What’s Your Story?

We all have a story. About our lives, our hopes. Our failures, our dreams. These anecdotes are actually myths we use to guide our future. And these stories have a common thread of understanding that defines how we journey through life. If they’re positive, we can easily move through our world. But if we hit a pothole in life? Those are the negative ones that keep us stuck.

But here’s an anecdote of an “overcoming” story. I had a fear of heights. That’s right. A earth shaking, rock-your-soul fear of tall places. Think the glass floor of the elevator in the Sear’s Building in Chicago. The Ledge is off of the 103rd floor, 1,353 feet up off the ground. Never mind the magnificent view of 50 miles and 4 states. I’m sure it’s an experience of a lifetime, but wasn’t on my bucket list.

To get past this challenge a few years back, I enrolled in The Great Ropes Experience. As I entered the transformed racquetball court, I noticed ropes, huge steps to the ceiling, a wall to climb, you name it. All went well throughout the day until I came to the Walk Across the Wire. This tightrope was roughly 15 feet off the ground, kitty corner across the room. I climbed the steps to the platform. Then pulled on a safety harness. And froze. Stopped breathing. Ceased to think. I was stuck.

To maintain balance, a saving grace was a pair of crossed wires that ran from above the platform to the other side. The only problem? The cables met in an X in the middle of the tightrope. No place to hang on to. I began to edge over, gaining confidence with each step. However, my story was: “I’m going to fall and be really hurt. I look like a fool.” I was also saying, then yelling, “I can’t do this!”

I then revamped my story. Rather than the mental picture of me splattering all over the floor, I changed the narrative to a successful, if ungainly, walk on the wire. My breathing slowed. My thoughts cleared. I remembered the safety harness. My focus shifted to successfully arriving at the other side. While I wasn’t the most expert tight rope walker you had ever seen, I was living unstuck.

Want to change your story?

Here are some fabled editing tips:

  • Breathe. Your mind will respond better when supplied with oxygen. Shallow breathing encourages fear and shutdown. Expanding your rib cage by breathing deeply will relax your entire body.
  • Edit the scene. Dim the colors. Mute the sound. Make the picture smaller. Move it away from you. Then feel the relaxation flow through your body and mind.
    Picture what you do want to achieve. A perfect schuss down the slopes. A perfect run. A great day of fishing. Hiking in a new place.
  • Hold that image in your mind and make it real. See the colors. Smell the fragrance. Feel the breeze against your face. You’re there!
  • Remember: you’re in charge of your feelings. Just as I revised my story on the tightrope, you too can reorder your focus…secure in the knowledge that you are the best ever CEO of your life.

Change your story and live unstuck!

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