I met Steve Errey years ago and it was respect at first sight. He was perceptive, smart, gentle and honest – all qualities I like in a person. Oh, and he was confident… enough to proudly flaunt his bold, bright pink website.
Fast forward a few months and a shade of blue later, and Steve was still doing awesome stuff I appreciated. When he asked me for an interview on confidence, I stepped right up and poured my heart into it.
Now the tables have turned, and it’s Steve pouring out his heart by asking the smart questions that make you think twice – just like this post below. Enjoy!
Stories are important.
Some stories make us laugh. Some make us cry. Some move us to action. Some are so compelling and powerful that they leave us changed forever. And sometimes a story we heard long ago comes back to us with a timely message.
Did you know that your story might be harming you?
See, you’re constantly telling yourself a story – about where you’ve been, what’s happened to you, what’s going on in your life right now, where you hope to be heading or where you’re scared of going. There are stories everywhere.
But the stories your brain comes up with about you and your life are massively subjective. Your brain processed the information it had and presented you not only with a view of what fits with what you’ve learned but what affirms what you know (or think you know).
Your brain will always do what it can to make sense of your world and make you right.
In fact, if the stories you tell yourself were turned into a movie, it would have the disclaimer “dramatised from actual events” in the opening credits to let the audience know that while some events might have happened just as they appear on screen, others have been exaggerated, switched around or cut altogether.
Okay, But a Story is Just a Story, Right?
One woman I worked with had a story in her head that turned her into the victim. She was always on the backfoot, always looking for a way to save herself before falling victim to circumstance once again. She didn’t see that she’d be free if she only shifted her perspective away from being a victim.
Another woman told herself a story that cast her as the struggling artist. She felt that she had to struggle or suffer in order to create something meaningful. She didn’t see that her story kept her from creating the kind of work she hoped to create… and it stripped her confidence to boot.
Some of the stories you tell yourself keep you stuck. It’s up to you to figure them out. So what’s your story? Here’s what I want you to do:
- Imagine they’re making a movie based on your life events and experiences – the horrible times, the good times, the silly times and the heart-breaking times. Your story will soon be a movie. What might that movie be called? Picture the title on your own movie poster. Play with this – just chuck down a few ideas no matter how silly they might seem.
- Would this movie be a fair representation of who you really are, way down deep? Would this movie tell the story of all the great experiences you’ve had, of everything you’ve accomplished, of all the lives you’ve touched and of everything you hope for? If not, for what reasons?
- Now picture a sequel to the movie. This sequel covers the part of the story that you’ve yet to experience, but it’s a vital sequel because the central character – that’s you – overcomes great difficulty, discovers who you really are and goes on to live a compelling, rich life filled with extraordinary achievements and people who make you feel alive. What would happen in this sequel for you to come out of the theatre feeling like it was the best damn movie you’ve ever seen? This one has the happiest of happy endings, but what would it be called?
The story you tell is up to you. You can either have that story enable you to move forwards in ways most important to you, or you can have that story remind you of the pain, the struggles and the reasons why you can’t have what you want.
Sure, you might not be able to control all the plot points and what other characters get up to, but you can always decide what your character does in response to those things.
And just to bring extra spark to the exercise, use the comment section below to tell me what your movie trailer would be. I’m curious to see what’s coming soon to theatres.