What's Your Back Pocket Story?
Jacques de Villiers
There are times in the life of a professional speaker where he or she is going to run into trouble. Forgotten lines. The projector goes on the blink. Wrong brief. Wrong audience. PowerPoint doesn't work or whatever.
This is when a true professional can pull a story out of his or her back pocket. Most speakers have stories from their lives and should have them ready in case things go wrong.
When the chips are down, things go wrong and times are dark, I would imagine that most of us have a 'back pocket' story too. A story that we tell ourselves to get us through the situation at hand.
But the challenge is that the stories we tell ourselves can either build us up or break us down.
We have the choice of picking positive, uplifting stories or negative, destructive stories.
The stories we choose to tell ourselves will make all the difference of how we see the world and interact in it.
It's no exaggeration to say that we all carry around more than our fair share of negative stories.
I'd bet we have a lot more negative stories than positive ones. How this or that was done to me. How I suffered. If only I'd ... How my heart was broken. How I was treated.
We can use these stories to feel depressed, sorry for ourselves, to be the victim and the like.
We can also reframe these 'negative' stories. And choose to use them positively so that we change from coal into diamonds. These stories are the forges where our characters shape and where our destiny maps out. We can use the adversity that has befallen us to hone us into a sharp blade of purpose.
And, of course, we should also focus on the positive stories in our lives too. They also shape us into who we are.
Whether our stories have been positive or negative, we should still feel gratitude.
You see, everything up until this moment (good and bad) has shaped you and me into who we are.
Our characters have been built and our foundations have been laid. We are probably where we're supposed to be right at this moment.
The awesome thing is that if we don't like where we're at now, we can choose to change. We can create more stories and they can be positive, fulfilling and powerful.
One thing that we have above every other living creature (even the angels) is choice. So go make some good choices. Write new stories. Live this life as you're supposed to ... with joy, awe and gratitude.
And, even if our new stories don't pan out as we hope ... good or bad, they still shape us into the human being we are, and will become.
The trick of this life is to become grace and not regret.
Find a path with heart.
Jacques de Villiers
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