Have you ever let your story get the best of you? You know, that circumstance that is happening in your life that doesn’t feel great…maybe its the job you hate or the lack of relationship or the bank account or the overall feeling of being stuck?
…and you let it define you, wear you down, stop you from moving forward. Or maybe you talk about it sheepishly and feel a slight (or not so slight) sense of embarrassment or shame about it.
We can tell so many disempowering stories about whatever the struggle is at the moment.
But if we keep looking at it from the victim standpoint it can be really hard to change it.
In order to take charge of our lives we’ve got to start looking at our circumstances differently which ultimately helps us tell our stories differently and allows things to shift.
Life presented me with this very challenge a few weeks ago when I started taking an acting class. I’d been thinking about taking a class for a while and decided to go for it.
But on the first day I quickly realized I was the oldest person in the class…by like 10 years, and I’m only 36.
When we were going around introducing ourselves, the first girl said she was 19. My scene partner is 21.
As everyone was going around talking about themselves, here’s what was going on in my mind:: “This is a HUGE mistake. Everyone is so young and budding and knows that they want to be a professional actor. You don’t have any experience. You’re not serious about it. Plus what are you doing? You’re 36….3-6!!!! Who do you think you are trying something like acting at your age? What are you going to say about why you are here? Everyone else has experience and knows exactly what they want to work on…what about you? You just want to explore. How lame.”
This very ugly story made me want to curl up into the fetal position.
Until something happened. Some wiser/loving part of me jumped in and said “Just own it. Own who you are and why are here. You are brave for trying something new. Own that.”
So, I decided to just tell the truth. I explained how I spent 10 years in the corporate world (discreetly showing my age), that I always thought of myself as a business woman not an artist but over the last few years that’s changed as I’ve let my creativity come out more and more. And that I had some experience working with actors in my coaching business and was becoming more intrigued by the art so I wanted to take a class for myself.
I owned it, lack of experience and all.
It felt really good. Clearly I can’t change my age but I can change how I talk about my age and my experience.
And you know what – everyone nodded their heads and nobody cared and it was totally fine.
Our minds make much bigger deals about things than they really are.
How can you own wherever you are right now?
Because wherever you are right now is exactly perfect for getting you to where you want to go next.
Clarity and growth often come through tension of some sort. And the tension is always formed by being in circumstances we don’t like.
So if you are in a place you don’t like, try switching it up and telling the story from a new perspective where you take claim over it.
Your life is too beautiful to let a silly story get in the way from doing something greater.
In fact the story could be the very thing standing in the way between you and something better.
Our stories are so powerful. They help shape us and those around us. What story are you telling? Are you letting yourself be the victim to your circumstances or are you ready to rise above them so they can change?
We can all be heroes of our journeys…and it all starts with OWNING it.
Photo credit: Cameron Kirby