We all have stories that we tell about ourselves based on the way we perceive our lives. Some of those stories may be in which we make ourselves victims and some are one in which we allow ourselves to be inspiring to ourselves and others.

Here’s an example:

1) I’m 50 years old and I’m young for my age. I got laid off my job and got the opportunity to relax, exercise, take a
good hard look at my life and what I wanted and reinvent myself. The government sends me money (unemployment checks) while I’m doing this. I’m now an author and speaker and have the opportunity to help people become their most authentic selves. I am open to all sorts of loving friendships with the people that I meet along life’s wonderful winding road.

2) I’m 50 years old, my husband of 24 years left me in a very public and humiliating way and we got divorced (we were together for 27 years total), I lost my job and I don’t know what to do with my life.

Both stories are true but the second story is much easier to tell. The second one practically insures that you’ll buy into it and give me sympathy. But the second story dis-empowers us both. It doesn’t allow us to move beyond social myths
and personal fears.

To take this a step further, let’s look at the first sentence again and see how we create barriers to this message of hope and inspiration.

I’m 50 years old. 50 is old, there aren’t many employers who want 50 year olds.
I got laid off my job. Poor me, I’m a statistic, a victim of the economy.
The government sends me unemployment checks. Unemployment is not enough to support myself on.

I am open to all sorts of loving friendships with the people that I meet along life’s wonderful winding road. I’m alone nobody loves me. In essence, when you tell the second story you just cut to the chase, accept all the negative circumstances in advance and create barriers to change for yourself and others. If you want to tell the second story that’s okay, just know in your heart that you have a choice and don’t expect the outcome from story #1 if you’re telling story #2. That’s unrealistic.

Now, let’s say that you have a 5 year old child. The child comes to you and says: “Mommy, what’s gonna happen to me if I’m 50 years old, am married and my husband leaves me and I lose my job?” Well dear, the best thing to do is make yourself feel badly about your life, not consider different options that you have and work towards homelessness. Do you see where this is going? It would be your ethical responsibility to educate the child that he/she had options where they could create value for themselves, their family and society. Therefore, it’s your ethical responsibility to reframe your story to yourself.

Now let’s look at a very dramatic example of someone Nick Vujicic. Look him up on You Tube. He’s got no arms and no legs, just one little flipper like limb that he uses kind of like a kick stand. He goes around the world inspiring people to be the most that they can be, to overcome obstacles no matter how many times it takes them. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agetT6qKpA8

Do you want to take an honest look at your story and your beliefs? Imagine that you’re standing in front of Nick telling him about your life. How does your story sound? Can you speak it proudly? There is an important message for you in that exercise which lets you know what track you’re on. The beauty of that exercise is that it costs no money and takes just a few minutes to rethink and retell your story, a story in which gratitude for what you have and what you can achieve are at the center.

Author's Bio: 

Maryellen Smith is a writer, artist, business and technology coach and social media expert that helps people with spiritually based businesses achieve new levels of success and financial freedom.