Our subconscious thoughts and our actions (or inaction), and the “Story” that we tell ourselves are the result of our past experiences and messages that we have received from others. These past experiences and messages have a direct impact on our lives and interfere with our ability to live the life that we so desperately want to live. Think about the imaginary friends that some of us had as kids, with whom we carried on elaborate fantasies, including tea parties and interesting “conversations.” We invented those “friends” to keep us company, love us and protect us. As we grew older, we realized that we didn’t need these imaginary friends and we understood that they weren’t real. They no longer served as companions and protectors, so we let them go.
Like the imaginary friend, the Story we’ve been telling ourselves might have served a genuine, useful and protective purpose when we created it. The Story helped us to navigate the difficult waters of life. But, it’s important to recognize when the Story that we are telling ourselves is actually getting in the way of the life that we want for ourselves.
In my case, my Story was formed when I was 10 or 11 years old, and my parents separated and divorced, leaving my Mom as the sole source of support for my Sister and me. Life was very rough both financially and emotionally, and Mom held two and sometimes 3 jobs as she tried to hold things together. One of the most impressionable events that happened during that time was that shortly after my Dad left, he bought my sister and me a 13 inch color television for Christmas. This was a big deal at the time because most people only had black and white TVs, if they had a television at all. Having the new color TV made us feel special at a time when we were wondering what we had done to cause our family to split up.
One Saturday morning a month or two after the TV was delivered, my sister and I were watching cartoons when the doorbell rang. In walked two men, who seemed huge at the time. They unplugged our precious color television while we were watching it and repossessed it. My Dad had bought it on credit and hadn’t made the agreed upon payments. I was devastated by having something snatched from me in this way, and I decided right then and there that I would NEVER allow anyone to take anything from me again.
This experience and the feelings that I had during that time in my life have colored almost every decision that I have made in life, including my decisions to major in accounting in College (rather than pursuing a career as a tv news anchor or actor) and to practice corporate law at some of the largest law firms and corporations in the Country. These were safe decisions that provided me with a comfortable, financially secure life. But, these safe decisions also got in the way of me pursuing my dreams and passions. The Story I told myself was that I could never depend on anyone other than myself and that I would never be able to be financially secure if I pursued my dreams. Although I worked hard, I felt I was “lucky” to have had the opportunities that I had. When I talked about leaving the stressful life of being an attorney in a large organization, I got crazy looks from family and friends who couldn’t understand why anyone would leave such a good, high paying job. And, my “Story” reinforced those feelings, making certain that I stayed “safe.”
Through coaching, I realized that my Story had both protected me and hindered me from realizing my fullest potential and living the life I wanted to live. Coaching helped me to give myself permission to let go of the old story and create a new Story that serves me better. On July 10, 2015, I retired from my job in the legal department of the largest mortgage finance company in the world. I am writing myself a new Story! In my new Story, I successfully do anything I set my mind to. In my new Story, I am one of the best executive coaches in the country and the possibilities are as big as my imagination. In my new Story, I Live, Love, Learn, Play, Win & Be to my fullest potential.
What Story are you telling yourself? If you are a professional woman in a large organization, maybe you are telling yourself that you are not smart enough to be as successful as some of your male colleagues. Are you secretly thinking that you don’t have what it takes to become a partner or director at your firm or company? If you have a great idea for a business or product or even a process improvement for your current employer, but you haven’t pursued it, perhaps you fear rejection, failure or the inability to provide the lifestyle you want? Is your Story getting in the way of you taking action to create the life you really want for yourself? Is it time for you to create a new Story?
Wheeler Coaching will help you to create a new Story for yourself. We will partner with you so that you take action to live the life you want to live. Currently, we are offering a limited number of 30 minute complimentary sessions, so go to the “Contact Us” page of www.wheelercoaching.com and schedule your complimentary session today.