It's 2 a.m. and you're still awake. You have so many thoughts loudly racing through your head, you wonder if the people next door can hear them. But nope. It's just you. How do you sleep? How do you quiet your thoughts? With a bedtime story.
Tell yourself a story of hope, but as a bedtime story. Complete with a happy ending, of course. For example:
"once upon a time there was a girl named Erica. She was a pretty good person, most of the time. And Erica had a dream. Erica didn't need to be the next Oprah or Marie or Danielle or anyone like that. What Erica wanted, more than anything, was to be what Oprah or Marie or Danielle read. Or better yet, what the next Oprah or Marie or Danielle read. She really wanted to do that. But Erica had a problem...how to walk up to people she didn't know and say, "hi, my name is Erica". She had a real problem doing that. Erica said to herself, "why would anyone want to talk to me? They don't even know me. They'll think I'm different and strange" Erica told herself that for a long, long time. But one day, Erica decided she had had enough of talking to herself like that. She laid in bed one night and said, "Erica, you are going to say 'hi' and 'how are you' and 'my name is Erica' and you are going to be fine, because the world will not end if someone doesn't want to talk to you." So the next morning, Erica got out of bed, and instead of saying "I can't" she said "I can't wait" and that was the beginning of a different Erica. Which is funny, because it wasn't so much that she was different...it was just that she stopped telling herself that she was different and strange and started telling herself she wasn't strange because she was different. And bravery happened. The end, and the beginning."
Try it out for yourself:
Once upon a time there was a boy/girl named ____________________________.
____________________________ was a pretty good person, but _______________
had a problem. __________________ problem was _____________________. She/he
wanted ___________________________. But didn't know how to do it. One night
__________________ lay in bed and said _____________________________.
The next morning ____________________ got out of bed and said ________________
instead of _____________________. And ________________________ happened.
The end, and the beginning.
Try it out. I bet it works.