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What Stories Are You Telling Yourself To Keep You Where You Are?

You know that voice in your head? Yes, you know the one I’m talking about, it’s not just me, everyone hears it. The one that gives a running commentary on everything you do during the day. What is it saying to you?

We all talk to ourselves. Really, it’s quite normal. Most of us don’t do it out loud, that’s not so normal. But we do it.

And what we say to ourselves makes a huge difference to what we achieve. In terms of your career, for instance, what you tell yourself will largely determine how far you can go.

I know from the coaching I do that people tell themselves stories. Stories about themselves, about what they’re like, about what they deserve, about their place in the world. And, often, these stories are used as a reason to stop them moving forwards.

For example, I hear people saying, “I’m not the sort of person to be wealthy/to run a business/to be a leader…”

They say, “I’m unlucky/I’m lazy/I’m disorganised/I’m too young/I’m too old/I’m not ready/I come from a poor background/I’m just an ordinary person (whatever that means)…”

I think it was Tony Robbins, the self-development guru, who once put it very plainly and said something like, “There are two types of people – there are winners and there are losers with a great story.”

In other words, people who don’t achieve what they want to always have a good story to tell as to why it never happened for them. That may seem unfair but there’s some truth in it.

Of course external factors will have an impact on what you achieve. Bad things may happen to you. Other people may treat you badly. There may be circumstances outside your control. But how you react to those things will determine your level of success – and how you react will partly depend on the stories you tell yourself.

If you see yourself as unlucky, as a victim, or as someone who doesn’t deserve to be successful, you’re preparing the way for failure right from the start. As soon as you hit an obstacle, you’ll say, ”There, I was right!” Where someone else might find a way round that obstacle, you’ll use it as justification for giving up.

So think carefully about the stories you tell yourself. When you hear that voice in your head offering some excuse for not trying or for not achieving something, ask yourself, “Is that true? Is that really why I haven’t achieved what I want yet? Is this story helping me or is it holding me back?”

Because, if you can change some of the stories you tell yourself, you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes!

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