What's your story? The question that comes up every single time you meet somebody new is, "What's your story?" The reason I want to talk about this today is because the answer that follows provides so much information about the person who is saying it. If you are the one asking the question, if you pay attention to the answer you receive, you will learn so much real fast about that person and vice versa. The person who is giving the answer to that question will learn a lot about themselves if they pay attention to their response. What I mean by that is typically when we answer the question of, "What's your story?" We are letting you know our entire current belief system and the patterns that we are in. This goes in every single world of dating, jobs, careers, personal health, happiness, everything you can possibly think of. Which is why it's so important to pay attention, because if you find that you have been stuck in a pattern or situation that makes you feel like you're in a glitch in the Matrix, just on a never-ending loop and you can't find your way out, pay attention to your own story and the story that others tell.
The problem is typically we create these stories based on very specific circumstances or situations that were either emotionally charged or just when we were forced to make some sort of decision, which is great. However, we stay with this for so long and we forget that we have the power and the opportunity to change that. Let's use an example of that, say in the dating world. There's a lot of people going through a lot of different things in the dating world right now. New relationships starting, old relationships ending, the story is changing externally.
There's a really great guy named Neville Goddard, he's super old-school, like back when television was black and white. He might be kind of hard for a lot of people to read or listen to, but he talks about the second you change your inner dialogue your external world is going to change. Part of this with the dating thing is a lot of times people go through their own journeys, they're working on themselves, they're doing all the mindset work, they're changing their thought patterns and belief systems, they're working on self-worth and confidence, and they start to establish a new level of what they expect in relationships. Inevitably if you were telling the story to yourself and to others of there are no good men, there are no good women out there, all men are assholes, all women are crazy, everyone has so much baggage even if they are single, the good ones are taken, I always attract the ones that treat me like dirt or cheat on me, whatever this story might be there is some level of your own belief system in there.
Naturally somebody comes up to you, "What's your story?" "Oh, I'm single I haven't met the right person I don't know what it is. I just attract all the wrong people." That's probably what the reality is for you, because what happens is you go through life telling the same story, getting the same results, and then you get mad at everything outside of yourself because it keeps bringing you the same story that you keep telling. When you finally have this realization and you go within, "Man, I'm kind of tired of this story, it really sucks living this on replay." You start to change your inner dialogue and you're like, "You know what I deserve somebody really great. I put a lot of energy, time, thought, and value out there. Who can reciprocate that? I deserve love, respect, and support." You're changing all of this and the next thing you know is your world goes down the drain. Your relationship is done, everything shifts. All of the crap hits the fan basically.
People get really frustrated and discouraged when this happens. The reason I brought up Neville Goddard is because he says it’s so as a matter-of-factly and I love it, because he's like "Of course, of course that would happen when you change your story." That's inevitable, because everything that existed prior to that matched your old story. Going back and using the relationship of a job because the specific example that he used as a job is if you're sitting there in a job you hate and the story you're telling yourself is, "I've been in this job so long. No matter how hard I try, every job starts out really great and then at some point it turns into a total nightmare. I hate my boss; I hate what I do." Months later you get fired and you lose your job. Same exact thing, normally when life reacts to the story, we get frustrated, we get discouraged, we want to stop, we want to totally just throw all of this out the window. "None of this works, I lost my friends, I lost my job, I lost my relationship..." It comes back to this, of course you did, because sometimes everything that was in your world matched something old that you consistently told yourself.
When you start to truly change the inner dialogue and change the story that you've been repeating for years, there's a level of frustration because there's the experience of "My story is true. This really does happen. I really do attract people who treat me like crap in the dating world." That is a true story 100%. I'm not saying it's not true, but the question you have to ask yourself is, "Why are there people in similar situations as you?" Maybe the same qualifications, past, circumstances, talent, all these things who are having very different experiences than you. What is the cause of that?
Normally the thing that follows is a bunch of excuses. Excuses that are masked by unhealed emotional trauma that needs to be resolved in order to change the story. If you want to keep your story then you can keep telling yourself that that's the truth and that everybody else just has a different life, different opportunities that you didn't get, that they just got "lucky", whatever excuse you want to give about why you don't have the things that you have. Or as I always bring it back to, you can take responsibility and admit that actually, "Yea I do have some level of belief that this is all I can get, therefore this is the story that I keep telling." And that is why my experiences are different than everybody else's.
There's another point to this as well, and I'll use my own personal self as an example. You have to get clear on the fact that the story does serve a purpose. You wouldn't be telling it if it didn't. Now, I can't tell you what purpose it is serving you, but basically whether it's good, bad, negative, positive, if it's leading you to the life that you want or don't want, there is some underlying thing that you are getting out of it. It's kind of like people who continue to create health problems, or they manifest things that aren't really healthy for them. They're getting something out of it. Sometimes it's attention, negative or positive attention it doesn't matter, but they continue to do it because attention is attention. It's the same thing with your story.
An example: 2017 to 2018 was a very challenging year across the board personally for me. It was a lot of growth in my personal life, but part of that growth involved really hard times in my business, heartbreak in a relationship, heartbreak in losing friendships, feeling totally and completely lost, and just feeling like every area of my life got completely pulled out from underneath me. During this time, because it was a very emotional experience and like I mentioned at the beginning: we usually create these situations through emotional experiences. During this time when people asked about my story I had created a story that was wrapped up in struggle and no matter how hard I try I just can't make things work, I don't know what I'm doing wrong, I'm doing everything right. My whole story was about, "I'm trying hard, but nothing is working. I'm struggling and I don't understand why everyone is having this huge growth and success, yet I feel like my life is falling apart." "Why did my friends and my relationship leave?" Like everything in the theme of my life was wrapped around this.
Now getting to the point of how each story serves a purpose, through that what I could have done which would have saved me a lot of frustration is I could have just seen it for what it was in that I was going through a hard time, I needed to take a break, and not push myself so hard to have to accomplish, hit goals and do all these different things. I should have just stepped away and given myself time to heal from all these different things that were going on. However, through my own emotional issues and struggles with vulnerability that I've had to work through, because I didn't feel like I could do that and I had to be strong, push through, overcome, and practice perseverance, then I created this story that gave me a break from that. Hopefully that makes sense.
Now being on the flip side of that and out of that story, I can see it for what it was, because for so long I was stuck in this loop of "God no matter how hard I try, it just seems like I keep hitting these walls. I don't understand." Well because deep down what I really want is to just take a break. Take a break, breath, find my grounding again, regroup, not be required or expected to do all these things, and then I'll move forward. When you're working on your own story that you've been telling and you're trying to figure out this loop, this "How do I get out of it?" "Where's the glitch in the matrix?" Ask yourself what purpose has the story been serving? What is it giving you that you didn't feel like you could get without telling that story? You're going to uncover a lot, but until you figure out what it is that it's serving you with, you're going to continue to repeat a new one that has a very similar theme. It's very important that you recognize it, and you don't have to wrap yourself up in it and do a whole lot with it. Just see it for what it is.
When you first recognize the story you've been telling, I'm going to say for me, I was embarrassed. I was embarrassed because it was like "Oh my gosh this is so embarrassing to even like tell the story. I'm over here trying to hit goals and accomplish dreams and be this person, yet now that I can see clearly why I have had these blocks and these struggles, I am embarrassed that I went through this." Try not to judge yourself because that is just going to prolong the process.
One thing that's going to be really helpful is if you look back, so take a look at your life right now, exactly where you are and what your current reality looks like. Just be totally honest without any kind of emotional attachment, accept it for what it is. Maybe you're broke, maybe you hate your job, maybe your relationship isn't what you want it to be or maybe you don't have a relationship at all, may your health, your fitness... Just get super clear and see it for what it is, almost like a stranger that's just observing your life. No emotional drama around it, because we don't want to continue to charge that story. This entire current situation that you're in, see if you can look back at past choices that you have made and if there's not some sort of connection that created the current reality.
So, a lot of times people get scared of making change because of a fear of the unknown, but the truth of how life works is your current reality was created through past choices. In order to create a better reality you have to be exactly where you are, be present, and make new choices, which is the new story. This requires something that we all absolutely love so much, and that is patience and consistency. Nobody likes either one of these. It is the truth of everything in life. In your health, career, building a business, relationships; you have to consistently show up with the intention of the direction that you are moving towards and be patient trusting the process by using your experience as proof that when you change the story, your external world will also change.
Now that you understand how all of that works, the next thing that you have to ask yourself is "Do you want to change your story or do you still want to keep the same one because of that purpose that it serves in what it is that you need it to serve?" If (which I hope) you do want to change your story and move in a different direction and really see how you can create a new reality and create a new life for yourself. A lot of times people get lost in figuring out, "How the heck do I figure out this new reality? I don't even know where to begin." It's actually not that complicated of a process and you can just take out a pen and paper and write out.
I do this a lot because it makes it kind of structured but also gives room for your imagination, creative expression, and a lot of freedom. Any area of your life that you want to change you can simply write that out on separate pieces of paper. Give yourself time and space to do this as a process, but also do your best to make sure you are connecting with what it is that comes up. Say it's your career, at the top of a piece of paper you can write "Career" and now you have an entire blank page because you have accepted exactly where you are. You get a clean slate, a blank start of whatever the ideal career situation is for you. Try your best not to limit whatever comes up. A lot people tend to create their "dream reality" within the limits of their current reality. Do not try to mold what it is that you actually want based on what you're currently actually living in.
Put it up there at the top of a piece of paper, write out each section. If it's relationships, your health, money, all these things, and then take the time and allow whatever comes up to come up. Whatever it is that lights your fire, makes you glow, that thing that is just really in your heart that would make you so happy if it came true. Allow it to come out on a piece of paper like, "You know what this is actually what I see myself doing in my career. This sounds amazing and so fun." Write it out in as much detail with as much emotional charge to it as possible, because that means that you're connected to it. That means that to you it's the truth and that it's authentic to you and your journey, and that it's not based on what everybody else expects for you.
The more true it is that you're writing out, the easier it's going to be to really manifest that in your life. Same thing with a relationship. If you have the idea of what your dream relationship would be like or even the type of person you would want to be with, write all of that out. As you go through this process, you can completely do this with your whole life and be like, "You know what f- it. I'm not happy with anything in life, I'm changing the whole story." Do that. You have the freedom to do that and the power to do that. When you go through this process repetition is going to be key to creating a new path. Just like everything in life, the more consistent, the more repetitive you are with it, the more it's going to feel like truth to you.
What I like to do when I'm working on things that I would like to make some transitions and change in as I do this process that I just described with blank pieces of paper, then I will take either small index cards or small pieces of paper and I will write it as if it's a 30-second elevator pitch or as if I am answering the question somebody is asking me of "So, what's your story?" Making sure that it matches the new reality that I want to head in. Hopefully that makes sense. If you wrote out a whole bunch of stuff in a whole lot of areas, now write a short paragraph of who you are, what it is that you do, the type of life that you're living, and just put it in something that feels natural. You don't have to be over descriptive about it because sometimes people get way over the top. Don't say anything that you wouldn't say or don't speak in a way that doesn't even sound like you. If you don't talk like that do not write anything out like that, because you're not going to believe it. Write it out in a way that feels like your own voice and feels like something that you would actually say to someone else so that each time you repeat it, it rewrites what's been going on internally and then the choices that you make in life will reflect the story.
As I have mentioned with every other exercise, there's no right or wrong way to do this. Write whatever makes your heart happy. The next thing you want to do is you want to place this in different areas that you are in regularly. Sometimes if I am really working on changing some thought patterns and mindset things that are going on, I will put these index cards and Post-It notes everywhere. The dashboard of my car, the bathroom mirror, next to my nightstand, on my computer, anywhere that I am looking constantly because what will happen is you and myself when we're triggered, we immediately will go back to an old story. It's important that you have these things in place and that you catch yourself when you start to go down that path of the old story to immediately place that thought process with the new story.
So, if you go on a date maybe this person happens to match what you used to tell yourself about the dating world. Instead of continually going down this path of telling yourself, "This doesn't work. I change my thoughts for five minutes and I still went on a date with someone who's terrible." Immediately when you catch yourself going down those thought patterns, change it. Change it in a way that makes sense for you and is the truth. An example of this would be, "Oh yea you know what of course that is how that person was, because I'm just now changing my story. I know now that from this point forward I am going to start attracting new people who line up with what I actually want in life because I am changing my story."
Do things like that because when you start to make serious change in your life and when you start to change your mindset it is like a two-year-old throwing a tantrum. You will feel triggered and have all kind of things come up. It's almost like it fights you of Oh my god don't tell us a new story we've been in this pattern and it's been so easy for us to continue doing this. Why do we want to change this it's been so uncomfortable? That's why it's important to place these things everywhere as a constant reminder to really get into your subconscious belief system and change the patterns.
I always believe the biggest catalyst for change other than what we've been talking about is recognizing the "why". The why in anything is what motivates you to continue to move forward or to stop doing something you've been doing. The reason it is important for you to know your story or even to have all of this information to understand that you have the power to change it anytime you want is because if you don't take the power to change your story or to use it to help you, other people use your story against you. An example of this and maybe this is why I'm very passionate about helping people connect to themselves is because it helps you become more aware of your life and the things that go on in it, so that:
The story about the story (and I will make this short) is when I first got into the online digital marketing world, this was back in 2011/2012. This was before Instagram, Facebook ads, before all of those really existed. Instagram was kind of brand new, but I was a personal trainer. I was doing a ton of stuff, learning how to build an online business, I really wanted to help people, I really wanted to empower people by using nutrition and fitness as a form of healing and transformation. That was my goal. Well, I got into these different courses about how to sell online when you don't even meet people face to face, how to do digital market, just a lot of stuff around sales, and one of the tactics that is used and when I first learned and understood this is was so angry about it because I realized I had been part of this system. Meaning somebody else used this on me and I bought into it.
One of the things that's used and one of the things that you go through if you're in almost any digital space is there's something called sales capping. You may already be familiar with this, you might not, but it's a process where you are taught how to connect psychologically and emotionally with your ideal customer, and it's called your avatar. Basically, you get in their head and think the way they think. How do they feel? What keeps them up at night? What is their biggest pain point? What is it that they feel stuck and emotionally distraught about? All these things. Then they want you to write copy that matches that, that triggers you in order to buy.
If you saw the documentary Social Dilemma it's 100% accurate. Everybody hates on social media it's not just social media, this is what advertising and marketing is when it's done in an unethical way. This is why it's important for you to be self-aware to understand your story. Otherwise, people connect to your story when you're not connecting to your story and they use it to manipulate you and convince you that they have the answers to your deepest pains and your biggest problems. Then you spend all this money and all this crap that does nothing for you and still leaves you searching to somebody else who connects to your emotional pain. They're like "Oh my god aren't you tired of going on dates what end in nothing. We know, which is why we created this app that leads to love. We're meant to be deleted." You're like, "Bullshit, I already know why I haven't been getting the dates I've wanted. I've been telling the wrong story and your app is not the answer. All I have to do is change my inner dialogue."
It's the same thing with all these people that are like, "Is it your dream to make six figures in six months. I know what it feels like to not be able to pay your bills. I know how hard it is to live paycheck to paycheck. I have the answer to your freedom." Yea no thank you, I'm sorry I don't want your six-figure business to teach me to build a six-figure business. This is why it's so important because when you become self-aware of this and you start to connect to your story and you can see it in your own life, it might make you a little angry when you realize all the things that pop-up that have been using it against you.
You take your power back which is why it's important for you to do this work and realize that there is nothing outside of yourself that is blocking you from having what you want and there is nothing outside of you that can give you the answers to what you're searching for. All of it happens by you sitting with yourself, taking the time, taking the responsibility, accepting what your current story is, connecting with the purpose behind it of why have you been telling this story? What has it been giving you? Then committing to making the change of consistently and patiently showing up with a new one.
As you go through this process to give you a little encouragement, I used the Neville Goddard story as part of it, if you go and you change everything inside and everything outside of you goes down the drain, it is going to require so much inner strength and discipline for you to trust the process. Be patient. There's another quote, it's kind of deep and old-school, but it's something along the lines of "Be not impatient in delay but wait in one who understands when spirit rises and commands the gods are ready to obey." The interpretation in that is basically like, don't get impatient with the process because it might take some time to shift everything to match what you've been doing. Be patient because you understand that when you make the changes internally, the external world has to respond to it.
If you're going through this and you start to do this, it's been weeks, and nothing really seems different, think about how long you were telling the old story that brought you the old reality and the put that into context with how long you've been telling the new one. I promise you can't tell a new story and live the same old life. It's just not possible. That's not the same, because you're changing the equation. The definition of insanity is to do "The same thing over and over again and expect a different result." If you change what you're doing you're going to get a different result. I encourage you to stick with it and surround yourself with people who have this kind of mindset and who are also doing the work to encourage you and help support you through this process and aren't going to help delete all the stuff that you've been doing and take you back down your old patterns.
That's really the challenge and I've been talking to a lot of people about this recently and the hard part isn't making the change. The hard part is having the inner strength and the inner discipline that when you do make the change and when you start losing friends, losing relationships, losing a lot of things that no longer align with the new you, and sticking with the new story. It's very easy when you have all of these shifts happening outside of you that's really uncomfortable and you get scared because there might be what I call the "dark void".
Imagine basically that you have this new pot of dirt and you have a seed. You put the seed in the pot of dirt. You know that with water, sunshine, and love that eventually this thing is supposed to sprout and come out of the dirt and blossom into something. Imagine this new seed that you're planting in the dirt, the same thing as this new story that you're planting in your subconscious brain. You water this thing every day, you're giving it sunshine, you're giving it love, and you're trusting the process. It's been weeks and you don't even see a little sprout coming out of the dirt. That is exactly this same process. Go buy a seed and a pot of dirt and do this for yourself because it will translate and help you. Your subconscious is the same way. You're planting new seeds. You have to give it water, sunshine, surround it with things that help it grow, trusting that one day eventually you'll see that seed blossom into something. I know that this is getting into a lot of different analogies but with the dark void, my point in sharing that analogy is that you might be in dirt and a dark place for a while, digging through all of that trying to find your way to light of day and the sunshine, while you continue to water and love this new thought process.
However, if you stick with it, it does pay off and eventually there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You'll look back and you'll be like, "Oh my god this was on my vision board." "This was what I was saying like a year ago and now I'm actually in the relationship." "I actually have the things that I was saying." You don't actually see it because the process and the journey through that seems like a lot of twists and curves and not a straight shot but looking back all of it makes perfect sense.
I really hope this helps you. I really hope that it encourages and empowers you and that whatever situation you're in, if you're feeling stuck, if you feel like you're in a loop in the matrix, stop, become present and ask yourself, "What's my story?" There you will find the answer to make the changes to actually getting what you want. I love sharing this stuff with you guys! Feel free to connect with me over on Instagram @AshleyDrummonds. You can also check out my website ABSwellness.com.