FLASHBACK ARTICLE FROM DECEMBER 2009
Do you think you are getting tired of your same old excuses (stories) for not being as successful as you’d like, not achieving all the goals you set out to accomplish this year? Imagine how the people around you feel when they hear your story! I hear it all the time: “This person was manipulative with my time and services; that lawsuit last year just killed me; the economy really reduced my business; he/she left me, and I’m still angry.” With all due respect, give it a rest. Nobody ever wants to hear about other people’s problems and the negative aspects of their lives.
We all have an interesting past that is composed of great, good, and not-so-good experiences. It’s entirely up to us for each and every moment of each day to decide exactly which of those experiences are a part of who we are today and what becomes part of our story. I MEAN JUST THAT when I say “who we are today,” I mean just that. We aren’t the same person we were one short year ago, let alone ten, fifteen, twenty, or more years ago. We have grown in knowledge and understanding. Mostly, developing a sense of our own wants and desires as well as our perception of the world around us.
Not to shine a light on anyone else’s “old” story, I’ll give you a real-life example of updating one’s story. I am a great example of updating your story. I was a product of my welfare lifestyle environment as a child and young adult – deviant behavior, loose morals, a drug environment, lots of alcohol abuse, and the abuse of those around me. I carried all of these behaviors into my early 20s, never once giving them a second thought. One surprising day, I landed in jail for the 3rd time. Though shocked that I got caught and asked how I could have gotten caught. I placed myself in the victim role for a short period (not short enough), and then my focus turned to survival, removal from the learned lived lifestyle, and learning what it would take to remove myself from the “victim of my surroundings” role. I began the process of creating who I wanted to be without excuses holding me back.
Now, many years later, I am an avid business enthusiast, hopefully, an amazing husband and dad, health conscious, and an emerging leader in my community and profession. In fact, few people in my current world even know my less than professional background or my socially delinquent past. It’s, very simply, not a part of today’s story.
What is your old story? Is there something in your past holding you from moving forward to strongly and powerfully becoming what you desire for yourself? It could be something that happened only last week. You have it within you at this very moment to simply breathe and let it go. It really is that simple. You do not have to have something traumatic occur in your life. You only have to decide and commit to your new story and what you want it to be. You can leave out all the “Not So Great Stuff” anytime you want. You don’t have to let the past dictate who you are today.
Before you venture into updating your story, you do need to release the old one. Really, let it go! Here are some methods to do just that:
• Talk about it to the point of nausea.
You’ve circled around this -the negative past wagon so much that it has become who you are. So just go there! Tell the story to one or many individuals (preferably someone close to you who will understand and is part of your new story) to get it out once and for all. You may need to get whatever you feel you need from telling your old story and the reason you want to keep reliving it repeatedly (pity, sympathy, understanding?) and get beyond it! For the last time, get it off your chest and let it go.
This is my favorite method because it allows me to keep things private and slows my mind down long enough to get to a deeper meaning and reason for the thoughts. Go somewhere and pull out a pad of paper, a stack of napkins, a folder on your laptop – whatever works for you – and write until your hand and eyes ache. Then write some more. As the words come out, so will the healing and deeper meaning. If you are worried about someone reading your words later, just burn them or erase them. The key is that you get the release and can let those issues or concerns go.
• Draw, write a song, dance, or yell it out.
For those of you who are more artistically inclined and/or talented, these are the means to get to the center of your story more rapidly. Once at the center, it all makes more sense. You know what the moving parts are and precisely what to do with them. Follow your personal and preferred style. It will be loud and bold for some of you, while others will benefit from quiet and soft.
The next part is vastly and more easily attained. As you release and let go of your old negative story, a brand new story will begin to evolve. Your new story may surprise you, as it may be nothing that has occurred to you before. How in the world could it? Your mind and heart used to be so filled with all the negative and bad stuff that was holding you back; how could you possibly entertain thoughts of what will move you forward.
The best result of all is that your conversations with others will start to lean toward the positive parts of your story. And everyone likes to be around positive people. There seems to be a sense that your positive story will spill over onto others and affect them in the positive way it’s been for you.
The funniest part of being in my own new and positive story; life is a lot more pleasant!
Enjoy your process and your new, updated story.
Think – Creatively
Act – Responsibly
Feel – Passionately
You can reach Ken Day at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ken Day owns Kenneth Day Weddings at: http://www.kennethdayweddings.com
FLASHBACK ARTICLE FROM DECEMBER 2009