So actually what is a personal story? It can mean many things to many people, and can even change around a bit dependent on the context we are describing. But for our purposes today, let’s stick with what we believe to be true about ourselves and our potential.
This can get to be a very deep subject. One of the reasons that I majored in psychology in college was because I was always fascinated by “what made people tick”, and that included myself. Let”s explore a bit into this subject with the intention of revealing a few insights that will not only be interesting, but which may create an “aha” moment that will significantly change how we view ourselves, others, and the world.
It’s Story Time
When I was a kid I just loved it when my mom or dad, aunt or uncle would tell me a story usually around bedtime. It was something to look forward to as it ignited my imagination in several directions. It was pretend time, and I absolutely loved it. I got to become the hero in this make-believe scenario for a few precious moments before I went to sleep.
As time went on it became quite evident that the so-called “real world” did not respond well to my hero status, and did its best to beat it out of me. Whether this was family, friends, classmates, or teachers, its combined effect created a much less empowering image of who I thought I was.
This is really where I began to create my personal story that was mostly based on the feedback I was getting from others. It was like I suddenly went from hero to victim almost overnight. As time went on I was able to succeed to a certain extent but things always seemed to be a struggle. There was always the fear that things could fall apart at any moment, and that I needed to protect my turf.
Once this type of thinking became habitual, I found that my daily routines revolved around self-doubt and uncertainty. Even when things were going well, things just “felt” out of place. Because of this, it did not matter how successful I became, I would find a way not to fully enjoy it, or to self-sabotage it completely.
An “Aha” Moment
As I was experiencing this type of struggle over the years, I read books and attended numerous workshops and seminars on personal development topics, and they all helped to some extent. But there was just some elusive factor that I was unable to get my head around to completely “understand” why I was not really happy in spite of any success I achieved. It was like nothing really mattered, so what was the point.
In the background, my personal story of how I viewed myself and life, in general, was running my day-to-day activities by programming my thoughts, feelings, and actions. It was like this software program was dictating my life, and it was operating just out of view. It was there, but since it was “business as usual” I never noticed it was there.
After much time spent in contemplation and reflection, I suddenly realized that it was me that created this story about myself, my potential, and what I could and couldn’t do. Even though I was exposed to all of this input from others over the years, I was the one who experienced, assessed, and formed conclusions based on all of that input. Even more importantly, I was the one who cemented my personal story in place by my emotional reactions to what I was experiencing.
This really was an “aha” moment for me as I suddenly was able to take responsibility for my present circumstances, and that immediately transformed me from victim to creator of my life. No matter what had transpired, I was the one who put my personal story together based on all my experiences and related feedback. It was not about what others said or did; it was how I “interpreted” what they said or did, and used that interpretation to create my personal story to put the brakes on my potential.
“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.”
A big factor in all this conditioning is our emotions and feelings. They are what provide the “charge” that makes all of this stick. When we are emotionally affected by experience in our lives, we tend to try to make some sort of sense of it either consciously or unconsciously in order to survive and protect ourselves from future pain.
All of these experiences throughout our lives add up to paint a picture of ourselves, others, and the world that makes sense to us. As far as we are concerned, there is no other possible way to look at things. We have proof from our experience, as well as additional proof in what we are experiencing now.
Because of our current paradigm or conditioning, we create a self-fulfilling prophecy that reinforces our experiences. This is just the way things are, and there is no doubt about it.
The good news is that because we created this story, we are able to rewrite the script of the story. We can use the areas of our lives in which we are confident and happy with our results as proof that this is possible. In any area where we are not satisfied with our results, our potential is bottled up. It really wants to come out, but we do not see a feasible way to release it since our current story is so solidified in place.
Let’s see what we can do about this so that we free ourselves from these self-imposed limitations, and break free to create high-performance results in “all” areas of our lives.
The Power of Self-Talk
Before we discuss a few steps we can take to turn things around, it is important to realize the importance of how we talk to ourselves on a moment-to-moment basis. Just becoming aware of this, and paying a bit of attention, will begin the process of shifting things in a more favorable direction.
When we listen closely to ourselves, we will be surprised by some of the things we are repeating on a regular basis, and so reinforcing our current self-image. Some of the things we say we would never even think about saying to others, but we have no problem with tearing ourselves down.
Now, this is nothing to feel guilty about since it is just part of our programming we currently have as a result of structuring our mental processes in a certain way over time. It is now time to restructure things so that we think more highly of ourselves; as a result, we begin to get more desirable results.
When we listen to ourselves, it becomes abundantly clear that our current paradigm or conditioning is based on premises that are incomplete and not entirely true. We think we know more than we do about ourselves as well as about others. As we get to the point of realizing that this is the case, we begin to “know that we don’t know”. This is a breakthrough for several reasons.
We now are willing to examine our current paradigm of conditioning with new eyes that are willing to see what is there, and not what we think is there. At this point, we accept things as they are so that we can create things as we desire. It’s the same power and energy being structured in a different way. We are now working for ourselves rather than against ourselves.
Let’s Take a Few Practical Steps in the Direction We Desire to Go
What we want to do here is to release our potential as we move toward our goals so that we are not using our will power to force things to happen. We most probably have gotten things accomplished this way in the past, but it was a struggle and quite painful as well. Also, there is a good chance we boomeranged back to where we started after reaching our goals because we were not mentally or emotionally prepared to handle that level of success and keep it without self-sabotaging.
What we want to do is align our values with our end result in a way that positively reinforces each step we take in the process. When our thoughts and emotions are structured correctly, we do not have the resistance to moving forward toward our goals. Our comfort zone naturally expands as we move along on our journey to our objective. This is a much more pleasant and enjoyable way to get things done.
A few premises to keep in mind about our personal story:
- We all have current conditioning or paradigm on how we view the world. This perceptual view is not complete and is quite often inaccurate
- We formed this paradigm or view of “our” reality through our many experiences throughout life
- It is our own thoughts and feelings that cement this paradigm or reality structure in place
- Whatever we experience within our imagination vividly and with strong emotional impact becomes real to us regardless if it occurred or not in real-time
- It is our emotions that cement this all in place by validating to ourselves what we “think we know” about how things are
Where do we go from here?
Let’s discuss a few practical steps we can take right now to begin the process of turning things around in the areas where we are stuck and desire more fulfillment and positive results.
Creating our Personal Story with “Appropriate Imagination”…
Let’s get started:
- Identify areas of our lives where we desire to achieve more or improve
- Accept things as they are: the good and the not so good
- By acceptance, we have taken responsibility for our lives, and now we acknowledge this
- Recognize the potential that exists within us
- Describe your ideal self in each area you desire improvement and associate an uplifting self-enhancing emotional state to that ideal
- Create a reminder or affirmation about each area that you desire positive change and state it in the present tense because the potential IS real Now; it is just waiting to be released
- Use these reminders or affirmations each day to create the type of mental and emotional state that validates your Ideal Self
- Allow this new Ideal Self and its related mental and emotional state to guide your actions in creating new routines and habits that support your New Paradigm of Success
Practice this on a daily basis in order to generate new thoughts and emotions that will create the behavior patterns needed to transport you to your goals and objectives. Through this combination of thought, emotion, and imagination we are able to dislodge the old way of looking at things and create a scenario that is life-enhancing and that releases you pent-up potential.
We began this discussion with asking “what is a personal story”, and have come full circle in creating a new personal story that is not only in alignment with our core values, but one that provides the means to see ourselves as we want to be, not as we are afraid to be. We are only stuck when we see no way out. Once we reveal the truth of our being and potential to ourselves, we get a clear view of all the options and choices that are available to us.
In order to create a personal story that is relevant to us, we must begin to move in our desired direction. We are where we are as a result of all the prior choices we have made. Once we take responsibility for this, we are then able to realize all the mistakes and successes we have achieved have brought us to this very point. This present point is different for everyone, but it is our Point of Power. What we choose to do from here is up to us. I encourage all to take The Next Step with confidence and anticipation of the realization of our dreams and heartfelt desires.
To your Happiness & Success,
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