PPI #41: Change Your Story, Change Your LifeAug 20, 2020
- While the power of storytelling is all the rage these days, many of us miss the most powerful story of all: the one that we tell ourselves. In this episode, I’ll reveal a six-step process that will transform your inner story, to further empower yourself and elevate your business and personal life.
- The first step is to identify your current story and write it down. We need to see the state of our current story in order to upgrade to a more empowering one. Write down how you see yourself now: how you look, your current beliefs and values, and your capabilities and perceived limitations.
- The next step is to ask yourself: how is this story influencing you and your life? How is this personal story affecting your everyday decisions? When and where does it show up? You’ll notice how often this old story keeps replaying inside your head, oftentimes reinforcing negative self-worth.
- The third step is to identify the people you spend the most time with. Create a list of friends and people who you interact with constantly. Do these friends of yours reinforce the old story? Who are those still supporting that old story, and who are those helping you catapult to a new story?
- Step four is where you start to write your new story. This is a magical moment. Don’t look at things from your current vantage point. Instead, summon your best self, the most courageous and empowering version of yourself you can imagine. Then write down your new story. How does this new version of you show up, look, and behave in the world? What are your new capabilities and beliefs? Write this new story of yours for the next 30 days at least.
- At step five, you’ll notice all of the ways the new story impacts how you see and think about things. You’ll begin to actively look for ways to improve yourself, seeking feedback and working on your limitations. This new story will manifest itself in all areas of your life.
- Lastly, at step six, you need to once again look at your friends, colleagues and mentors, people outside your family. Who of these do you spend most of your time with? Start to notice how that new story is impacting and reflecting upon what you do and who you are for others. Surround yourself with people that are going to help propel you into living and being that new version of you.
These days, the power of story is all the rage. People saying, "Use stories in your pitches, use stories when talking to customers, use stories to inspire." But everyone's missing a big point, because the most powerful story that we can tell is the one that we tell ourselves.
Hi, I'm Eric Partaker, and I help CEOs, entrepreneurs, leaders, and individuals reach their full potential in business and life. And one of the key ways to do that is to master the art of telling stories, but especially the story that we tell ourselves. And today I'm going to take you through a six step process that you can use to upgrade the story that you tell yourself and reach a much, much higher level in both your business and life.
Number one, we need to identify what is our current story. Which by the way, is going to become our old story, because we want to upgrade to a new, more empowering story. But we have to first start with where we are. Now, all of us have a story that we tell ourselves each and every day. We have a story about why we think in certain ways, we have a story that we tell ourselves that limits our capabilities. We have stories about whether we're good at certain things and bad at others. We have stories that maybe make us think that we can't excel within a particular area, or others are better than us and we'll never reach our potential in whatever that area of business or life may be. But this is a story that has been formed from perhaps our childhood, and perhaps from our life experiences that can be updated. But we have to start by writing that story down.
So, number one. What you need to do is simply write out, what is the story that you tell yourself? How do you describe yourself? What are your beliefs, your values? Who is it that you think you are? What do you think you're capable of? What do you think you're not capable of? Write that story down on paper. Maybe it's two, three paragraphs at the most.
Number two. The next thing you need to do is start to notice once that story is written down, how does that story influence you in your life? Because as you go through different experiences in your day, you'll notice that story is playing in your head. So as an example, one of the factors that showed up in my old story was that, "You know what? I'm not so good at speaking in front of audiences or in front of people. I'm not confident. I don't have a speaking gene." And so what I started to ... What I noticed, what happened is that when I was out there speaking, and if I felt super nervous before a speaking event, I replayed that story to myself. I said, "There's an example. There's an example of how I'm not cut out to do this." Or if I got negative feedback on a particular thing that I was speaking about, I thought, "There you go. There's proof that I'm not good at this thing." So I started to notice how things in my life were reinforcing this old story.
Number three, you need to take an inventory. I know that might sound crazy. You need to take an inventory of your friends and who you're spending time with. And I specifically want you to, after you put together that list of friends, ask yourself, to what degree does each of these people support that old story? That old version of me that I want to grow from, that I want to change from. To what degree do these people perhaps keep me living in that way, or operating in that way? To what degree, essentially, do each of these people potentially hold me down from reaching newer heights. Inventory your friends. Think about who are the top people that you're spending the most time with.
Number four, and this is where it starts to get exciting. We're going to write a new story. So I want you to not think from the vantage point of your current self. Instead, I want you to summon the best this version of you. The most courageous version of you, the most empowering version of you. And with that version of you in mind, once you brought that version of you to the table with pen in hand and paper in front of you, then I want you through that version to write, "What's your new story?" How does that new version of you show up, look, behave in the world? What are the things that they're capable of doing? What are the fears that they're capable of overcoming? How much courage do they have? How clear are they about where they want to go? How confident are they? Write all that down. Write your new story. What the new improved version of you looks like.
By the way, I did exactly everything that I'm describing in this process. I wrote down my old story. I made sure that I took, took notice of where that old story was showing up in my life and being reinforced mentally in my mind, through my own self-talk. I started to take note of who I was hanging out, with my friends, and started to realize, "Well, how many of them are supporting that old story versus helping me catapult to a new story?" And then I wrote that news story just as I'm encouraging and you to do. And I wrote it out for 90 days straight. Every morning for 90 days straight I wrote out that new story. Those three paragraphs that they're describing the new and improved me.
And then a magical thing happened, which is number five. Start to notice all of the ways in which the new story is reflecting upon how you think about things, how the new story is impacting, who you're becoming. So I'll go back to that speaking point. With that new story play, suddenly when I started to get feedback about how I could improve at a speaking event, that's exactly how I took it as feedback in terms of how I could improve it. It totally changed the way I even sought and looked for feedback. I was asking for it. I was hungry. I was constantly asking people, 'How could I become better? How would you improve upon this? If you were me?" And it just changed the game for me. Instead of being worried about what people were saying, I was hungry and thirsty for it, and actively seeking it. And that started to appear in multiple areas of my life, all driven by this new story, that I was almost in a way self indoctrinating, myself with.
And then number six, the last thing that you can be doing. Very, very powerful is to once again, look at your friends. Look at the people that you're spending time with. Look at your acquaintances, look at your potential mentors and coaches out there. The late Jim Roan said, we are the average of the five people that we spend the most time with. Who are you spending the most time with? I want you to go outside of your family because of course you're going to be spending tons of time with your family. But outside of that network, who are you spending the most time with? And then I want you to go back to that exercise of, to what degree do these people support the old story that I used to be living, versus the new story that I'm now creating? Because life is created. It doesn't just happen. And whatever it is that you want to achieve, it starts with self-belief. It starts with the story that we tell ourselves.
Don't worry about how you can be using the power of story to influence people if you haven't first yet use the power of story to influence yourself. You can be achieving so much more than you currently are. If you start with that story. That is the most powerful story you can be telling in the world. That is where you should be starting from a storytelling point of view. And as a quick summary, you're going to write out that old story first, you're going to start to notice how that old story is influencing your decisions and thoughts, and self-beliefs throughout the day, you're going to take an inventory of the people that you're spending time with and ask yourself, to what degree are they supporting or reinforcing these self-beliefs? Reinforcing the story. And then you're going to have that magical moment where you're going to write that new story. And keep that going for as many days as you can. I did 90. I would encourage you to write it out for at least 30 days. It doesn't have to be much. Two to three paragraphs. And over that same period of time, start to notice how that new story is impacting and reflecting upon what you do and who you are for others. And last but not least, surround yourself with people that are going to help propel you into living and being that new version of you. That new story.