Learning to differentiate between facts and stories is one of the most pivotal tools of life coaching and will undoubtedly change your life.
Today I'm going to teach you how to do that and what it means when you begin to look at the world from a perspective of your choosing.
Wouldn't it feel amazing to believe that everything is happening for our good? It's totally possible.
There's a movie that I recently watched with my teens called The Truman Show. It's a story about a man who was adopted by a production studio and raised under ever-present cameras and a live audience. In other words, his life was a TV show and everything was created FOR him. Truman's family members, his boss, the dog walker he said hi to every morning, the newspaper salesman, and even people he never interacted with had one job: to be there if and when Truman needed them.
Let's just set aside the obvious moral dilemmas of forcing someone to be on television without their consent and instead, think about the magic of a life where everything is orchestrated for your good. The good, the bad, the ugly...it was all part of a plot designed to give Truman the best chance at happiness, whether he knew it or not.
Today I want to talk about the idea that the world is conspiring for OUR good. This isn't meant to make us narcissists but rather to try on the story that everything that comes at us is designed to help us succeed, grow stronger, or become better in some way. One of the first things I teach new clients about the world and their brain, is that there are very few cold, hard facts. We call facts the "circumstances" of our lives and the definition of a circumstance is something that everyone in the world would agree oneverything else is a story.
When you think about it like that, the number of true facts in the world drastically shrinks! A few examples: a fact might be that there are 35 people in this room, NOT there are a lot of people in this room, that's a story.
"He weighs 99 pounds" is a fact, "he's really skinny" is a story; "my SIL said the words 'you're not very nice sometimes'" is a fact instead of "my SIL hates me" which is a story. Understanding the difference is really life changing. Why? Because stories can be told and retold in a number of different ways. We ALWAYS have the power to retell our story.
So, let's go back to the idea that everything is happening for our good. This is a story. And it's a story that sounds really nice! The idea that everything is happening FOR us instead of us against the world is a much easier reality to acccept. Did you know this is a story you can choose to believe? You can choose TODAY, right now, to decide that everything that you do, everything that happens to you and everything that happens around you is for you GREATEST good.
You can probably imagine that you'll start walking around a lot like Truman does in his own show. Happy, pleasant, with a smile on his face because everything is orchestrated for his good! But what happens when truly bad things happen to us? Stuff that just about everyone can agree is awful like a like a death or loss? A divorce or betrayal? A house fire, car accident, illness or job loss?
Please understand that believing everything is for our good does NOT mean we believe everything is wonderful. We WILL (and likely should) choose to feel badly about some of the circumstances of our lives. I have actively and consciously chosen grief, anger and sorrow when I've experienced hard things in life...but the difference is that once I've allowed myself to feel those emotions, I get to work looking for how that experience was for my good.
Here's an example from a story you've probably heard of a woman named Elizabeth Smart. The little girl who was tragically kidnapped from her Utah home and held against her will, abused and regularly raped for months. She was eventually recovered and returned to her family but not without trauma and memories of horrific experiences.
Elizabeth surely doesn't look back fondly on those experiences, BUT she has used her tragedy for so much good. She wrote a book, is a popular public speaker and advocate for abducted and missing children. In other words, she rewrote the story about her kidnapping and changed it from a tragedy to a triumph. Again, she doesn't have to think positively about her experience to do so. She simply has to believe that there is a purpose to her epxeriences, good or bad.
When it comes to building a business, we will have unlimited opportunities to choose the stories we tell about our business. Does no sales in your business mean that you're a failure and you should quit or does it mean that you've discovered several ways of marketing that don't work? Does an angry customer mean that your business failed and no one will buy again? Or does it mean that you've been given an opportunity to receive and learn from important feedback?
Again, this is NOT the same as toxic positivity. Please don't push away emotions that need to be felt. Frustration, embarrassment, self-pity and anger have all come up for me in my business but I allow myself to feel them, and then get back to work. Remember when Christ taught the beatitudes on the sermon on mount? Blessed are the poor in spirit, those that mourn and those that are persecuted.
Those don't sound like blessings! But what if a life full of "blessings" doesn't look as expected? So what stories are you writing for your life? Do you like the tv show that you are writing? Or are you believing the story that you're the victim and there's nothing you can do to change your story?
Let's go out there and take control of our stories!