There may be many reasons why you are not experiencing the success that you wish you had and if you don’t know what they are – here’s a clue.
What is your story? No matter what it is that we do in life, we create a story about it with ourselves as the main protagonists and we carry our story around with us – even if it doesn’t serve us. “I can’t succeed because”…or…“this happened and so….”
These stories might seem like the truth, even factual, but it is what it is – a story, which you believe and live by. One of the best ways to understand this is to consider the survivors of the Hudson River plane crash for example. Each survivor was part of the same experience and yet each person framed (and internalized) the event in a very different way – they all have different stories.
There are those who were traumatized and to this day refuse to fly again, and those who saw the crash as a second chance to life and refused to be limited by the experience. Each survivor’s future actions were shaped by their stories of the experience just as your actions are influenced by every singly story that you tell yourself.
Stories do not necessarily reflect facts
The thing about stories is that they tend to be subjective, you might not like to hear that, but it’s the harsh truth and so taking them for granted as unchangeable truths about ourselves is incredibly limiting and it will affect your success.
Your story is not the ultimate truth, you are focusing on your symptoms of the story, rather than on the event itself. Take, for example, a person who has had a bad experience pitching their business idea to seemingly uninterested potential investors. Two of the possible stories that this person might tell themselves are:
- Story A: The investors weren’t interested because my business idea is horrible and no one will ever want to invest in it.
Story B: Perhaps the investors weren’t interested because I didn’t pitch the idea well enough, or perhaps they just weren’t the right investors.
Same experience, two different stories. In both cases, the person is likely to feel disappointed and demotivated; these are the stories symptoms. But depending on which story that person wants to believe – they will take actions aligned with it.
Take a moment and think about the stories you tell people; the habitual stories that give you a ‘way out’ of something. What would it feel like if you decided to rewrite the story to something more empowering?
It is often necessary to change a story in order to be set free from it, instead of trying to change the symptoms. This is what people don’t get. They try to change the symptoms but it’s the story that you keep telling that brings you the same results.
One of the most challenging parts is actually being conscious and aware of your stories. Most people are in self-denial that they even have stories.
Is your story what you would like it to be?
What’s your story? Think about the different stories that have shaped the way you view your life and the actions you take. It could be a very specific story (for example, if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur who is too intimidated to take risks) or a more general one (for example, if you’re an artist, blocking your own success because you’ve always identified with the “struggling artist” story).
If you’re tired of being stuck in one place and want more out of life, you need to create stories that will help you achieve your goals, instead of staying captive to the mindset and stories that are holding you back.