Story Off

Stories are not always a good thing…. When they’re internal and negative they can be the very thing that holds us back. Sometimes listening to our inner stories can be positive but often is not!


Earlier this year Neal Danaher the legendary AFL footballer suffering from MND gave an emotional speech to the Melbourne Football club before they ran out to play Collingwood in the Queen’s Birthday Derby at the MCG. The Melbourne team listened intently and were clearly moved by the message Danaher delivered. He spoke about his grandson Cooper and his wishes for him; he explained that his message for Cooper is that, life is good but it is not always fair. He made the point that sooner or later we’re all going to fall upon challenging times. His message to Cooper was to find opportunity in the challenges he will face. He said the key to finding opportunity was to take full responsibility for all our circumstances rather than blame the outside world when things get tough.


As I was reflecting on  the best way to define “Story Off” it occurred to me that Neal had summed it up quite well.


If there was anyone who has an excuse to generate a negative stories it would be Neal but he has managed to turn off a potentially very negative story, and replaced it with a new narrative of I am responsible for everything in my life. To some that may seem like an act or straight out delusions but, is it?


Story Off is an awareness of how our inner stories can hold us back…It is fact a focus on the awareness rather than the story.


1.      Blaming is made up of stories which suit us.

2.      When we stop our blaming and other negative stories, we own our circumstances

3.      When we own our circumstances we experience/feel the “reality”

4.      Reality may not always be comfortable but it’s always the best

5.      “Story Off’ reminds us that our negative stories do not define us

6.      This allows us to break out of our repetitive and negative story loops

7.      When we’re free of blame we can take action with proper perspective and balance.

8.      Knowing we can turn our Stories Off is empowering and makes us a better in everything we do.


Are you able to turn your stories off at will ( the stories that go round and round in your head?) – how does that feel? Is there ever any respite , does is always seem it’s always busy and stressful?


There is a stillness that precedes all stories. All stories are built on silence / stillness. When our inner stories disappear there is nothing but pure nothingness, all stress disappears and we can see things as they are but all this takes a little getting used to, it’s an organic process.


If learning to identify and tell your stories is important then learning how to turn them off is vital for your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing.


Paradoxically being able to turn our stories off from time to makes us better at everything we do including the stories we tell others to influence and connect.


When we can turn our stories off or at least tone them down we can be more present, this makes us more powerful communicators both as listeners and speakers.

Tim Wise