What’s your story? Is it one filled with intrigue and adventure? Do you wake up every morning excited to turn the page, to dig into that next chapter? Does it belong on the best-seller list? Or in the discount bin? Is it a fairy tale? A Classic? Textbook? Suspense novel? Comic book? In the next few minutes we’re going to consider how we can change our narrative and tap into the incredible power of 4 simple words: Once Upon A Time
I’m Dr. Bradford Cooper of the Catalyst Coaching Institute, where we partner with current and future health and wellness coaches on the journey toward BetterThanYesterday. Today we’re going to continue our discussion about life’s journey by opening the book on a process that might just change your life story – or maybe that of your health & wellness coaching clients – if we’re willing to turn the page.
One of my favorite question to ask when I’m in a setting with soon-to-be-friends is “So, What’s Your Story?” Now tone is important to this question if you decide to adopt this one, as “What’s YOUR story” may not exactly be the most personable way to start a relationship 😊. But when asked in a genuinely curious manner, it offers the recipient of the opportunity to share their favorite version of their own story.
Did you catch that? Let’s rewind…
“Their favorite version of their own story.” Folks – we write our life’s narrative. We decide how the story is interpreted… and how its told, not only to others but MUCH more importantly – to ourselves. So which version are you choosing to tell? Which character do you play in the story? Are you the towns person, observing the adventure from the outside but never getting involved? Or maybe you’re playing the role of victim, held down by the villain and feeling like your only chance is if someone else comes on the scene to save you. Or maybe you’ve made the choice to write your story from the perspective of the hero. You face down the monsters of your past and dragons of your present that exist for all of us, but choose to rise above at the critical moment to make a positive difference in this world.
Folks – we write the narrative. If we’re writing it, why not cast ourselves as the compassionate hero of the story we’re writing?
“But you don’t understand Brad. I’m not the hero. I never step up. I am depending on someone or something to come rescue me in my story. Being the hero is just not my story.”
I get it. That’s exactly the story the vast majority of people choose to tell. They’d rather sit back and hope that some ONE – a politician, a new lover, a boss – or some THING – winning the lottery, finding the magic supplement – will rescue them. It’s not going to happen. Stop expecting someone or something to be our hero. Once we tune into that reality, we can change our narrative, re-cast ourselves in the story WE are writing, and take advantage of the 4 magical words I mentioned out of the gate of this brief clip.
These 4 words are a signal to the listener an adventure is underway. These are “edge of your seat” words. “Something big is coming” words. “Cue the soundtrack” words. A new journey is about to begin. We lean in, wanting to be a part of that story. But before we can engage with those words, we must first utter two others: The End.
If you’re not happy with the story you’ve been writing, let’s change that today. Prepare to start your new story by first closing the book on the story you’ve been writing up to this point, stating clearly and concisely those two words: The End.
With that book done and placed to the side, it’s now time to start your new one. As you do, make it count. We recently interviewed 6 time best-selling author Bruce Feiler on the Catalyst Health, Wellness & Performance Coaching podcast, and the words with which he ends his book provide us a valuable launching point with which to begin our own…
“It’s time once more to utter the most spellbinding, life-affirming words we can utter. The words that suggest a story is coming. Maybe even a fairy tale.
Once upon a time.”
If you’d like more tools and resources to make the most of your story, pop over to CatalystCoachingInstitute.com Or – here’s a great video on which you can build. This is Dr. Bradford Cooper signing out to go write my own story.
So one more time … What’s your story?