- You have a story that says you aren’t capable of getting up on stage and delivering a speech that moves people.
- You tell yourself you aren’t ready to offer your services at rates that will sustain your business.
- You believe that you can’t handle all that it takes to have a full and lucrative career and care for your family or your health.
- You can’t imagine ever figuring out how to fit exercise into your life given the overwhelming list of things you really must do to be successful in your work and family life.
Stories are powerful engines. They drive behavior. They energize and they deflate us. This is why, if we want to make a real difference in the world and feel peaceful inside while we do it, we MUST shine a light on the stories that are driving our lives.
Turns out, it’s really quite simple:
- Shine a light on the stories that drive our behavior
- Look at how those stories are serving our vision for our life (or not)
- Actively question those stories – play with them, reframe them, hold them lightly, try-on their opposites – and allow the most peaceful and powerful stories to lead
No, I didn’t say “easy.”
The truth is, though, we really do get to decide what stories we buy into.
We decide which ones we play over and over in our mind. We also decide which ones we want to release – both in our minds’ movie-playing experience – and in our day to day action choices. (In the case of alcohol, I had to both begin a story that said I could live without alcohol and I had to create a daily action story that included tea and quiet-time as my end-of-day treat.)
I’m not going to pretend that this stuff is easy. While it is simple in process, our stories become habitual movies in our brain. We’ve got whole deep neural pathways built to keep them in motion. We need support and reminding sometimes to help us build those new pathways for the more-empowering stories in our brain.
Here is what I know for sure, after almost three years of increased peace and freedom from changing just one of my stories: It’s so worth it. Ridiculously, unbelievably awesomely worth it.
My whole life really did change when I changed that story about alcohol – and then took daily action on a new story.
If you are ready to release the stories that are blocking you from getting out there powerfully as a speaker and thought leader, your stories beliefs are the most powerful place to start.
In future posts, I’ll share with you many of my favorite tools for revealing and transforming our beliefs and stories. Stay tuned!