Monday, December 23, 2013

It's Time You Tell a Different Story about What's Possible In Your Life


The greatest danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark.
~Michelangelo~

In Find YourCourage, Margie Warrell writes, “Though your past is no longer your current reality you are constrained by the past through the stories you created in it.” The way that you observe the world is different from how I observe the world. The manner in which you and I interpret our experiences, past and present is largely due to the emotional interpretation we have attached to our experiences and the belief system which dominates our thinking.
Our interpretation of experiences creates the stories that consciously and unconsciously influence our identity and behavior. The present state of our lives is an accumulation of the stories that we are telling ourselves.
If we are to unleash greater measures of the seeds of greatness dwelling within us, we have to acknowledge that our best thinking got us where we are and if where we are does not reflect where we want to be, we have to find the courage to challenge the stories that are influencing the identity and behavior that got us where we are today.

The Power of Stories

This is not easy for most of us because we have invested time and energy in defending “our truth” as we see it. Just the idea that it is possible our way of thinking is not the truth can create a surge of inner conflict. Warrell shares the following wisdom, “Given that our actions are based on the realities that we define regarding who we are and what we are capable of achieving, our lives are either limited or expanded by the stories we have devised.”
The stories that you and I are telling ourselves are dictating how we interpret our self, other people and the world. This interpretation influences how we respond to each situation in our lives and as a result of our response, creates the circumstances that reflect the outcome of our response.
Our stories, according to Warrell, “are a melting pot of your opinions, assumptions, interpretations, prejudices, and beliefs, which you have created to make sense of the world in which you live and your place in it.” Through your stories, you have defined how the world is and what you are capable of doing and achieving. My question to you, “What is the story that is hindering you from pursuing your dreams and limiting you from stepping into greatness? Are you telling yourself “I can't possibly return back to college at my age”, “I'll never be able to lose this weight,” “It's impossible to save money in this economy,” “I don't have what it takes to follow my dreams,” “Dreams are for young people, not someone my age,” “I'm too young to do that,” “I'll never be able to let go of this pain and get my life back on track.”
The private conversations we have with ourselves create our beliefs. Our beliefs shape our identity. Our identity shapes our behavior. Our behavior drives the outcome reflected in the circumstances we live. So often, our life scripts create predetermined expectations that become self-fulfilling prophecies.

Your Past Does Not Equal Your Future

The disempowering stories you have been telling yourself about your dreams continue to have power in and over your life as long as you agree to them. The moment that you decide to agree with a different belief about what is possible in your life and back that decision up with a passionate determination to initiate purpose-driven action consistently over time you'll begin to shift the trajectory of your life. That was the case with me many years ago as a single mother with two children, living in Section 8 housing on welfare and food stamps.



I'd heard the experts on the nightly news give their opinion of how individuals in my predicament had little chance of rising above poverty. I'd seen how the people closest to me had almost but given up on me because of the choices I'd made which had led to my predicament. I majored in pity parties and the blame game. I told myself, “If only my mother hadn't died when I was thirteen, I would have had someone to give me the life advice to make better choices.” “If only my family would have supported my efforts towards attending college, even after I had my daughter, I would have been better off.” “If only my father hadn't been so old when I was born, he wouldn't be sick and would have been better able to help me navigate my teenage years.” I was full of excuses as to why my life was not the way I'd envision it when I was kid. It wasn't until I was willing to accept responsibility for the choices that I'd made, the choices that changed my life forever was I able to “see” that my life conditions were the result of my choices. I had the power to make different choices. And so I did.

How My Faith Influenced My Choices

As soon as my son was old enough to attend a government sponsored day care, both of my children were enrolled and I went back to work. I went to work everyday with a purpose. I realized that I didn't have to live my life by default. I could begin to make different choices that would create different experiences in my life and in my children lives. I began to tell myself a different story which create a new set of beliefs about what was possible in my life.

This shift in my mindset was the direct result of my decision to rededicate my life to developing my spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ, the son of God. As I begin to meditate on the wisdom found in scripture, my thoughts were being transformed by the message of hope that is the gospel of my Lord Jesus Christ. This message of hope was like a well of water to travelers in a dessert, it refreshed me. It helped me to see myself from a different perspective. It reminded me of my divine identity and the authority that I have on this earth. It provided me with examples of how others had faced tragedy and betrayals and used their faith in God to rise above those circumstances to fulfill their destiny.



As I began to agree with God's word concerning my life instead of the limiting stories I'd heard from experts and those that were close to me, the vision I had of my life began to expand. I began to respond to life differently. The change in the vision I had of myself resulted in me starting out as a housekeeper earning minimum wage to become an award-winning business leader with Marriott eventually managing a million dollar business.


Changing Your Story, Changes Your Life


If you're living a life below your ability, accepting the status quo as the best that's possible when you desire so much more, you can be sure that the story that's taking place in your mind about who you are, what you are capable of doing and what you are worthy of experiencing is influencing how you are responding to life.

Warrell writes, “Throughout you life, it will benefit you to be continually taking a step back to acknowledge your stories and question the assumptions and opinions that perpetuate them.” Our brains are programmed to create stories. Stories are the way we make sense of ourselves and the world. We will always tell ourselves stories. Some of our stories will benefit us, others will not. A simple key to transforming limiting stories is to ask yourself the following questions: “How is the story I'm telling myself helping me create positive and empowering experiences in this aspect of my life,” and “How is the story I'm telling myself diminishing my capacity to display the courage and confidence necessary to create what I desire in this aspect of my life.” Your answers to these questions provide you with the necessary insight for taking your next step.



You may have bought into the limiting beliefs of others, or you created them yourself, but the fact remains you have the power to stop agreeing with them. Take back your authority. You can adopt a new set of beliefs about yourself. You can develop new habits and new skills. You can change any aspect of your life, if you choose to divorce yourself from limiting beliefs and replace them with beliefs that empower the seeds of greatness dwelling within you.

I come from a humble beginnings. That doesn't stop me from dreaming big. When my life begins to reflect something different from what I believe is possible, I've come to realize that it will not change until I accept responsibility for changing the situation. As a result, the power that dwells within me begins to be unleashed. I begin to “see” new horizons of opportunities that exist in our world. The same will be true for you. We may not see the same opportunities, but I guarantee you that as you enlarge your vision of what's possible, you'll begin to feel as if you're in a new world when in fact you are seeing the same world with an elevated consciousness.


My commitment to ongoing personal and professional development has been a key to fanning the flame of my faith, passion and talent. Today, this blog, my books and the training I conduct is all a result of the first choice I made to stop agreeing with limiting stories and start agreeing with empowering stories of what is possible in my life.
By no means am I perfect. There has been several periods in my life when I've been mentally and emotionally stuck. Fortunately, the grace of God never ceases. I've circle the same mountains on many occasions until I was ready and willing to break camp from a limiting story and move on. God's grace is sufficient for me and you.

Your destiny dwells in your decisions. In the power of your choices, you can redefine what's possible in your life. In the power of your choices, you can transform your story and change the trajectory of your life.


I'd like to know your thoughts about the power of our stories? Share your comments below.


Thank you for being a part of the growing readership of Grow Forward & Flourish. I'm always seeking ways to improve the experience of community members, so your feedback and suggestions are welcomed. I appreciate you sharing this article with your network.

Unleash Your Power!
Jackie Capers-Brown





Founder, Grow Forward & Flourish


Note: You can overcome any limiting beliefs and assumptions diminishing your capacity to achieve you next level of success.

 My new book, Get Unstuck Now provides you with proven strategies that strengthens your inner-game which increases the effectiveness of your outer game. the level of leadership success that you achieve. 

Read Get Unstuck Now. It is available Amazon.com. You can get more details about the Kindle version  here and the paperback here.