I was at a talk recently where the speaker illustrated this beautifully to us.

She walked to the podium and started talking about how her life was so difficult. From the moment she was born, it was a struggle and a miracle of science given that the doctors had said that she wouldn’t survive. From this start, everything was hard, life was hard, relationships were hard and awful things happened to her. She was abused in college, had a near fatal car crash and she was always “different” which meant she always felt alone. She spoke like this for about 10 minutes and I was thinking, what on earth is going on here? I thought I was going to a positivity evening where I was going to be inspired to sign up to that course / run that marathon / do something I’ve always been meaning to do but never got around to. I was positively depressed listening to her, it was moan moan moan moan moan, and another moan. Just when I was about to walk out she did.

When she came back her demeanour was completely different. She walked tall, her voice was loud and clear and she had a hint of mischief and laughter in her voice. She started to tell her story again but this time it was different. The same things did happen to her, she was abused in college, she did nearly die in a car accident, it was a miracle that she was born but instead of life being a stuggle, life was a joy, a miracle. She saw it as a blessing that she was different as it allowed her to walk her own path, that she nearly died in a car crash as this brought with it a host of blessings that she was only just beginning to understand. I nearly fell off my chair! Was this the same person?!

Ten minutes previously it was a person who believed whole-heartedly that “life was a struggle” That belief was expressed in everything she said and did, how she held herself, the moany tone of her voice the way her head hung a little too low. Generally someone who you really wouldn’t want to spend much time with.

Then, with a different belief “life is to be treasured” and suddenly everything was changed. The same events happened, yes, but the reaction and the reprecussions of which were totally different. I knew I could learn from this person and listen to her all night.

What’s your story? What do you believe life to be? Is it a struggle or a treasure? Does it bring great joy or is it something that has to be battled through? Think about it as you introduce yourself to new people, what are you conveying to them? If its something negative then is it time to change it, to adopt a new belief?