The secret of storytelling for success

“You look tired.” At least three people on the leadership program and a couple of my colleagues said that to me this week. Nice. I would have preferred, “You look gorgeous!” But ‘tired’ is the feedback I got.

It started to bother me. My mother-in-law says this to me every time I see her. My boss says it to me. My honey says it to me and makes me lie on the couch while he cooks dinner (that part is good!).

I realised I was projecting ‘tired’ out in to my world. And that is just so unattractive! Friends don’t want to hang around ‘tired’, clients don’t want to engage you if you’re ‘tired’, participants aren’t engaged by someone who is ‘tired’…

I don’t want to be known as the ‘tired’ girl! I want to be known as the Luscious Awesome Energised Inspiring girl!

I realised I was letting myself down.
I’d been a collaborator in my own image-making by telling the ‘I am tired’ story. I talked about my Big Week for the entire previous week. I talked about how I always go to bed at 9pm, staying up late was exhausting, and how I have less energy since I had cancer…blah blah blah.

These are self-fulfiling prophecies! What you think and feel about, you bring about. What you focus on expands. So if I keep rabbitting on about being tired all the time, I will feel tired, I will look tired, and people will say, ‘you look tired’.

Ugh.

And after yet one more participant said they thought I look really drained, I’d had enough. I declared to the Wine Industry leadership team that the game was up, I wasn’t going to tell the ‘tired’ story anymore – I was going to tell the ‘I feel great’ story from now on!

And I started last night at yet another late-night networking function. I told myself how awesome I felt, how I managed my energy well, that I was engaging and dynamic, that I had plenty of energy to get everything done that I needed to.

And I felt it too. Today was a radical shift for me – for the first time since I started delivering leadership courses I didn’t feel like a squashed tomato after the program. I felt vibrant and excited.

That, my friends, is the power of story-telling for success.

The stories you tell yourself, that you repeat to others – they’re the ones that create your reality.

So if you don’t like what your experiencing, tell a new story.

Don’t like your money situation? Tell a new story about you’re now discovering the means to wealth.

Don’t like your physique? Tell a new story about how your body is responding to the love and attention you are giving it.

Scared your neighbour might burn the house down with his new firestick-twirling hobby? I’ve started telling the story of how masterful my neighbour is with fire extinguishers, how careful he is about his property, and what a nice quite fellow he is.

What stories do you need to start telling?

Coach’s Challenge:
Notice when you are telling a story that drains your energy. Decide then and there to tell a new one – one that uplifts instead. Prepare to dazzle yourself!

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