What Is Your Story?
Kitty Boitnott, Ph.D., NBCT, RScP
Career Transition & Job Search Coach
I just got off the phone with a coach who is helping me get in touch with a part of the "story" that makes me who I am and who I want to be. We are trying to get to the root of some limiting beliefs that I may hold subconsciously that could be holding me back from accomplishing all that I would like to accomplish both personally and professionally.
As we were doing that work on me, I suddenly became acutely aware that we all have a "story." We are, in fact, the products of the various stories that we tell ourselves both as children and as young adults. Those stories become embedded in the fabric of who we become as adults.
In my case, I suddenly saw parallels between my parents' relationship and my relationship with my ex-husband. Yikes! I had never seen that before, but it is definitely there. A good insight to have for sure if a little disconcerting to embrace at first.
What is YOUR story?
It is true that everyone has their own unique story. And if you think about it, some people have made their livelihood by telling their story and sharing the lessons they learned along the way. Oprah Winfrey comes to mind as one specific example. Few people have been as transparent or open about every aspect their lives...warts and all...as she has been for over a quarter of a century. Oprah's transparency has made millions of people feel an affinity with her because they recognize a part of themselves in her.
My own story is pretty boring in the grand context of many stories. I grew up in a loving family, and we did pretty well in the grand scheme of things.
With that said, there were challenges and there are messages that I received as an impressionable child that may not serve my best interest as an adult woman now, sixty years later. It is time to come to terms with those messages, break through the limitations they may represent and move on to achieve the bold goals I have set for myself for this next stage of my life.
It made me wonder. Are other people already at peace with their stories? Have they examined the limitations that they perceive for themselves?
I had an interesting email exchange with a young man this week that seemed to illustrate the fact that some people have stories that have control rather than the individual having control. This gentleman wanted to know if I could help him with a career change. Ironically, he was eager from the get-go to explain to me why he didn't believe I could. When I challenged his seeming limited thinking and suggested that perhaps the possibilities were more abundant than he was considering, he appeared to feel challenged. It seemed to me that he didn't really want my help, or perhaps he was looking for free advice without having to invest anything on his end--he didn't even want to sign up for the free consultation that I offered him on three different occasions. I couldn't very well offer advice without knowing more about him or his situation. He refused to take me up on the invitation to chat. It felt like he had already decided that there was no help for him, and he simply wanted confirmation that it was too late for him to make a change that would be beneficial.
I couldn't convince him otherwise because I can't prescribe for someone I haven't talked to. It's like expecting a doctor you haven't seen to prescribe a medication for you. That may happen, but it isn't very ethical if it does.
I wasn't the right person for that young man, but there are plenty of people that I help find the change they want all the time. My most recent client got a job she is excited about just this week, so I know the method I use works. It only works, however, for people who are open to being helped, and the young man with whom I had the challenging email exchange didn't appear to be open. His internal story is that he is stuck, and ironically, he is "sticking to that story" even if it means that his feeling stuck in a career he no longer loves becomes his self-fulfilling prophecy.
So, what about your story? What stories do you have that you tell yourself either consciously or subconsciously right now that may not best serve you? What stories do you need to recognize as fallacies? What do you need to tell yourself differently in order for you to live the life you want now?
I am not a psychologist, but I understand the importance of psychology in understanding our behaviors. With that said, if you feel like you are living a life that feels constrictive or limiting, I invite you to take a look at that, either alone or with the help of a therapist or some type of coach. You owe it to yourself to live the life you want and deserve...not the one you feel limited by.
Until next time.
Are you ready to change your story? Do you want a different ending? Are you ready to make a career change that has been too scary to consider before? If so, why don't you make an appointment for a 20-minute complimentary consultation this week? I would love to see if I can help or if I can refer you to the kind of help you want or need.
To make an appointment, click here: https://kittyatcareermakeover.coachesconsole.com/calendar/