We always have a choice as to how we tell our stories and how we let others re-tell them.

Sean Smith, founder of the Elite Coaching University and much sought after motivational speaker, was the first to take the stage at the event I spoke at a few weeks ago. To say that his presentation “up-levelled me” is an understatement.

While part of me wanted to freak out because his presentation was SO GOOD and the scared part of me couldn’t fathom how I could possibly follow him onstage, the other (bigger) part of me was so enthralled with the content of his presentation that I wasn’t able to get to distracted by the fear – the learning was too great!

One of the most impactful parts of his presentation was when he talked about the layers and lenses we all acquire through our lives. To demonstrate his point, he literally put on a layer of clothing and a pair of glasses every time he talked about an experience that had shaped his internal scripts and his worldview.

It was such a powerful demonstration of how we walk through our lives (and we all do it) with our respective layers and lenses and that without deep reflection and self-development work, many of us remain unaware of the layers and lenses.

It requires work and effort and yes, feeling pain and facing uncomfortable truths to gradually start healing and releasing.

Sean also had us tell our stories as tragedy or a hero’s story.

First, we wrote down significant events in our lives (these could either be good or bad – the point was to write down all the major points that shaped our lives)
Then, in partners, we told the story as if it were a tragedy… the bad that came out of all of these events, how horrible or disappointing or tragic it was.

Our partner responded with, how awful that’s so terrible that all of that happened to you – or something along those lines.

You can probably see what’s coming next… but the part two of this was to share our story as a story of triumph.

What positive outcome or meaning can you attach to your life circumstances?
What powerful shifts can you create when you tell your story as one of triumph?

You’ve probably all experienced those conversations with friends or family members that quickly spiral into a pity-fest or a strange kind of competition of ‘who had it worse.”

How do you end up feeling after these conversations?

Probably not that empowered.

Now, I want to be clear – this isn’t about disavowing negative experiences or not allowing yourself to experience negative emotions.

It IS about moving through and not getting stuck there.

It IS about training ourselves and the people around us to respond differently.

Yes, you’re right – it sucks, but I’m also going to see what I can learn from this.

Another powerful reframe is to change the question from “why is this happening TO me?” to “why is this happening FOR me?”

I understand that sometimes this can be hard to do in the moment. For example, when I slammed my finger in the car door or spilled my hot coffee down my back and into my computer back, I wasn’t asking calmly asking myself “Why is this happening for me? I wonder what I can learn from this?”

I was upset, frustrated, in pain, angry, all of it.

I’ve also done a great job of training the people around me to remain positive. So they helped allow me my pain (“I just need to feel in pain right now!!” I reminded them) and then once that moved through me and subsided, I was able to shift the story more quickly without getting stuck in the tragedy.

On a much deeper level, I’ve been able to do that with my personal stories of abandonment and abuse. It hasn’t always been easy, and I’ve done a ton of healing work to be able to move from tragedy to triumph. It has been painful and hard at times, but working with therapists and coaches has helped me forgive, release and understand how these events shaped me into the person I am now.

How could you work on changing the story?

Are there any areas of your life where you could re-write the script from tragedy into triumph?

I’d love to hear!!



A loving reminder that I have a couple of spots available for 1-1 coaching (where we go super deep into this concept of changing our internal stories and scripts – it’s powerful and freeing work!!) and also we have just 2 spots left for our Lucir retreat in Mexico.