Our lives are a series of ups and downs. Sometimes more down than up and sometimes more up than down. If perception truly is reality – if the story we are telling ourselves about the world around us and the events we experience are what is real, then we have the power to change everything, at any time, by making a choice.
One very powerful choice.
A few months ago, I was given some advice by women’s advocate, ice hockey coach extraordinaire, and co-founder of the UWLX women’s professional lacrosse league, Digit Murphy, that was meant to help me overcome a political coaching disappointment I was going through. She said, “Put it in your story.”
As a writer, I immediately thought, well I’m not writing a story about this, seems like a bitter and kind of miserable story to tell. I’m only telling you because I want some sympathy and I needed to whine a little bit about it….
But she went on saying something like this.
Put it in the story about your life, when you tell who you are and how you came to be where you are.
Digit was looking at a much bigger picture.
She was looking at what we do with the uncontrollable. Not the chapter or page we are stuck in now, but where that story goes and how we use it. Digit uses her story to create change, empower women through her voice and influence through sports, and inspire others to use their own voice.
When I see struggle I can respond knowing it’s a part of the adventure, its taking me somewhere to learn something, like all my adventures have, or I can just see it as a set back.
What’s the difference maker? What is the powerful choice that we have that changes our perception and therefore our reality?
Gratitude. Everything I have faced has been a part of my ever-building story, and what makes up who I am and who I will be. How I choose to perceive challenges and adversity paints the pages in my future, and helps to clarify the pages in my past. It also reminds me that pages turn, that we do move forward, that whatever is going on, good or bad, is temporary. I choose how my story ends. I choose if I stand back up or if I quit. I choose if I see opportunities or if I see walls. I choose if I will use my stories to help others.
Whatever challenges you are facing today, put it in your story. Decide where it goes, what you will learn, how you can tell it in a way that helps others. You may not have control over the events around you, but you get to tell yourself what happens next.