell yourself. Find the flipside and hang onto it for dear life. Sometimes just one motivational quote is enough to negate those destructive memories. The hardest bit was analyzing those stories and being aware of them, and actually changing them is not as hard as you think. What is the big you, the adult you want to say to the six-year-old child?

Integrate your new stories. Once you've chosen your new stories, you start to tell yourself that story often. If you repeat your new stories at critical moments, they do become your default story.

I am not saying that this is a quick process. It takes lots of practice that can be done. Am I perfect? No, of course not. I am a human being with all frailties, and I am a work in progress. Sometimes the original story pops up in my head, but I can honestly smile and say, "I have a new story I can tell myself. The old one no longer serves me!

So, how do I construct a good self-story?

There are four elements to a good story.

A character you recognize,

a gut emotion,

a specific moment in time,

the Gory details, in all their splendor.

Make sure the new stories have all these elements. Think of how good you felt and how powerful these new stories made you feel. To override the old feelings of guilt and shame, and rejection, you need a really empowering emotion. Who made you feel that strong positive emotion, how did they do it, and what were the circumstances?

Get to know the new you - the empowered you. If you really understand who you are, you are more likely to know what you can achieve. It is easy to set realistic goals you will achieve.

Today when someone tells me I can't do something, I always reply,

"that is your perception. That is not my reality!"

It works for me.

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Recent Comments


Excellent, thanks for sharing.

Thank you

You´re welcome.

I started to think while reading your blog post here, “oh no, here is TheCatherine going into the psychology pep talk to us with the unconscious and subconscious mind about a story that we created for ourselves.” Whew, it is a good thing the topic you discussed in this post isn’t Freudian psychology.

This is an interesting read for me coming from a psychology and social work education background.

You might not be consciously aware that you wrote a Jungian psychological point of view. Carl Jung referred to the “collective unconscious,” and the “archetypes” images from our dreams, culture, literature, or art forms. I see these Jungian archetypes truly do apply to our story and how life changes our story when it comes to entrepreneurship. Everyone on WA is part of the collective unconscious, we are playing a vital role with these archetypes images.

Every one of us indeed has a story or a dream image of what we want out of life. Your dream was to travel, that was your mind’s image. You fulfilled it, travel you did, moved to many countries, you did, things you had to do to get there, you did.

I was 4 years old when I announced to my Deaf parents (they were the traditional Leave it to Beaver- American tv show from the ’50s and 60’s generation, the Dad worked out of the home, the Mom is the housewife and cared for the kids) that I wanted to be a nurse when I grow up. I did and went to nursing school after graduating from high school.

Sadly, I did not succeed. I was not held back on purpose or by my own doing. It was American society that did that. I faced horrible discrimination as a person with a hearing loss. I did have sign language interpreters in my class and for my nursing clinical training (after completing the program before the state board examination for Registered Nurses). I was not allowed to take certain classes because hearing is required. I could not do my clinical rotation in the operating room. I was forbidden.

I tried to fight it but they would not let me. The reason is that everyone had to gown up and wear surgical masks and a sign language interpreter was not allowed in the surgery room. Instead, they stuck me in OB/Gyn in Neo-Natal care. That was an interesting experience. They would not allow me to do my clinical training in the Emergency Room either, they finally placed me to work on the Geriatrics floor and then at a nursing home.

Since the elderly also have hearing loss, they thought it was a perfect place for me to work there. They would not let me take the board exams. I fought hard to get access. This was before the American Disabilities Act that passed in the 90s. Stuck working at a nursing home which I didn’t want for the rest of my life, I was tired of fighting for equal access just like a normal person who can hear.

I quit nursing. I went to Gallaudet University, the only liberal arts college for the Deaf and DeafBlind in the heart of Washington DC, close to the federal capital building. I resigned myself to being stuck in the Deaf culture world and will have a career working with Deaf people because the bigger world rejected us. I majored in psychology and social work. I worked for years in a group home with developmentally challenged Deaf and DeafBlind people.

My story is that my dream job got crushed and worked in a job that I hated for many years. I never had an opportunity to learn what entrepreneurship was all about. I became self-employed in sales, the mortgage and life insurance business on the side while working in a group home. I retired 9 years ago at age 50 due to my MS condition.

Everyone has a dream. It’s up to us to make our entrepreneurship our reality. Thanks for the psychology pep talk, it's helpful to change our perspective to create a better image of our lives for however long we have left on this planet, Earth.

Changing our perspective is super important because it is not so much what happens to us in life but how we deal with it. Had I been completely honest I would have admitted that my life took the turn it did because of something I perceived at the the time to be a crushing defeat by the system, i wanted to read law at oxford university, one of the top two universities in the UK. Both of those universities had their own entrance examination, which at the time meant I had to cram in the knowledge of Greek to the point where I could read Homer and Latin as well. I had less that six months to do this in, so I learned by rote, I just memorized it . Which I why nothing of that knowledge remains today. I crammed fro six months in all the subjects and passed the examination
Seven girls passed the entrance examination, and there were six available places for women, and that is a glass ceiling in itself for a campus with over a hundred law students . There was an interview to decide who was chosen and I became the rejected one. To be fair I became the Collective Jungian archetype THE VICTIM and to a lesser extent the self-saboteur for two years until I decided to change my perception and take responsibility. We always have that choice to take responsibility and change things. Even doing nothing but playing the victim is a choice in itself, and it is so so easy to do.

I understand te Collective consciousness and Jungian theory and I a re reading his work at the moment You can rest assured that a blog on the world according to Sigmund Freud wont be coming from me

Wow impressive with your studies. Thats true, the roles played in life is all about taking responsibility and change the perception and making choices. When the bad choices are made, we let that be a lesson not to repeat them and strive to improve. Easy to say that but hard to do. It takes determination to do this. Have a great productive week.

Making changes to anything takes a lot of guts and determination. Examining your shadows and throwing light on your shadows isn't for the faint hearted

Absolutely, true.

Luckily neither of us is faint of heart

Thanks, Catherine,

I suppose the biggest thing I tell myself that is holding me back is that the oil business will come back. It served me well for 30 years and I have been living off the fruits of those labours ever since.

My why is lacking.

I have had enough money to sustain myself for over 6 years now, but the supply is not infinite, so my why is growing every day.

Thank you for the post, it has clarified some things for me.


Alex I am glad it has. The oil business is history and who knows what other institutions will collapse in the near future

When saner minds prevail the oil industry will rebound, Alex! Fossil Fuels are what RELIABLY power all of the grids in the world! When Europe Freezes this year, and our prices SKYROCKET in the US, all of the oppressed will realize their mistakes. The Elites won't suffer. They have all the money, and will still be flying their Fossil fueled jets around with aplomb!

We live in interesting, but not so exciting, times, my friend!


We do indeed live in interesting times

Sadly, yes we do, Catherine! Something has to change and FAST!


While it is true that the world is not ready to power itself with renewables, it no longer wants the oil industry. You are correct, fossil fuels do power the energy grids of the world.

It will remain for a while yet until battery technology allows renewables to store enough to take over. Nobody sees that happening for a while yet.

Sadly, while I enjoyed the oil business and the traveling that it allowed me to do, I do not think I will have much of a role in that industry anymore. I had always hoped to get some more travel within the oil industry. It was always great going to new countries on someone else's dime.
Those times are gone, even people I know who are still working inside the industry say it is a shell of what it once was.

Ah well, moving on, nothing to see here.


Perhaps you are right, Alex! Nevertheless, this will not occur in our lifetime, my friend!


I would agree.

Thanks, Jeff.


You're very welcome, Alex!


You at least benefitted from the goods times.

I did, and very well actually. I do not regret any of it. When I did travel for work, I made sure to take extra time and see the country I was in.

It was a great time.


Awesome Alex. I wish you every success here

Thank you

Wow, Catherine! Some powerful words here, my friend! I was never much of a travel bug, ever. I can visit anywhere I want to go on YouTube, and be ready to go to bed without expense, travel delays or anything else. Even when I was young, I didn't like travel, it was a hassle! When I settle someplace, I settle!

I know many like to travel, and that is perfectly fine. This is just me! Thank you for this enlightening post, though, it might help me to see things a bit differently!


No reason why you should see your world differently, Jeff, there is a place for all of us

Thank you for that, Catherine! I like to travel vicariously on the backs of those who have done it!


I am delighted about that it leaves more space for me to explore in peace. Nothing wrong with being a stay at home bird

Thanks, Catherine! I agree!


TheCatherine, I am going to say something and I don't want you to be offended but.
I was mentally, emotionally, and verbally abuse my entire life.

Some of the things mention in your article is what I had live with until my husband came into my life. I was shown what a loving family is all about. And my family was not like that at all.

I was also in motor vehicle accident in January now I have traumatic brain injury that is not to be taken lightly. Because of that injury I don't remember many things, and yes sometimes I do repeat myself.

Oh by the way I am also psychology major and yes I deal with the mind. And many people do believe what they are told because no one ever changed the story for them not even themselves because they don't know how to.

There are things that need to be researched and if you don't have the right information and you are made to believe what you are told then you are going to believe that information. If you don't receive the correct information you will always have the wrong information.

So please don't make light of something like this because it is something that you might not have enough of information on.

And in situation yes I believe what I was told because no one ever gave me anything different until my husband came into my life. And that was twenty years ago.


At what point was I making light of being abused. I am not offended at all just confused. It was partly because I have a psychology degree I wrote the post and partly because I have battled with the same issues myself. I am sorry if you think anything I wrote was offensive.

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