How to Re-Wire Your Reality: Tell a Different Story
What if I said you could change your life today just by telling a different story about it?
I’m not talking about an easy money fix like instantly becoming a millionaire. I’m talking about choices that could truly have you living a life that’s joyful and fulfilling.
I'd like to introduce you to a tool that I often incorporate in my coaching work. It’s called “Tell a different story”.
Telling a different story is just another way of saying we're giving ourselves permission to envision a presumably better end result than the negative one that we’ve programmed ourselves to expect.
We mere mortals tend to gloss over (or outright deny) the significant impact our perspectives have on how we view and respond to the world around us.
Our History of Pain
Most of us have had at least some history of disappointment, periodic failure, or other experiences where we felt out of control or defeated.
When we’re faced with a new challenge, our minds automatically search for previous similar experiences to draw from. If that experience triggers negative emotions, it usually defaults to an expectation that “if it happened once, it’ll happen again”.
And what happens when we expect failure? We generally get exactly what we anticipated.
Unfortunately, that just continues the cycle of expectation and self-fulfilling prophecy of disappointment and unhappiness.
You Create Your Reality
The fact is, our realities are self-generated. Most people think that the reality that surrounds them is completely outside of their control when it’s really quite the opposite.
Yes, it’s true, there is a lot we can’t control, but how we view our world and how it directly affects our mental state, health, and our actions all come from our own minds, thoughts, and beliefs.
We give up our power all too often to the outside world by giving in to the thoughts that we can’t change anything or create a better environment for ourselves.
That “victim mentality”, however, is exactly the opposite strategy to employ if you truly want a happier and healthier life.
You need a better plan if you want a different result and getting a different result almost always requires changing your perspective.
So, what’s the first step in getting out of that vicious cycle?
What Thoughts and Beliefs Run Your Life?
It’s best to start by taking careful stock of the thoughts and beliefs that are currently running your life.
Ask yourself how and why you automatically default to the worst-case scenario?
Many people just respond with “Well, it’s just always been that way. I can’t catch a break”.
To that, I say there’s no Universal Law that states that what was, will always be. That’s a choice that each of us can make fresh every minute, hour, or day.
Can You Re-Write Your History?
What if you could re-write your history? A complete do-over. How would you change it?
Would there be a higher expectation of success, more fun, and positive experiences? Maybe a higher level of control over what you let into your life?
Let’s start with that and employ our new secret weapon. It’s time to tell a different story.
Let me share my first eye-opening experience with you when I personally put this to the test.
Frankly, though I’ve always considered myself a fairly positive person, I’ll admit I was as skeptical as you probably are right now.
I had just read a book by Greg Kuhn on Quantum Physics that introduced me to this concept.
In the book, he says, “stop telling it like it is and start telling it how you want it to be”. The “it” is your mind.
He goes on to say that “what makes something good or bad is not the thing itself, but the story you choose to tell yourself about it”.
I was about to test his theory.
Coming back from vacation in Northern California, I was driving the 2 hours back to the airport. I thought I had allotted plenty of time to get there, get gas, return the rental car and take the shuttle to check-in.
Unfortunately, I got caught in a nasty freeway backup.
As time ticked by, making only the smallest of progress, I went from nervous to panicked. I was terrified that I would miss my flight, which happened to be the last one out that night.
As I was sitting in the car, though, the thought struck me. Why not use this situation as an experiment about telling a different story?
What did I have to lose besides a little time and effort, right?
After taking a few deep breaths, I started telling myself that despite the delay, I’d make it in plenty of time. I started visualizing myself returning the car, getting the shuttle, and getting to the gate without rushing.
Not only that, but I envisioned myself calm, even happy, and completely unrattled by the time challenge.
Ok, I’ll be the first to tell you I was shocked at the outcome. Not only did I somehow get to the plane on time, but without even asking, I was upgraded to first-class by a nice ticketing agent. Thank you, Universe!
A few minutes later, I sat in my first-class seat, calm, happy, and completely unrattled by all that had taken place, just as I had envisioned.
Time to Re-evaluate Your Expectations
The experience forced me to take a long hard look at what the past few hours could have been like if I’d just let myself default to my “I’m going to miss my flight/this always happens to me” expectation.
I still have that first-class ticket by the way.
It’s pinned to my bulletin board in my office so I can be continually reminded of that remarkable experiment where something so simple as telling a different story made all the difference.
It’s not just that I created, or expected, a different ending in my mind. The shift in mindset changed everything, including my physical and emotional reactions and energy.
I could sense people could feel it and see it in me too.
I was more relaxed, happier, and able to handle sudden changes with flexibility and humor. I had found my new game-changer life strategy.
Since then I’ve gone from just experimenting with my storytelling shifts to implementing it full-time.
A New Home
In fact, it’s responsible for my decision to uproot myself, and my businesses, and move here to the beautiful coastal town of Florence, Oregon, something I never would have done without using my "tell a different story" skillset.
Over and over, I keep realizing that even if things don’t work out exactly as I’d visualized, the results are always far better than my old negative default reaction.
Why not try it out yourself? There's always another, and better, way of seeing things if you choose to try.
I don’t know exactly how this Quantum Physics/Theory stuff works. But, the Universe seems to always reward those who proactively choose to at least try to follow a more optimistic path and embrace hope in the process.
So, what kind of different result would you like to see in your life today, tomorrow, and into the future?
Every day is a new opportunity to tell a different story. So, what’s your new story going to be?
So, until next time, my friend, as I always say….stay safe, stay healthy, and stay strong!