The Power of Storybooks

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I love storybooks.

‘What? Are you for real? No way!’ I hear you say, a child loves storybooks, not a grown woman in her 50s… this one does, and here’s why.

As children, many of us adored books. We loved being tucked up in bed listening to our favourite storybook. Perhaps you see this with your own children. They know the story inside-out, and yet they keep asking for the same one again and again. You see their little eyes light up in glee and the joy it brings them. Eventually, they fall asleep in the warm glow from a good story with a happy ending.

We also have a child within us, and that child still loves a ‘feel good’ story. It adores a story that ends in a positive way — the downtrodden underdog wins through and becomes a hero; the good fairy beats the evil witch; and a kind-hearted soul saves the poor injured creature from a fate worse than death.

The fundamental outcome is that ‘good’ vanquishes the ‘bad’; the story many of us wish to buy into. We believe, that even though we don’t feel like a hero today in the throes of our ordinary mundane lives, we will, when the Universe conspires, don our superhero cape and stand up for what is right and good. The world loves a hero, the world will love us.

Think about it — we, as human beings, love success stories. It is part of our DNA. It is the yearning of our unconscious mind. It is our desire to see ‘good’ become victorious, at the end of the day. We connect with the ‘hero’s journey’, and this is the plot structure used in many of great fiction novels of all time, to the latest blockbuster movies on our screens.

Studying NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) a few years ago, I learned about the power of the unconscious mind in many aspects of our lives. I also learned that it is the ‘control system’ for our fears, our thoughts, our emotions and our behaviours. But the good news is that our unconscious mind may be re-programmed, facilitating change. And one unexpected but powerful tool to aid this transformation is a STORY.

Like our inner child, our unconscious mind loves to listen to a tale. It will tune in and pays attention, enthralled, drinking in the adventure, the challenges and the final win — just like the child listening to the bedtime story.

Perhaps this is a key reason why hypnosis often proves to be a successful modality to shift behaviour. Hypnosis allows the client to enter a relaxed state (by the way the client is always in control). They allow their mind and body to relax, opening the gateway for the therapist to suggest the positive message to the unconscious mind. A seed is planted in the guise of a story, and the unconscious mind takes it in. Then with the right nurturing, like any seed, it will take root and begin to grow. With continued care, it will grow stronger, and the desired change will take effect. As long as the message within the story is consistent, and the unconscious mind is kept interested, the change will occur.

Stories are so important.

We tell ourselves stories about ourselves and who we are most, if not all, of the time. Now, most of us, particularly women, are good at putting ourselves down. We can so quickly identify ourselves as not good enough, not slim enough, not pretty enough. Guess what? Behind the scenes, your unconscious mind is taking this on board.

Isn’t it time to change your story?

Are you aware that some of the stories you tell yourself are disempowering?

Stop! Change your mind talk, as unfortunately your unconscious mind is listening and it is keeping you small and unable to reach your potential.

Perhaps it is time to make changes. Perhaps it is time to change your stories and change your life for the better.

A tip from me: ‘I choose to read stories and books that resonant with me and have the positive outcome I am seeking. They may be non-fiction or fiction. It really doesn’t matter, as long as I, and my unconscious mind, are engaged and the underlying message matches the shift I wish to effect.

Books are stories, and the right stories are inspirational, motivational and encouraging.

They share a message of hope, they inspire courage; they build dreams — and may create amazing people and great leaders along the way. (Some leadership books written in the early 1900s are still influential and positive game-changers today because their underlying story still has validity even in today’s modern world.)

Now you know why storybooks are so crucial in my life?

Are you ready to dive in and use the power of storybooks to change your mind stories?