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  • James McPartland

Access Point: The Challenge of Change

"Human beings always act in accordance with their internal narrative - the story they tell themselves about themselves." — James McPartland

You can't get someone to do something they don't want to do - and most of the time, what people want to do is take the action steps that will reinforce the internal narrative about who they think they are. The challenge of making change happen is that we almost always overrate our ability to make change happen, unaware that our story has us right where we subconsciously think we belong.

Our destiny is profoundly shaped by our stories, and our stories are profoundly shaped by the larger narratives about our destiny. Further, as we become much like the people we spend the most time with, our ability to bring a new story to life is impacted by these other narratives surrounding us.

Change requires us to understand where our story comes from, and to be accountable for the stories we choose to tell and the ones we choose to listen to.

When we develop a heightened sense of awareness and practice deliberate thinking, we may see that the "truth" of the story we tell ourselves can be attributed to an "external reality". This version of reality stems from the things we routinely think about and imagine – and the actions we take – to make this external reality conform to our story. It is only one of many fictions available to us.

Anytime a business is not growing, or a person is not succeeding, it is not because it's impossible… It's because of the story the person tells themselves about why their strategy is not working. If you can separate the story of your limitations, and accept the truth of your unlimited potential, then the whole game changes!

New narratives, or reconfigured stories, are like seedlings in the garden. They need care and time to grow. In the work we do at our company, we help people see – through the lens of their story – the ways in which the narrative they’ve been living clashes with the narrative they want to be living. Stories, as they come to be understood though coaching, help people recognize that what they once saw as a natural and inevitable reflection of their world is actually just a construction. And suffering stems from an adherence to that construction.

Each of us can only see as far as our stories will take us - and will only act when we feel confident that our story will back us. Change requires becoming an activist for a better narrative and a more empowering identity. Are you up for the challenge?

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