In this blog post we examine the stories we tell ourselves and what effect these stories have on our performance.
In the first blog post about storytelling; In the Core of a Story we established what a story is and how to structure it. In, The Story of a Great Storyteller we examined what differentiates a great storyteller from the rest. In our third and final part, we examine storytelling on a individual level.
Your story is my Passion
I was brought up on an island. The village I lived in had one electronics shop. For an upcoming holiday trip my father rented a video camera which all of used to film our take on the holiday. After the holiday my sister and I were hooked. We kept renting the camera and started to produce our own shows. We made documentaries, fiction films, music videos and stop motion Barbie films. Our island provided us with countless opportunities to explore and we were endlessly hungry to create new material for our non-existing audience.
Ever since I was very young I have loved ideas. Generating ideas has always been easy for me. Inventing worlds and creating characters followed me to my adulthood, I never grew out of it. I studied the arts and creative media, but I had a limiting belief. I believed that it was not possible for me to be fulfilled creatively and make money at the same time.
I got in to the Arts University Bournemouth to study photography. After some weeks I realized I wanted to study a course with a broader focus. I switched to study visual communication but I had no idea what the course was about. I kept on working really hard, but was not getting good marks. I didn't get it. I worked over the weekends and was still not doing well. What I had not understood was, that I had entered a commercial course, where the focus in creating was in the needs of the client, not in what I wanted to do. These new restrictions were difficult for me to understand. I graduated with good marks, but with a belief that the commercial world was not for me.
It took me a failed marriage, moving countries and what seemed at the time like loosing it all, to really investigate my beliefs. Failure taught me things about myself I would have never learned otherwise. I started to study the people around me. How did they achieve the things they wanted to achieve? What did they have I didn't? The answer: nothing. However they had learned some skills I would have to adopt in order to achieve what I wanted.
On top of modeling the people who consistently achieved the results I wanted to achieve, I became very careful with the internal language I used. Instead of calling a situation hopeless I called it challenging. Instead of saying I was not good at something I accepted that it was not in my natural interest, but in order to get where I wanted to go I would have to make it my interest.
The biggest lesson I took away from it all was, that I could never control what happened around me or the stories other people told about me, but what I could control was the story I told myself.