“Don’t allow your situation to become your world.”
—Bishop T.D. Jakes (from Oprah’s Lifeclass)

We all have a story. Sometimes it explains why we can’t do something and other times our story propels us forward.

I’ve heard cases where people have the same story such as lack of money, resources, or knowledge and one person eventually starts a successful business while the other is out of work and depressed. One story with completely opposite outcomes.

When you tell your story, you MUST:

Be honest about your story and stick to the facts.

Nothing more or less!

Create the story that empowers you forward.

Never lower your standards!

Live your truth.

Establish non-negotiables!

We all have stories in different areas of our life. The facts are always available. The only thing that changes is how we interpret them and how much we embellish them.

“Does your story EMPOWER you or DIS-EMPOWER you?”
—Tony Robbins

Let’s look at three situations in different areas of your life:


Facts: You have two kids, time is in limited supply, and you want to spend time with your kids.

Your Story: You can’t get in shape because you have kids and don’t have time.


You must prioritize exercising because you want to stay healthy and be around to enjoy your children for many years.


Facts: Your career is unfulfilling and you would like to be happy in your job.

Your Story: You can’t leave your job which is unfulfilling because you will never find another job and you have no other skills.


Truth: You need to move outside your comfort zone to learn new skills and find a job that makes your happy and allows you to share your strengths.


Facts: You grew up in a dysfunctional home.

Your Story: You can’t have a good relationship because you grew up in a dysfunctional home.


Truth: Surrounding yourself with stable people and creating a positive environment are important anchors to have in your life because you didn’t have either when you were growing up.

Often, my clients have different stories for different areas of their lives. For example, one amazing and successful client has a can-do mindset in business and athletics. In his career, he believes he can close any deal and handle the most difficult clients. In the area of healthy living/athletics, he has the courage to go after his goals and compete in various triathlon competitions with no limits. However, in his relationships, he has the story that he’s had really bad luck and is not cut out for intimate relationships. Although relationships are challenging for all of us, I challenge his story line. If we continue to repeat a story, we eventually believe that story and embrace it—whether it empowers us or not.

The one thing I know for sure, as Oprah likes to say, is that sticking to the facts leads to a more powerful story and outcome. If you have had relationships or jobs that weren’t fulfilling, then say that. When you see your story as temporary rather than permanent, you have a more hopeful outlook. Focus on what you want to bring into your life and why it’s important.

Create the story that empowers you forward.

TOP 1% BOTTOM LINE: Often you have to challenge your conclusions and ask yourself if they are true. Does it really make sense that you can make anything in your career happen, yet relationships elude you? How much time do you spend on the areas you are successful in versus the ones you would like to have different results in? Your story must be the truth. This is the only way to create YOUR top 1% path and share your best self.

“State the facts. Speak the truth.”
—Iyanla Vanzant (from Oprah’s Lifeclass)

Does YOUR story empower you? Please share with us in the comments section below what you are doing to change your story and be unstoppable on your journey.

Alissa is a Professional Business/Life Coach, motivational speaker, and author of  Living in Your Top 1%. She works with individuals and organizations to help them think bigger, redefine what’s possible, and get results.  Alissa has an MBA from the Wharton School and a BA from the University of California, Berkeley. She has appeared on national radio stations such as CBS and Clear Channel Radio and has worked with the Milken Institute, LA Business Journal, Prostate Cancer Foundation, and NBC Universal. To learn more about coaching with Alissa, please visit her website and Facebook page.