Why is it that some people become really successful, yet so many more do not reach their potential? I have always been fascinated with the fact that some people come from nothing to achieve everything and some are set up for mega success but can’t pull our act together.
It’s all about the stories we tell ourselves.
You and I are constantly telling ourselves stories that we aren’t aware of. Those stories have shaped your past and are currently shaping your future. Some of us even tell ourselves stories that are completely sabotaging our success as stylists and salon owners.
Once you become aware of what stories you’re telling yourself, you can start to harness and shift that message to make some major changes in your personal and professional life.
The truth about story
Picture this… You and I are walking down the street, and suddenly a fight breaks out in front of us among a big group of people. The police come, break it up, and want to interview us.
Guess what? The story you tell the police is going to be different then what I say to the police. We had totally different perceptions of what actually went on. And all those people involved in the fight? They have something different to say too.
How you see something is entirely different than the person next to you. There is no hard and fast truth. So your reality – or perception, viewpoint, or whatever you want to call it – is just story.
If we can accept that there is no one reality, then we have the freedom to change at our story at any time. We can choose to view, feel, and perceive things differently.
And if we believe that, then we realize the things that we think are holding us back in life are just stories. And the faster we get over that, the faster we can find success.
Types of stories
Let’s uncover the most common stories we’re telling ourselves that are currently shaping our lives.
I can’t be successful because I’ve always been poor. There are millions of stories of people who didn’t grow up with the silver spoon and became quite successful (like Oprah!). So the idea of “I’m poor, I can’t be successful” has proven itself not to be true.
I don’t have enough time. You have 24 hours in a day, just like I do, just like everybody else does. It’s not that you don’t have time; it’s that you choose to spend your time differently.
Life keeps throwing me curve balls. Life throws all of us curve balls, so to say that life is treating you differently doesn’t make sense. We all have hardships that we’re dealing with, but some people don’t choose that as their story. Instead, they shift gears and make different choices.
I’m the victim. This victim storyteller always thinks bad things are happening to them. The reality is, bad things happen to everybody. It’s called life. Take a step back, see what’s actually going on, and find the part you play in every problem instead of playing the victim.
Everyone’s out to get me. The villain story has you believe people are malicious and out to get you. While you think everyone is trying to take you down, they’re just worried about themselves. You can’t blame other people for your lack of success. If you tell yourself this story, stop labeling people as villains and start assuming everybody is good. And if they aren’t, get them out of your life.
I’m helpless. This story makes you struggle with the idea that there is nothing you can do to change the cards you were dealt because life is happening around you. But you aren’t helpless. We all get to change and shape our lives. You’re just not putting in the effort to make it happen. Think about what you can do to overcome the story of the cards stacked against you.
How the story shapes our lives
As we live life, story shapes our lives and choices in four ways:
See and hear – What happens to you in life
Tell a story – How we define that experience in our heads
Feel – How that defined experience makes us feel
Act – How we choose to react to that feeling
Imagine you go into a coffee shop and order an iced soy latte. Your drink comes out, but the barista made it with two percent milk instead of soy (see and hear). You tell yourself it was probably an honest mistake since the coffee shop is packed (tell a story), shrug it off (feel), and get back in line to ask if they can fix it (act).
Or when your drink comes out wrong, you feel like the barista did it on purpose (tell a story), get angry (feel), and demand to see her manager to complain (act).
There are so many chances for you to take control of the story between each of these steps. It’s all about the choices we make, so practice stepping back from situations and reflecting on why you choose to act the way you do.
You have unlimited success and potential in front of you as soon as you start recognizing what story you’re telling yourself and take steps to change it. How you choose to tell yourself a story, how you choose feel about it, and how you choose to act will truly shape your life.
Change your story, change your life.