WARNING: This post is not what you think. While I do believe everyone’s story is important and deserves to be told, there’s a difference in how your story is received when you tell it from the perspective of living in it vs. having learned from it. And that will directly impact your success… As an author and in business.
Everyone has a story. While your story is important and has made you who you are today, you have a choice. You can keep telling that story and allowing it to define who you are, or you can choose who you want to be and be that person.
I grew up in a family that I thought was freaking incredible. I had a great relationship with my parents, and yet I was chronically ill (like missed so much school I had to be held back despite perfect grades ill). I spent my last two weeks of my first semester of college in the hospital for tests. At my worst, just after college, I was actually sleeping 20 hours a day. After a few years of various mis-diagnoses, I finally got my health on track and within that year my amazing, perfect family fell apart…
It was like the rug was pulled out from under me. I was in so much shock, all I could do was lay on the couch for two days and shake. I couldn’t even cry – there were no tears left. What I thought my family was when I was growing up wasn’t true at all. A lot of dirty laundry and horrible actions came to light. My parents divorced, my dad (who I grew up thinking of as my hero, as many girls do) disowned me, and to this day my dad’s family still won’t speak to me, etc., etc. Then two years ago, I got divorced. My world literally turned upside-down and it took the better part of three years to figure my life out again.
There Ya Have It…
That is part of my story. Yeah, it’s been hard. I still have sucky days. I still peel back layers of grief. But I REFUSE to allow it to define WHO I AM. I refuse to keep telling it over and over and over again every time I have a conversation with someone or every time a memory surfaces of something I “used to have.” Yeah, I still have days of tears, of exploring that layer and healing. But that’s the thing… Instead of rehashing my story over and over again as a justification for my bitchy attitude, I’m looking at it with curiosity and letting it heal. (And I surround myself with people who hold me accountable to this personal growth commitment.)
Here’s the thing… you can keep telling the story of every sacrifice you’ve made, everything that’s been done “to” you, how you’ve been made to suffer, what’s been taken from you, and claim that’s the source of all your problems. And while your story may contribute to your current situation, while your circumstances do often push you in directions you’d rather not at first go, the fact is YOU are letting it define who you are and define the success in your future.
Now you get to make the most important choice you’ll face in this moment. You can keep living your story, telling it every chance you get, mulling over how things could have been different, letting it play on “repeat” in your brain… OR you can choose to let your story shape who you are, tell it only when it inspires others and grow past it.
Me? I know my story has helped to define who I am. While it’s been tough to live through, and there have been days I didn’t even know if I’d get to see the next sunrise, I choose to tell it when I feel it may help inspire someone else who’s struggling with issues where I’ve healed… when it’s appropriate. And I have chosen to STOP telling it just to justify why shit keeps hitting the fan (this is life… shit will definitely fly!). And you know what? As soon as I made that choice and asked my close friends and advisors to hold me accountable to keep it, something surprising to me (but not to them) happened. BLESSINGS POURED IN! (And they’re still pouring every day!)
So now it’s time for you to make your choice regarding your story. Do you want blessings or to remain stuck-in-story? The choice is yours!
Mary HornFebruary 3, 2017
Thank you for sharing your story, and yes we all have one. 2016 was a difficult year for so many of the people in my life, some of it unimaginable. For some of my inner circle it was a year of healing and happiness too. Mine ended by ending my relationship with my fiancee, and finally realizing that I was trying to fit into his world, sacrificing my own wants and needs for my future. I put my writing somewhat on hold for the last 2 years and am now ready to go again.
2017 certainly won’t be without it’s struggles, especially with the divisiveness we now have, so the only thing I can do is change how I live and follow my dreams. This is my choice. Thank you for your insight!