There’s magic in your story. (Use it well.)

New Beginnings - Josh Ardle

It happens to all of us.

That crazy time when everything goes wrong. The garage door breaks AND the basement floods AND the A/C goes out. All on the same day. (Yeah. That was my July 4th last year.)

Or maybe it hits your business. Your assistant quits. An employee steals. Your biggest account goes south. (That’s happened to my colleagues. And my friends.)

Systems break. Relationships break. Stuff breaks. And sometimes, I swear it feels like it happens all at once.

Just part of the natural ebb and flow of life on the planet – I know.

But sometimes, there is so MUCH of it, or the ‘going wrong’ feels so persistent, that it can beat down even the most optimistic among us.  

And when your business is in start up, and every dollar counts, the financial hits of every day life – or a really hard winter –  can be super tough to take.

I got this email from one of my students this week after even more electrical damage from the latest winter storm.

“…I keep asking myself: What is the blow that’s going to send me over the cliff, financially and emotionally? Every time something major happens, this question hovers in the back of my mind.”

So much power in those words.

“What is the blow that’s going to….” tells the Universe that she expects there will be such a blow. She’s looking for it. Expecting it.

And we usually get what we expect.

Don’t get me wrong. When things go bad, you do need to acknowledge the reality of your experience. Yes, it’s awful. Yes, you have every right to feel frustrated. Angry. Overwhelmed. Scared. And maybe even just a bit sorry for yourself.

Heck, sometimes – a LOT sorry for yourself.

(I’ve been there. Haven’t you?)

Find healthy ways to allow those feelings to surface. But be careful. Watch the story you tell yourself afterwards.

Because your story has magic in it.

And that magic can work for you, or against you.

We talked about this in my Scared STRONG program last week.

Through the mystery that is quantum science, we now know that thought has the power to effect the behavior of molecules. It’s incredible – and yet – true. So in a very real way, what we think matters, how we think, matters. The language we use – matters.

Our story matters.

If you could set up a recording device to capture the running commentary in your own mind, you would be astounded at what you hear.

You have a constant stream of words in your head: opinions, fears, hopes, random thoughts, memories, plans. Like so much background noise, the words flow through your mind, barely conscious, registering only when something is loud enough to get your attention.

Much of it is about what happens around us – or to us.

Crazy driver. What’s the matter? Don’t you have a turn signal?
Dang she looks good in that. I could never pull that off…
I’m so excited about my new client. I sure hope we work well together.
What in the world am I going to fix for supper tonight?
Why did she say that? Does she think I’m stupid or something?
I really need to walk today. I have GOT to get more exercise…

And on and on it goes.

Much of it runs like a creek, bubbling over the rocks that pop up in our day, dancing here and there in a way that feels completely random.

But just as a creek follows a path, your stories follow a path as well.

Those paths become self-fulfilling prophesies.

That is, they become beliefs that you will find a way to prove true, whether they work for you, or against you.

Here’s a short list of stories I’ve often heard said with conviction. Some of them are my own. Some I’ve heard from clients, family or friends. Note the hidden message (the magic!) inside.

I’d better enjoy this while it lasts, because you know it won’t.
(Bad things are on their way.)

The Lord gives me just enough to keep my head above water.
(I will never be financially secure.)

That’s okay. I’m a survivor, and I’ll survive this too.
(My life is just one crisis after another, and that’s just fine.)

I’m an artist. I don’t do numbers, so don’t even ask me about it!
(I’m helpless and incapable of understanding my business finances.)

Here’s the thing.

Whatever you look for, you will see.

Whatever you expect to find, you will find.

So if you expect to barely make it, you’ll barely make it. If you expect to be unteachable, you’ll be unteachable. If you expect to be broke, you’ll be broke.

If you expect to fail, you’ll fail.

On the other hand…

You can re-write that story.

Because the magic is in you, dear one. And when you consciously, actively choose to tell a different story, you will create a different kind of magic.

Don’t believe me?

Try this. Read these re-writes, and see if you don’t notice a shift in your own energy as you do.

This is great! How can it get any better than this? (More and more joy is coming my way.)

The Lord gives me all I need, all I want, and soooo much more. (My life is full and abundant. I have all I desire, and more.)

I don’t just survive. I live with complete joy, ease and abundance in every area of my life. (My life is just one happy moment after another.)

I’m an artist – but I know my business, and when I need help, I get it. (I am power-full. I can learn the skills I need to run my business successfully.)

Watch your language. Watch the story. Make sure you’re saying what you really mean to say.

Because if you tell yourself the story that your life, or your business, is a struggle, then that’s how it will be.

If you tell yourself the story that you are a brilliant, creative, joy-filled, financially secure, entrepreneur who is always evolving, always learning, always Becoming in a beautiful way – then that’s how it will be.

I know which story I want to write.

How about you?

Photo Credit: Josh Ardle Photography, Flickr
Used with permission



How to cope when things get ugly.


“Well, they’ll fire you, of course.”

The words were blunt. Matter of fact. A straight answer to my question about what would happen if I did what I was thinking of doing.  

Spoken as if my career, self-respect and income weren’t on life support already. He said them as if the awful inevitability of the course I’d set for myself was of no consequence. As if I weren’t backed into a corner, angry, and terrified.

But he wasn’t being unkind.

My mentor spoke the truth – and we both knew it.

Hearing that truth was strangely awful, and freeing. If I had nothing else to lose, what was the point in worrying any longer? There was only one choice – for me, anyway. One thing that felt right.

So I made a decision.

And in that moment, the icy fear and hot anger in my chest seemed to evaporate.

Poof. Gone.

I would do what I had to do, and that was that. I’d find a way to cope with whatever happened afterwards.

I worked in a healthcare facility, and was increasingly concerned about unethical behaviors that, in my view at least, affected the quality of our patient care. And though I generally try to stay out of other people’s drama, the situation had reached a point I could no longer ignore.

To look the other way would be like violating the Prime Directive on Star Trek. You just don’t do that. Like, ever. Not if you had any control over it at all.

So I’d carefully, respectfully, reported my concerns to two supervisors, knowing it would be a tough conversation; never in a million years expecting it to go the way it did.

Rather than deal with the problems at hand, they turned on me, startling me with a slew of criticisms that ripped me apart. The entire experience was humiliating, painful and destructive. It took a long time to recover from that day.

And that was bad enough.

But the problem I’d taken to them was unresolved, and that was just flat wrong.

So I went to a colleague in the community, a mentor many years my senior, for advice. Because now, I was preparing to go over their heads, and up the line of administration at my job.

And yes, I supposed, they would fire me.  Of course.
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You will always find a way.

I'm smart

I think it started when I was twelve…

…when one day, a man I didn’t know came to speak at our school.

Our entire class of several hundred 7th and 8th graders herded into the gym for an unannounced assembly. We crowded together on the floor to listen, wondering what was going on.

I was way in the back, straining to hear what he said. There was no microphone, no powerpoint, no music, no staging. There was just a man who looked like someone’s grandpa, standing there in front of this mass of wiggling kids, spinning this incredible tale.

Making an incredible offer.

He was a visionary, a science teacher from another school, inviting us to come on a magical Adventure. It was to be a full month of travel – a month! – all the way up the eastern seaboard to the southeastern tip of Canada.

We’d learn something called ‘backpacking’ in the mountains of Virginia. There would be visits to the U.S. Capitol and the Washington Monument. We’d see the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia and have a traditional lobster bake in Boston.

We’d hike the legendary Mount Katahdin in Maine, and visit the Bay of Fundy in Canada, where we’d witness the highest change of tides found anywhere in the world.

What a trip. What a trip.

No way would I be allowed to go. No way we could afford it.

No way this could ever work for me.

And yet, I wanted it with everything I had. I could feel it in my body, the tingling, giddy sensation we get when something comes along that rings so true it touches our soul.

And we have to go after it.

The begging started as soon as I got home. :)

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