A few additional thoughts:

I am curious…

…when you corner someone by the campfire and tell them your tale, is it one of wonder or of woe?

This matters.

Because the story I’m talking about is the one you’re telling about yourself.

Usually a past self. Usually a less happy or less fortunate self.

And while stories of woe might affect the listener, they always affect the teller.

(A listener may walk away with a bad taste in their mouth, but the teller is regularly marinating in the story’s negative juices.)

Yet you select this version to tell (over and over again) because there is a hidden benefit (or two) that you receive from telling it…

…maybe you get sympathy.

…maybe you get less work added to your pile.

…maybe you get to keep your membership in the “us vs. them” club.

Who knows? (Well, deep down inside, you know.)

And I get it – for a minute or two the hidden benefit makes you feel good.

In the end, however, stories of your woes keep you stuck because people believe the you that you show them.

Paint a self-portrait of woe and they’ll say: “Ah, yes, I see – that is you.”

Paint that same self-portrait using a palette of empowerment, vision, positivity, enthusiasm, and hopefulness, and they’ll say: “Ah, yes, I see – that is you.”

Most importantly though, with whichever story you choose to tell (or whichever portrait you choose to paint), you’ll be saying to yourself:

“Ah, yes, I see – that is me.”