From the moment we leave the womb we begin to play a part in our own life story. To start, we are only doing cameo appearances. Someone else is calling the shots for the most part. As we grow older, we take on more and more of the lead role.
The experiences we have, our surroundings, the people that we come into contact with, just about everything in our lives goes into making us the people we become. Everyone has stories they tell themselves — these are incredibly important because they can shape our lives when we allow them to. Some are good, and thus serve us in a positive way. Other stories hold people back from their greatness. At different times, we have all encountered both good and bad, the degree to which can vary greatly from person to person.
You are greater than the story you tell yourself …
We all have stories we tell ourselves, and thus, allow them to dictate what we are capable of. The danger is that we will fall into the belief that our potential cannot exceed whatever place we happen to find ourselves in currently. That is to say, if your story is telling you you’re not good enough, not healthy, unlovable, or whatever it happens to be, that it’s just the way it is and you can’t hope to change your lot in life you’re likely to get stuck there.
You have the ability to rewrite your life’s story with your actions …
If you happen to believe that you are stuck, let me say right here and now, nothing could be further from the truth. There are far too many examples of people who have had tremendous things standing in their way who went on to accomplish great things for this to be true. In short, whatever story you are telling yourself, whether based on past life experiences or not, you can decide to rewrite your story, and live a life of your own making… A BIG life story.
I have been there before myself …
Friend, this isn’t something I take lightly. I have believed and consequently lived out stories that were not true in my own life. I was held back in kindergarten because my birthday happened to be right around the cutoff date and they figured giving me a little extra kindergarten and some time to mature would do me well. While this was probably a good decision, I started to mistakenly believe I was held back because I wasn’t very smart. That wasn’t the case, but hey, it didn’t really matter, because I saw that story as reality, even though it wasn’t.
Then, not long after, around first grade, it was determined that I had a learning disability in math. As you can imagine this added fuel to the wrongheaded belief I held that I wasn’t smart. Even though I had plenty of people in my life telling me that wasn’t true, I still continued to believe that mistaken story about myself. Because I believed it, it began to play out in my life with regards to my school performance. Since I didn’t believe I was a good student, I didn’t put in the extra time, effort or commitment that may very well have given me better results. I’m not telling you this to get sympathy. Rather, I want to make the point that the things we tell ourselves tend to manifest in our lives.
Thank goodness for paradigm shifts …
As the years passed I continued to hold onto the mistaken idea that I wasn’t a great student. And just as you might imagine I have plenty of report cards that prove that I was very much playing the part quite well. Fortunately in life, if we are lucky, and open to noticing them, people, things, and events can occur that shift our thinking in a big way. This was certainly the case for me.
The summer before I turned 16 I had the opportunity to work in our family business. My first job turned out to be me calling prospective clients, qualifying them, and then passing them along to one of the older salespeople. It was not your typical job for a teenager. And looking back, it wasn’t one who believed the “I’m not that smart” story he was telling himself at the time would do well in, much less even attempt. Interestingly, because I didn’t give much thought to the reasons why I shouldn’t have done well, I just got started, and ended up doing pretty good with it.
Success builds upon itself …
From that initial success, my belief system shifted, and I began studying entrepreneurship, as well as personal and professional development topics. Almost immediately, the story I’d been telling myself all those years started to change because I could see first hand that it wasn’t my reality. I began to see for myself that I was actually a pretty bright person who could do just about anything he set his mind to. Now that’s not to say I went on to be valedictorian of my graduating class or anything close to it.
Actually, I have always been more of a real world learner in the sense that I like to learn, then do. Perhaps that’s why I have always leaned towards entrepreneurship. That said, I look back now and am so thankful that I was able to shift that story I was telling myself.
Friend, perhaps there is something you’re telling yourself, or have allowed to be what defines you. Maybe you have never had anyone tell you this before, and I hope that’s not the case, but let me assure you, you are an incredible person with unbelievable gifts that may be untapped, but once you unleash them, the sky’s the limit as to the BIG life that you can live.
Please understand that I’m not saying that there may not be things that you have to work through. I’m not saying that there may not be skills that you have to acquire. And I’m certainly not saying that there’s not going to be work to be done. What I am saying is that you are worth whatever effort it requires and that, without a doubt, you are as capable as anyone is, no matter what story you may have told yourself up to this point in your life, of achieving amazing results.
Starting right now, in this very moment, make the decision to rewrite your life story. Identify the steps you need to do — that as you do them, you will move you closer to whatever your best life looks like.
Let adversity be the fuel that moves you forward …
I can honestly say, even though I went through more than my share of adversity and challenges in life, there’s very little that I’d want to change or take back if I had the opportunity, because I do believe wholeheartedly that the challenges we are faced with all offer up opportunities to grow. Assuming of course that we are open to doing so.
One thing that I would do if I could, would be to go back in time and tell my young self not to believe the stories that I was telling myself. I’d tell myself to ignore those tall tales which had me thinking that I was limited as to what I was capable of, and what a difference I would eventually make by letting go of the broken story I was telling myself. I would probably show my young self a copy of the book that I wrote. I would show copies of the testimonial letters and emails that I’ve gotten over the years from people from all over the world who have let me know that the work I do has made a positive impact on them in times where they also felt doubt. And yes, quite frankly, I would probably also tell my young self to stop making the excuse that I wasn’t smart, and try a little harder, knuckle down and start giving my best to my studies. Because eventually I would find the story I was telling myself wasn’t true anyway — so I might as well go ahead and get a jump on my true reality now.
It’s your life, LIVE BIG