Are you feeling stuck in your business or work right now? Are you’re looking for the next brilliant idea or even a miracle to propel you forward? Yet, it feels like the odds are stacked against you? The way to unleash your brilliance might be simpler than you think.
Are you feeling stuck in your business or work right now? Are you looking for the next brilliant idea or even a miracle to propel you forward? Yet, it feels like the odds are stacked against you?
The way to unleash your brilliance might be simpler than you think.
If you’re like most people – you’ll begin any endeavour full of enthusiasm. In time, things become tiresome and everything can feel like hard work. The honeymoon is over and the fun and excitement have drained away.
You hear aphorisms like “do what you love and you’ll never have to ‘work’ another day in your life’.
And you think – ‘yeah right – I wish!’
A thousand ideas are swirling around in your head. But which is the right one?
Every time a new idea pops in you think great, but how long will it take and how much will it cost to implement? It’s not that you’re orientated around money and time – but you’re up against both and starting to fret. Even panic.
It’s driving you crazy. You feel like you’re pushing through a brick wall and it’s exhausting.
What’s the answer?
Firstly, congratulations on being a great storyteller.
What? Your problem isn’t some made-up story – it’s real. Or is it?
We all tell ourselves stories.
These aren’t the kinds of stories that enrich our business communications. Instead, they’re stories we tell ourselves. Often we’re not even fully aware of them – they’re like background noise.
Yet, the stories we tell ourselves affect us.
Storytelling is how we create our reality.
When we feel stuck in our business or in our lives it’s because we’re stuck in a story or a whole series of narratives with a similar tune.
The first step is to become aware that we’re telling ourselves a lot of stories.
Joseph Campbell introduced the hero’s journey in his book The Hero With A Thousand Faces.
Every story has a hero who sets out on an adventure. She struggles with her demons (adversity) and gets support from her guardians (good fortune & helpful friends). Eventually, she reaches a turning point ‘a moment of truth’ in which she has an insight that changes everything. The struggle is over and she returns triumphant.
Our lives are constructed from stories we tell ourselves and others. What is a biography or an autobiography? Small stories making up one big story about the hero of the piece.
Neurologists tell us that we’re wired for stories.
We talk to ourselves (and others) in stories all the time.
When we’re stuck – it’s often in the struggle stage of the story we’re telling ourselves. We’re encountering demons and it feels like we have more adversity holding us back than we have guardians cheering us on.
Setting ourselves free from the struggle is simple. It’s so incredibly simple you’ll laugh or groan. And yet we get caught up in our stories all the time. It’s human nature to tell ourselves stories and to believe them. So while the solution is simple – it’s not always easy.
Let me explain.
Firstly, all stories are made of thoughts – creatively and convincingly strung together. Our stories are so powerful that it’s easy to believe they’re true. That’s because we experience them as real, through our consciousness.
For example, have you woken in the dead of night and heard noises downstairs? Think about what happens in your body when you have the thought it might be a burglar vs when you tell yourself it’s just the heating system? In the burglar story, your heart beats faster, you might sit bolt upright in bed. In the heating system story, you relax, turn over and go back to sleep.
Our stories are made-up. The demons and guardians in our stories are products of our own perceptions.
But we all get tricked by our own stories at times.
Take the phrase consumer confidence. We hear it used in the financial news. When people believe the future is rosy they’ll spend money, which is good for the economy. But when people believe the future is bleak they’ll baton down the hatches and stop spending, which isn’t good for the economy.
Consumer confidence begins with a belief. Yet that belief has a huge impact on the economy because people act upon what they believe to be true. Lo and behold, their belief becomes a reality. Of course, consumer confidence stories are only one of several factors impacting the economy, but it is powerful nonetheless.
Similarly, the stories we tell ourselves in business can become our self-fulfilling prophecy, if we behave as if they’re real. People often give up when they’re in the struggle stage of a business or a project. Or panic and freeze and keep doing the same things hoping to get a better result. Or jump from one idea to another like playing a crazy game of whack-a-mole.
So what’s the answer?
It’s tempting to start unpicking our stories so as to cast out thoughts of adversity and introduce thoughts of good fortune. That’s what we call positive thinking and there are millions of books written about it.
The positive thinking strategy takes a lot of time and effort. And most of us are already super-busy.
There’s a much simpler way!
It comes from the teachings of The Three Principles or Psychology of Mind created by Sidney Banks who said;
“We live in a Thought created universe….all feelings derive and come alive whether positive or negative from the power of Thought. “
The 3 principles articulated by Sidney Banks are simple: Mind (the force of life), Consciousness (our awareness) and Thought (we think).
But 3 Principles isn’t an intellectual concept. Sidney Banks was simply showing us how we create our experience of life from the inside-out.
He and the psychologists who teach 3 Principles don’t advocate any particular strategy such as analysing our thinking, doing meditation or adopting positive thinking or affirmations.
Instead, they show us where the source of our peace, creativity and genius comes from. We’re always connected to the creative force or what Sidney Banks called ‘Mind’. We’re most able to use it, however, when we’re present in the moment. Not lost in our personal stories.
We don’t need to chase our tales. We simply need to become aware of the nature of our stories and how they create our experience.
Our stories are always about the past or the future. They’re never about the present moment.
Stories don’t exist when our attention is in the present moment.
When we’re here, now, with all our awareness in the present moment our mind is quiet. We’re just being. There are no stories, no demons, no guardians, no struggles, no moments of truth and no lofty morals to learn from.
We experience a blissful feeling of peace.
We can tap into the enormous well of creativity within ourselves. That wellspring has an abundance of fresh new ideas that are tailor-made for our particular situation.
When people we regard as having genius – inventors, entrepreneurs or writers come up with brilliant ideas – they typically say ‘the idea came to me’. They received it from some place of universal wisdom – or wherever genius comes from. They didn’t figure it out by analysis. We open ourselves up to that same power when we get quiet and have our attention in the present moment. Not lost in stories – but connected to ‘now’.
That power of presence is what Eckhart Tolle described in his famous book, The Power of Now.
When we’re lost in stories, our connection to genius is cloudy. We experience confused thinking. We don’t need to examine the content of our stories and try to change them. Analysing our stories is likely to get us more lost and stuck than ever.
We have a crystal clear connection to the source of brilliance.
It’s the exact same source that Albert Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci and Galileo Galilei tapped into. Sports people call it being in the zone. We’ve all accessed that inner source at one time or another but we can have access to it all the time.
We need to look within ourselves.
It’s a gentle looking, not like you’ve lost your keys and are in a rush to find them. But looking softly as if you’re out on a nature walk with your camera – allowing the perfect scene to appear in its own good time. We’re always connected to the source of our inner wisdom. But we can’t see it clearly when we have a busy mind.
When we realise that our made-up stories are keeping us stuck on a hamster wheel it’s easier to fall back into the present moment allowing our stories simply melt away.
Our own wisdom comes through loudly and clearly from that quiet place within ourselves and the next step becomes apparent. Our inner wellspring is the source of our brilliance and unleashing it is always just a thought away.
If you’re with me so far, why not take a quiet moment now.
Recognise that in the present moment your stories melt away and you’re at peace. There’s no need to search for the next step. Your next best move will occur to you. It may be the simplest thing. When you take it, something else occurs to you.
Have you ever lost something and after turning the house upside down to find it you’ve given up the search? Suddenly you remember when you last had what you’re looking for and you find it easily. Getting quiet and allowing the next step to come to you is like giving up the search only to find what you’re looking for is in the most obvious place.
When we live in the present moment we don’t have to slay dragons to unleash our brilliance. We already have access to the true source of our power.
If you want to unleash you own brilliance or that of your team or use storytelling deliberately as a powerful business communication tool – then please get in touch – we’d love to talk to you.
About the Author:
Claire Taylor is the author of The Tao of Storytelling – 30 Ways to Create Empowering Stories to Live By and co-founder of The Story Mill Ltd.
About The Story Mill:
At The Story Mill, we believe that every business problem can be resolved by connecting people. We help organisations to build better chemistry, be that in leadership, within teams or selling to your customers. We work with live, written, visual and video storytelling,
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