By Claire Robertson, Ollie Coach
Just imagine your mind as a library
where every book tells the story of you.
And every experience you’ve ever had
is stacked on the shelves in there too.
From making a friend to your first taste of beer,
that day you got lost – the anxiety and fear.
Can you see the librarian working away?
Keeping good order, each memory is saved.
More memories are added as you grow older,
in boxes and cabinets, in files and in folders.
The library expands, the shelves grow longer
as chapters are revisited, the memories get stronger.
And the happiest books we love to read again
but others we avoid; the memories bring pain:
Failing the test, coming last in the race,
not picked for the team, got the ‘wrong’ face.
Those are the books with the titles that harm:
“You’re not good enough. You’ll never go far.
Your face isn’t pretty. Your clothes aren’t cool.
You’re just not clever. You were rubbish at school.”
But remember those books are just stories we were told.
Titles we wrote when we weren’t very old.
And now that we’ve grown we can go back,
turn a fresh page and take a new tack.
Turn “I’m not clever” into “Look what I’ve done,
I’m the firm’s CEO and one hell of a mum”
Because the chapter called “Give up, you’re not a go-getter”
was filed when you were ten: now you’re older you know better.
And books we don’t like that are way out of date
can go in the bin – they don’t have to stay.
There is always room to write new stories,
tales of our failings replaced with our glories.
And you are the author – this is your commission:
the hero’s tale is just waiting to be written.
Claire Robertson, Ollie Coach
Claire Robertson is an Ollie Coach and NLP practitioner with a degree in psychology. She runs a private practice in the West Midlands, in the heart of Shropshire, working with children, young people and adults. Claire is also a university lecturer specialising in business, marketing and supporting students, has two children, and enjoys reading, crafts and walking.
To get in contact with Claire, email Claire.email@example.com