Change Your Story to Change Your Behavior

A couple years ago, I spoke at Women’s Leadership Northwest. It was an excellent event. You can read my blog write up here. I attended last year (hugely pregnant – I’m pretty sure I was 3 weeks out from my due date!). It was a wonderful growth opportunity for me last year. If you’re in the Pacific Northwest, you should definitely attend the Women’s Leadership Summit on Saturday, May 19. If you can’t go, not to worry, you can watch from afar using the Twitter Hashtag (Twitter hashtag is #2012wls) or on Facebook. I’m bringing you a little Shandel magic below as well. Shandel Slaten is the coach (and the brains behind True Life Coaching). She is someone I turn to for advice and wise counsel in my life. I found the blog post below insightful (after all, who doesn’t have behaviors they’d like to change?!) and hope you do as well. If you’d like to attend the conference (in Seattle), head here for more information.

You can’t change behavior.

What you can change is your story, by understanding your motivators, which ultimately drive behavior. Lasting change will not happen if you try to change any behavior without first addressing what drives your actions. Sure, there may be a season of performing the actions in the right way, but soon your true motivations override the “trying,” and the old learned behaviors sneak back in.

Without proper motivation and changed belief systems, long-term behavioral change is nearly impossible. Fortunately, the opposite is true as well: When you have meaningful, desirable motivations, change is definitely possible. True change happens when you correctly align your internal motivators, values, and beliefs to initiate and drive the daily actions and behaviors. In fact, I would go so far to say as people are transformed when they change their beliefs! Below are a few tips on how to change your story into one that leads to transformation.

How to Change Your Story

1. Find it – Get in touch with what you are saying in your head. What is the internal dialogue you have going on? We all talk to ourselves all day long – what are you saying to you?

2. Listen to it – Listen to your story. Do you like it? Is it really what you want to be listening to all day long?

3. Challenge it – If you don’t like what you hear, think about whether your story is accurate. Challenge it by asking others to hear your story and see if it aligns with what they know are your values and the vision of the man/woman you want to be.

4. Share it – Telling your story is one of the most effective communication tools available. Who can you confide in?

5. Compare it  – Ask others to share their story. Investigate the similarities and where you have incomplete information. It is essential to stay humble and curious as you listen. Be open to changing your story with the new info.

6. Start a new story – Now that you’ve figured out what’s wrong with your old story, think about what you want your new story to be. It might be helpful to start by thinking about the person you want to be every day. What’s the kind of story that person would listen to? Scrap your old story and start with this new one.

What do you think?  Can your story be changed?  

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Your Coach,

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  1. Sara Jane Tinker says

    Thanks so much for posting this information. It’s timely. I’m on the east coast and can’t attend (I’m coming to the soap weekend in June) but will definitely tune in. I always say “What you think about… bring about.”

  2. says

    What a super post, A-M (and Shandel)! I remember once hearing someone post the question, “Who do you talk to the most?” We all answered in many ways, only to discover that we talked to ourselves the most. What a revelation to acknowledge that, especially if you are not telling yourself the truth. Ouch! I love point #6 — no matter where you are or what you have been saying to yourself, you can always change your story!

    • says

      Thank you Donna – I am so grateful for A-M for being such an advanced learner and now teacher.

      I love that you discovered you talk to yourself the most – its scary that we are the hardest on ourselves.

      I hope you can come to our Women’s Leadership Summit in Seattle – it will be fun!

      THANK YOU :)