“Don’t allow your situation to become your world.” – Bishop T.D. Jakes from Oprah’s Life Class
We all have a story. Sometimes it explains why we can’t do something and other times our story propels us forward.
I’ve heard cases where people have the same story — such as lack of money, resources, or knowledge — and one person eventually starts a successful business while the other is out of work and depressed. One story can lead to completely opposite interpretations and outcomes.
When you tell your story, you must…
1. Be honest about your story and stick to the facts.
Nothing more nor less!
2. Create the story that empowers you to move forward.
Never lower your standards!
3. Live your truth.
“Does your story empower you or dis-empower you?” – Tony Robbins
We all have stories in different areas of our life. The facts are always available. The only thing that changes is how we interpret them and how we decide to embellish them.
Let’s look at three situations in different areas of your life…
Facts: You have two kids, time is in limited supply, and you want to spend time with your kids.
Your Story: You can’t get in shape because you have kids and don’t have time.
Truth: You must prioritize exercising because you want to stay healthy and be around to enjoy your children for many years.
Facts: Your career is unfulfilling and you would like to be happy in your job.
Your Story: You can’t leave your job which is un-fulfilling because you will never find another job and you have no other skills.
Truth: You need to move outside your comfort zone to learn new skills and find a job that makes your happy and allows you to share your strengths.
Facts: You grew up in a dysfunctional home.
Your Story: You can’t have a good relationship because you grew up in a dysfunctional home.
Truth: Surrounding yourself with stable people and creating a positive environment are important elements to have in your life because you did not have either when you were growing up.
Often, my clients have different stories for different areas of their lives. For example, one amazing and successful client has a can-do mindset in business and athletics. In his career, he believes he can close any deal and handle the most difficult clients. In the area of healthy living/athletics, he has the courage to go after his goals and compete in various triathlon competitions with no limits. However, in his relationships, he has the story that he’s had really bad luck and is not cut out for intimate relationships. Although relationships are challenging for all of us, I challenge his story line.
The one thing I know for sure, as Oprah likes to say, is that sticking to the facts opens you up to a more powerful story and outcome. If you have had relationships or jobs that weren’t fulfilling, then say that. Your story is not permanent. Focus on what you want to bring into your life and why it’s important. Create the story that empowers you forward.
Often you have to challenge your conclusions and ask yourself if they are true. Does it really make sense that you can make anything in your career and healthy living a reality, yet relationships elude you? How much time do you spend on the areas you are successful in versus the ones you would like to have different results in? Your story must be the truth. This is the only way to create a top 1% path and share your best self.
Originally published April 2012