Matt Hogan in nature

The Power of Story

Le give ourselves over to the power of story every day. Our entire life is often viewed as a series of stories woven together to be called, the life of ______.

In the life of Matt, I have given myself over to many stories. Often you find me in rumination of them. You find me in analysis of where things are going wrong, or even in how great they are. Rarely sitting in calm and ease, there is a story for almost everything.

And yet, what I have learned over and over, to be in constant story, is to miss a lot.

My clients pay me for the insights and shifts that result from our time together, that change their life. If I’m caught up in that mental story (about what I do), I will miss what is happening in the moment.

Consider the varying types of listening.

We can listen to respond.

We can listen to affirm.

Or we can listen on empty, and see what comes up to share after they have finished speaking.

When I’ve operated from the first two, it limits my client’s results.

This extends into my personal relationships, too. If I were married and my partner was speaking, and the entire time I’m thinking about how I can fix her challenge, or what I will say, I’m not listening. Not truly. I’m lost in a story of the moment.

When I step back further, I can trace my compulsion to fix back to a bigger story.

That bigger story, to flow with this example, might be that I am a fixer. I’ve convinced myself that I am supposed to fix problems, and that is what gives me intrinsic value. (Pretty common story for men). I use this example, because it has been a story that I have lived from for many years.

The desire to fix and the belief that I am supposed to, gets in the way of deeper connection. While I’m lost in this need to fix, if I perceive myself as not doing it right, I felt like I had no intrinsic value.

If I am not satisfying the story, what was my purpose?

I would become frustrated with myself that I was not carrying out the role I was ‘supposed’ to play.

On the other side of the relationship, this person I’m speaking with doesn’t feel heard or seen. They are attempting to express themselves. They are attempting to be heard and understood. Not specifically asking for me to fix anything.

The result of me believing I must fix, we both feel disconnection between us. I feel like I’m unfulfilling a role I gave myself. And this person I am speaking with, feels like I have no idea who they are or what they are experiencing.

Look around your life today.

What story or stories are you playing out each day, that are showing signs of needing to shift?

It may be the story of being an Executive. You may have played this role (story) so long that you don’t know who you are beyond it..

It may be the story of being too old for change. You may find yourself in your late 40’s or 50’s and sense that something is off in your life. Yet, though you know it’s true, you may be caught in the story that you are too old for change.

It may be the story of impossibility. You may find yourself on the threshold of a new life or a meaningful change. But you can’t seem to move through feelings and beliefs that say it’s not for you, or remotely possible.

I invite you to take a look at the stories you are living from each day.

Look for the real cost of them. In your finances. Your health. Your relationships.

Trace the story of the moment (the one in your head), back to the bigger story that is at play.

The internal freedom we crave comes from knowing who we truly are beyond the story.

Reach out if you would like some help

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