What did you think of when you read the title of this article…”Do You Believe You Have a Story to Tell?” Your thoughts could be a telling sign for what comes next. I know when I first explored that question, I did not think so. My life was not full of rocky roads, life-altering experiences or anything that I would consider monumental or worth telling.
What if I told you that there is someone out there that wants and needs to hear your story, what would you say to that? I did not believe that to be true either, until I had someone share how they came to discover their story, then shared it with me. I was then a believer, but it was not without obstacles.
As I speak with people on the topic of discovering and developing their story, I find that many of them are not “believers” in their story and their audience-in-wait. As a matter of fact, when I ask someone about their story, I typically receive some variation of the same general response.
I’d like to share with you some of the more common responses I receive.
Do any of those typical responses resonate with you? I know a few of them were my initial responses. There are certainly others that I could add in there, but these are some of the more common that I hear. I encourage you to read over the responses again, but this time, either write down or remember a word that comes to mind for each. What might be the cause for each? I believe some factors to consider are lack of knowledge, self-doubt, limiting beliefs and fear.
Of the factors I just shared, which would you work on first? I can tell you, for my clients and just about anyone that asks for my help, the first thing I seek to address is the mindset. I say that because at least three of the five responses are dealing with some aspect of the mind. As a matter of fact, even if one out of five would’ve been related to mindset, that is still where I would focus my attention first. I say that because if the mind is not in the right place, everything else will be more difficult to work on. A comment I make frequently when sharing about the mindset is, “No matter where you go, your mind is always there.” If we don’t prepare for the battle that is waged in our mind, the likelihood of difficulty and/or defeat are pretty high. When we get the mind right, everything else can start to fall into place. It takes intentionality in actions though. It doesn’t come easy.
I am not the only one that feels that way. I recently conducted a press release interview with Lynch Hunt, who is a high-energy coach and owner of AWOL Fitness. He and I were sharing similar thoughts about the first place to start working is with the mind…the psychology of things. It was agreed upon that your body won’t go where your mind hasn’t been. So, the mind has to be where you want to go in order to get there. Lynch is a “Transformation Specialist, like Optimus Prime.” He says that physical transformation can’t truly happen without a transformation in the mind. The same can be said for any aspect of life…including discovering and developing your own story.
As I stated, the first area that I focus on with pretty much any coaching situation, is the mind. If for no other reason than to make sure that everything is where it needs to be. Sometimes that is a simple mindset check, and other times it requires a little reset work before we get started.
I want to share with you a few practical steps that can help with the mindset transformation. If there is a need for a reset or more in-depth work, one of the first items I introduce to clients is a mindset inventory exercise. In this exercise, I have them take three to five minutes to think about what happens, what thoughts come to mind when they are presented with a challenge or something new. This first step in the exercise can produce a variety of positive and negative thoughts. I encourage them to write down both, because the negative, even if one, can’t be ignored, nor can a single positive. The negative can sabotage the positive, and the positive can be leveraged to overcome the negative. Getting the thoughts down on paper is a key part of the transformation.
From there, I have participants take a few more minutes to circle those that are the most common…what I call, the frequent offenders. With these thoughts being circled, they now have a better idea of where they can focus attention first, as these thoughts are the most common and likely to enter the battle first. From there, it gets a bit deeper and more challenging. The third step in the exercise is to take those “frequent offenders” and start exploring where they originate from. To determine the root cause. This can be a sensitive part of the exercise, so I navigate smartly, depending on the audience, but do encourage the participants to explore. I do that not to cause an emotional event for them, but to see that someone in there could be a valuable part of their story. One that, when explored, developed and shared, can be liberating, healing and encouraging for themselves and others. I have seen it firsthand with TEDx Colorado Springs speakers, Monique and Davide.
The mindset inventory exercise is not likely to create an immediate change, rather create the spark needed to ignite the desire to change and the ability to Recognize-Replace-Reshape (3Rs) negative to positive. The next steps are to create some actions that help with the 3Rs and establish a positive pathway and create a Gatekeeper Mentality for their mind. The Gatekeeper Mentality is where you are actively engaged in monitoring what goes in and out of your mind, like a ticket-taker at a ballgame or movie theater. It’s not easy, but you CAN do it…everyone can!
With the mindset work started, it is time to work on the story…the one that lies within everyone reading this. We ALL have a story to tell, whether known or unknown. You might ask, “Why do you care if I find and share my story?” Well, the answer is really simple for me…Your Words are Powerful. They are powerful when they create personal transformation, encourage others to act in a new and positive way, and even more powerful when they inspire others to realize their own story and want to share it. Storytelling, whether for personal or business impact, is one of the most powerful, and often neglected, tools that a person can have at their disposal. Some would even say that it is the “secret sauce” to connections, again, on a personal and professional/business level.
Think about it. When you hear someone speaking or you read words written in a book or other forum, what do you connect with on a deeper level…random conversations/thoughts, sales pitch, or someone that shares their own story or journey to where they are right now? John Maxwell has a book titled, Everyone Communicates, Few Connect, and in this book he shares principles and practices that bring to light the difference between communication and connection, and the vital importance of the latter. When I facilitate mastermind groups for that book, I often see the lightbulb-effect with just about every participant.
When we connect with someone, we have a chance to influence them, and that is worth its weight in gold. People are relational, whether they believe it or not. We might not connect with every person on every level, but when we connect in some meaningful way, there is a noticeable difference. That is what Your Story can do for you and others. So, imagine yourself in front of your ideal audience, be it a few or thousands of people. I would expect that your story would connect with at least one or two, if not more of them. Do you believe that? Can you believe that? Taking advantage of an opportunity to Master Your Mind™ will add value to you and those that you have the chance to influence. Don’t let negative thoughts, limiting beliefs, doubt and fear stand in your way.
In Part Two of this two-part article, I will share a valuable tool that anyone can use to initiate the discovery and development process to bring their story to life. You don’t want to miss out on Part Two as I explain how to use the Life-Story Timeline™ to answer the questions about Your Story.
#mindsetcoach #speakercoach #yourstory
Connect with me to receive your FREE copy of the Master Your Mind™ Mindset Inventory and Life-Story Timeline™ exercise worksheets.