Hi, I’m Daniel.
I’ve always struggled to make connections with people, and it’s something I’ve never been able to overcome. I have lived an unfortunate life where the odds have always been stacked against me. Against insurmountable odds, I have managed to persevere. Since I’ve been a small child, I have always been the victim, the underdog. I’ve had to struggle with everything just to keep myself going.
But hold up for a moment.
Is this actually the reality of the situation? Or is this just what I’ve been telling myself my entire life – to the extent that my stories have created this reality?
So what if I told myself a different story?
Hi, I’m Daniel.
I was once depressed, lost, suicidal, and hated every aspect of my life. After my spiritual awakening during my early 20s, I decided to take on a nomadic lifestyle. Since 2016, I’ve been backpacking the world, building a portfolio of unique experiences, meeting many incredible people, and having the adventure of a lifetime.
My quest for understanding has led me deep within, where I have become increasingly involved with shamanic healing traditions in Latin America, and created a coaching business around helping people transform their life experiences. I’m living the life I have always wanted, and even though it’s challenging at times, there’s nothing else in the world I can see myself doing.
Now this is the reality I have created for myself. This is the story I choose to tell myself because at the end of the day, your life journey is subjective.
You have a framework, but the quality of thoughts and beliefs you fill that framework with determines the life experience you’re going to have.
So what story do you tell yourself? Is it a story that oppresses you, or liberates you?
Your experiences are the framework, your story is the substance
You can look at your life from many different angles. Some of these perspectives are going to cause you a lot of struggle, while other are going to fill you with optimism. Something are going to hurt, some are going to help you.
The events that happen in your life are objective, but the experiences that these events create for you are not.
Over time, we use our experiences to build a story about who we are, and where we fit into all of this. Depending on how you look at your life experience, that’s the experience you’re going to create for yourself.
First of all, your beliefs really do matter.
Your beliefs influence your thoughts.
Your thoughts influence your emotions.
Your emotions influence your decisions.
Your decisions influence your life experience.
If you believe that your life is a constant struggle and that you have it so much worse than everyone else, do you think this is going to instill positive thoughts and feelings, or negative thoughts and feelings?
Then since those painful thoughts and feelings create low-vibrational energy, unconsciously you’re going to start acting in ways and making decisions that come from your lower self.
You can see how you can get sucked into this negative place in life, just from the way you perceive it. To learn more about how your perception of life impacts your life experience, check out this article I’ve written on the topic here.
What creates your life story?
Your life story is created by a few core pillars.
- Your beliefs
- Your thoughts
- Your attitudes
- Your emotions
Unlike the events which occur, these pillars are all subjective. Put these all together, and your subjective life experience is created.
If you lose your job, that’s a fact. But depending what you feel about it, what you believe about it and so forth, the experience of that occurrence completely changes.
If you see it as a terrible thing which causes fear, worry, uncertainty, etc. Your experience of the event is going to be negative, and probably pretty painful.
On the other hand, if you genuinely see losing your job as a good thing, the experience is going to be vastly different.
Perhaps you’re thinking about the opportunity, the freedom and change you’ve been wanting for a long time. Rather than feeling defeated, lost, scared, you see this as a new fresh start which is exciting!
You believe it’s good for you, you act like it’s good for you, so in your reality, this is good for you.
Your life is the events that have happened, your life story is your perception of what those events meant.
Below are 4 pillars of your life experience
Your beliefs are what you think about the world. Your beliefs refer to your unconscious programming about how the world works, and what your life experience must be.
- Do you believe you can do anything in the world if you really apply yourself, or that nothing will work out for you, despite how hard you try?
- Is everything a challenge to you, or does life seem easy?
- Is the world generally a dark place, or is it an incredible opportunity to be experiencing this?
What you think about is tied to the other pillars of the frame. The quality of your thoughts influences the quality of your reality.
- Are you constantly thinking about how you can make something work, or about all the ways it could go wrong?
- Do you think about all the hardships, or everything that is good in your life?
- Do you think about what you want in life, or what you’re trying to avoid?
Your attitudes reflect how you react, respond, and think about different occurrences in your life. Your attitude is more of a conscious mechanism, while your beliefs are generally unconscious, and run in the background.
- Are you optimistic that things will work out, or do you assume it’s going to go bad?
- Do you think it’s a waste of time, or do you think it’s a good learning opportunity?
- Do you give everything the benefit of the doubt, or avoid opportunities because you’re uncertain about them, or they make you nervous?
Your emotions are how you feel about a particular event that has happened to you.
- Does it makes you feel shame, or pride?
- Are you grateful that it happened, or are you disappointed?
- Do you feel hope, or do you feel like giving up?
You become attached to a particular identity
Over time we form an idea of who we are, based on the experiences we have had. This idea of who you are becomes your identity. This is your understanding of who you are, and what your life experience means to you.
Your identity concretes your sense of belonging, and helps you find where you fit in this world. But it can also be a big source of pain, or it can empower you.
So if your identity is unempowered, where you believe you’re a nerd, or a loser, or an insecure train wreck, that’s the reality you’re going to build for yourself. How can it not be when that belief system becomes your whole world?
Unconsciously, you’re going to keep yourself in that particular frame.
Luckily, your identity is never actually consolidated. We think it is, but we have the ability to make a mental pivot.
The more you interpret (or reframe) your experiences in a positive way which empowers you, the more your identity is going to shift to higher ideals.
You're constantly reinforcing your identity
You’re constantly reinforcing a particular identity, because you get deeper into believing that your beliefs are the objective truth.
If you feel like you’ve been taken advantage of, you’re unconsciously going to look for reasons why you’ve been taken advantage of.
If you identify as a failure where no matter how hard you try, the big bad world will always knock you down, then you’re going to keep having these experiences, and you’re just going to get more and more engraved into that belief system.
In a way, you’re going to construe an objective reality to suit the story you tell yourself.
So you keep reinforcing an idea, that you’re a victim, or that people don’t like you, when you’re really just twisting it to an extreme.
Not saying that people aren’t really victims at times, but how we perceive it also has a huge influence over the reality of the situation, and the experience you’re going to have.
Ask yourself – what is your identity?
Do you think of yourself in a powerful way where you’re thriving and making the most out of life? Do you see yourself as a victim, perhaps a disempowered nerd where you associate yourself with negative thoughts and feelings?
How you perceive yourself really makes a difference. Start building an image of yourself that brings you joy, rather than remaining as someone whose constantly getting eaten up by the world.
How do you frame your life story?
Now that we’ve looked at some of the core ingredients that make up your story, you need to work on changing it.
If you believe that you have always had it hard, can you see it in a way that the hardship has been preparing you? That without those difficult lessons, you wouldn’t be pushed to evolve as a person.
Can you tell a story where you’re just getting started along your journey, rather than winding down and propping up the white flag?
Your story is your life.
So if you don’t create a story that you’re proud of living, what chance did you ever have in the first place?
Remember. This is your life.
You decide how it shapes you, and what it means to you.
And when you create a story that you’re happy to tell, that’s when you’re really going to start that wave towards all your greatest desires.