Is Your Story Holding You Back? 5 Steps to Redefine Power Through Story

Nancy O'Reilly suggests five steps to change your story and change your life. The stories we tell ourselves determine how we think we must behave. Change your story and you can transform your life in dramatic ways.When it comes to our stories, Bridget Cook-Burch, one of my coauthors of Leading Women, says we may not even be conscious of the obstacles we create with them or of the limitless possibilities that exist when we rewrite them.What stories are you telling yourself? Are you accepting the stereotypes of our culture? Are you pursuing the path someone else wants you to take? Are you living by default? Or are you pursuing your passion with a firm belief that it is your time to do whatever you choose?It’s time to take responsibility for your own “story.” You can stop seeing obstacles and start envisioning opportunities to claim and use your power to achieve your passion and purpose. All you have to do is change your story.Step out of your comfort zone. Get uncomfortable and make a difference. Every time someone says, “You can’t,” show them you can. Although it may feel painful for a moment, following your passion is definitely the path to follow.Start working out. When you feel physically fit and healthy, you naturally arm yourself to take on that next ambitious challenge. Exercise relieves stress, helps you relax, and produces the “happy hormones” that keep you strong and resilient.Talk to your friends. Many women have been doing what others wanted for so long, they simply don’t know what their strengths and skills are. Ask your women friends for guidance in finding a path that fits your talents.Stay present. When you worry about the future and dwell on the past, you waste your energy. It’s ironic that so many of us struggle to stay present because it really is the simplest, most natural thing in the world.Do one thing to change the world. When you are able to observe a positive difference in the world because of something you did, you’ll tap into a powerful well of motivation. Start small. Volunteer or chip in with others to fix something in your community, help out at a food pantry or join a charitable group.Things don’t change until you become aware of your story and take control of the narrative. From that point, each and every little thing that you do to change your story, will help you change your life.Things that were difficult or frightening become effortless. Obstacles you were afraid to climb become simple steps to get you closer to your goal. And most importantly, the fear around certain issues will begin to fall away as you align more closely with your path. After a few halting steps forward, changing your story steadily gets easier and you’ll begin to feel the satisfaction. After a few more steps you’ll begin to hit your stride and want to do more.Once you change your story, build from there. Connect with the women in your life and help them with their stories. Connections matter, and when women reach out and connect with each other, it not only helps each woman step into her own power, it changes their lives, and ultimately it can help us change the world.The women-helping-women movement grows through each and every connection. [bctt tweet=“Together we create our greatest impact and truly make the difference to transform our lives and the world we live in #25not95”]. Start working on your story today, and together, we can change the world.Nancy D. O’Reilly, PsyD, is an author of Leading Women: 20 Influential Women Share Their Secrets to Leadership, Business, and Life, and urges women to connect to help each other create a better world. As a clinical psychologist, motivational speaker and women empowerment expert, O’Reilly helps women create the satisfying and purposeful lives they want to benefit themselves, their families and their communities.