I’ve been very focused on helping leaders tell good stories to clients and employees.

It occurred to me in the wee hours today that I’ve missed an audience that’s just as important. It’s about the stories we all tell ourselves.

I’ve never subscribed to “think happy thoughts and good things will happen.” I’m more of a “hope is not a plan” kind of person.

But if stories are one of the most powerful ways to connect your brain with the people who are seeing/hearing/feeling them, then this makes sense for us, too.

Maybe you’ve also had the Henry Ford experience: “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.”

What’s Your Subconscious Mind Up to?

Your subconscious mind wants you to get what you want — but you literally have to tell it. Then it chews on this and lets ideas, strategies and resources bubble up to your conscious mind to help that happen. The bad news is that it can’t distinguish between a positive thought and a negative one.

You’re writing a recommendation to a client or a boss and thinking, “She’ll never sign off on this …” So your subconscious mind is finding ways for you to shoot yourself in the foot, ensuring she’ll say “no.”

Changing without Lifting a Finger

Dr. Joe Dispenza (Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself) mentions an interesting experiment. One group did exercises to strengthen a finger on their left hands, one hour a week for four weeks. The second group spent the same time mentally rehearsing the same exercises. A third group did nothing.

The first group strengthened their finger by 30%. The third group saw no change. But the second group saw a 22% improvement in their finger — just by thinking about it. Dispenza notes “the body changed without having an actual experience.”

In essence, these people told themselves a story of a stronger finger — and it came true!

Feed Your Brain a Vision Story

Annette Simmons (Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins) suggests we tell vision stories to inspire hope. They’re used stimulate action and raise morale by reminding us of our ultimate goal in working with others.

Why not use them on ourselves?

The last month, I’ve been telling myself stories of being a sought-after paid speaker and consultant on persuasion and business storytelling. In the last week, all of this happened: 

  • Two people asked me to work with them one-on-one to add stories to their presentations
  • A woman finally returned my call about doing training for her real estate company
  • A Vistage chairperson asked me to speak to her mastermind group of business owners
  • This morning, a client sent me an opportunity to speak before her industry group

I believe a lot of this is comes from having a clearer vision story, which invited these connections into my life. This isn’t about thinking “happy thoughts.” It’s about changing the stories I tell to myself about myself.

How would this look, sound and feel for you? 

Need help? Check out the Mastering Real Talk Storytelling program starting on March 14 and use storytelling to attract more of what you want. Contact me at Lynne@LynneFranklin.com or 847-729-5716 if you’re interested.