Blog with Joel Brookman

Your Story

Everyone has a story. I was involved with a woman whose father verbally abused her. Her parents had a toxic relationship. They would scream at each other on a daily basis. When we had even the smallest disagreement, she would scream at me. Her excuse was that this is the way people in her family expressed themselves. She justified her actions with her “story.” Maybe you were born to parents that never understood you. They wanted different things for you than you wanted for yourself. Perhaps you had a traumatic experience in your past that influences who you are today. The culmination of your life’s experiences, especially the highly-charged ones, often become your story. Some of us allow our story to dictate who we are today.

Does your story help propel you in a positive direction? Perhaps people thought you would never get ahead in life and that motivated you to prove them wrong. Or, do you use your story, namely  your collection of past experiences, to justify the failures in your life?

Don’t allow yourself to be defined by your story

What if you recently started a business. You never got good grades in math and decided that numbers were not your thing. That became part of your story. As a business owner you must know your numbers: profit/loss, margins, payroll, etc. Maybe it’s time to push through the limitations that make up your story and move beyond preconceived ideas you have about yourself. Don’t allow your story to hold you back by using it as an excuse. You are a dynamic human being with the capabilities to rewrite your own story.

Don’t allow others to define your story

Do you have a story about someone who is responsible for you not achieving something? Maybe you blame the co-worker that threw you under the bus in front of your boss. Was there a parent or teacher that told you that you would never amount to anything? Did you believe it, or did you rebel against it? Other people should not have the ability to define your story. Allowing them this authority strips away your power and relegates you to the role of a victim. It’s time to stop blaming others and start taking responsibility for creating the life you desire.

Stop reliving your story by repeating it

I have a friend who is going through a difficult divorce. He found that his wife was not who he thought she was. She had been having affairs through their entire relationship. When I talk to him, he always tells me what an awful person his wife is and then goes on to share every detail in the latest episode in the saga. He does the same thing with all of his friends and family. This means that each time he repeats the details, he is reliving the horrible experience. His story has resulted in being self-identified as the distraught husband who was victimized by his wife. If instead he chose to limit the number of times he shared his narrative, he would be reducing the amount of times he relived the situation. Stopping the repetition or changing the story might actually allow him to have an easier time moving forward.

You and you alone can decide whom you choose to be in each moment. Don’t allow the story you created, or more critically, the story others created for you, to limit your success in life.



Posted by Joel Brookman in Choose who you want to be, overcoming limiting beliefs, self talk, Take Control of Your Life and tagged .


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