Write a Better Story

By Jay Forte

As a kid, and even into my teens, I had a terrible lisp. When I discovered it, I was afraid to say anything. I think I spoke about 10 words throughout my first two years of high school, too embarrassed about my speech impediment.

Be embarrassed. Be afraid. That was my modus operandi.

The amazing thing about how we see things is that we can always marshal the evidence to support whatever view we have. As a teen, I marshalled the evidence that people with speech impediments should not speak, should not participate and should just stay home. The inner critical voice in my head reinforced this as the way to make it through high school.

However, a speech therapist worked with me to help me learn how to better pronounce the sounds that were holding me back. Through a very long year, my mastery of the “s” sound came along. With it, my story changed. I now didn’t need to be afraid to share my thoughts, to bring ideas forward, to invent, teach and do the things I wanted to do.

I let my situation dictate my story instead of changing my story to fit the situation I wanted.

Here’s your lesson: YOU are the author of your story. And if this one isn’t the one you want or the one that helps you live the best version of your life, it is up to you to write another story.

I was trapped and limited by the story I told myself. Everyone does this as a form of protection. We keep ourselves fearful, small and limited by the things we convince ourselves are true. The irony is that we aren’t protecting, but limiting. And those are vastly different things.

Since we are truly the authors of our lives, it is up to each of us to write the next chapter. It is up to each of us keep adding new material – better material – to move our lives forward in a way that matters to us.

I once heard it said that life is not a dress rehearsal – today really matters. With that information, what story are you telling yourself today that limits the true, remarkable and amazing you? What is holding you back from being who you want and need to be, and to be who you were born to be?

Others like to fill in our story lines for us. They tell us who to be, what to do for work, where to go to college, what to drive, where to live and even what to believe. But your life is YOUR story. Don’t try to be someone else or to live their story for them. Be your own author. Write your own content in the way you want it to be. Challenge your fears. Be who you want to be.

If you find yourself not living your true story, grab the pen or the keyboard and write the next chapter, paragraph or even line. Take control. This is your story. I think it will be amazing.

Important Questions from a Coach:

  1. What about your current story limits you?
  2. Who is influencing your current story?
  3. If you had no fear and could write it exactly as you want, what would your story be?


Consider reading The Power of Stories

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