I want to start with the story of a thirteen-year-old girl who, when she was born, her mum was thirteen also – so effectively a child, bringing up a child.

By the time the girl herself reached thirteen, she had been abused and molested by her family, “friends” at least three times. At thirteen, she was pregnant and when she turned fourteen, she had a baby which was stillborn.

She was sent to an institution, but they only could keep her for a short time as they didn’t have enough beds, so they located a man they thought was her father and sent her with him.

What do you think her future looks like at this point? Concerning or promising?

This girl was Oprah Winfrey.

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She decided she didn’t like her current story. She wanted to write her own life story – so she got educated, she loved talking and got a job at a radio station eventually getting her own talk back show and now she is one of the most famous, most influential woman in the world.

We all have a story.

We all get scared about taking the steps to do things we’d love to do. It takes courage, bravery. That’s ok. One of my mantras is “It’s not brave if you are not scared” which I use in my life as part of my story for things I attend to as a police officer. This is a mantra that serves me, gets me through tough times.

So, if your story isn’t serving you, if it’s giving you the same old recycled results then you have 2 choices;
1.    Tolerate living your current standard lifestyle which will kind of relinquish your right to complain or;
2.  Raise your standard on what you will tolerate by changing your story.

How do you change your story?

You change your strategy. You don’t even have to come up with your own, you can use someone else’s. Find someone who has succeeded in the area you want to and model them. e.g. you don’t have to be a Master Chef to make the best chocolate cake in the world, just find out what ingredients the Master Chef uses, how he does it and follow that.

You find a mentor, someone who has done it, make sure it is contemporary, preferably if they are still doing it so their methods are still effective/current.

Once you have your strategy, check in with your story to make sure they align. e.g. If your strategy is to find a life partner but your story is “All the good ones are gone,” then that limiting belief will kill your drive and render your strategy ineffective. Your story needs to be “People fall in love every day, I can too.”

So, when you change your story and get your strategy you have made a decision.

It doesn’t matter what the circumstances are you can act now on this decision.

For example, two boys who grew up at the same time, in the same economic bracket, with the same opportunities and were both bullied at school.

One decides to turn from being bullied to being the bully – mimicking the neglect and the bullying they suffered.

The other chooses a different path, he hates the hate and is determined not to let it repeat. They want love and won’t let the bullying they were exposed to determine how they grow up.

These two both made a choice to write their own story, their own identity. They just took different paths.

Oprah didn’t sit back and blame others or her circumstances or her resources. She went and found her resources. She wrote a positive story for herself, she had the pen, she wrote the story of her life. She made a decision on how she was going to live and focused on what she could control.

So, you can do what Oprah did. Make your own personal story, don’t let circumstances determine it. You can make decisions like:
1.    Enrolling in that course to get trained in…..
2.    Going to the library to get educated on…..
3.    Going to ditch the negative herd of “friends” who don’t want you to grow (sometimes who you spend time with is who you become)
4.    Going to talk to that person to learn from them, ask them out, etc.

Things You Can Do To Help Make Your Story

Do A Vision Board

A vision board is a visual representation and is a powerful tool to help you manifest your desires. It is more than simply cutting out pictures in a magazine and pasting them on paper. It helps you invest time and energy to visualise your future and reminds you of your life goals.

They have been used for hundreds of years, very effective, very powerful. When we visualize something, it becomes more real and it is easier to connect with what we want.

Our thoughts are our world, everything is created by a thought, your phone, a chair, the wall, the tv, etc.

Focus on what we want, not what we don’t want so we get a direction. For example, say I want to be happy as opposed to I don’t want to be unhappy.

If you are in the car driving, looking at your rearview mirror thinking I have to get away from this, I have to put the space between me and the pain then you have no direction and could end up anywhere. You are focused on getting away from something. It’s better to focus on where you want to go, on your destination, on where you want to be not where you don’t want to be.

When you create a vision board, make sure you are in a good mindset, good mood, psych yourself up for it, use music to put you in the right frame of mind.

Include people and material things, don’t just fill the board up with Lamborginis.

Love/connection are really important. Not so much about what you get in life, but what you give. Contribution makes us happy.

If you are in a tribe where one does the cooking, one does the cleaning, one does the hunting, one lights the fire etc and you do nothing then you will not feel as much a part of it as they do, and they will not respect you as much either. Giving is crucial.

Include emotion. We do things because they make us feel good/better. Words like joy, excitement, pictures of Christmas tree or something you love.

Have fun with it.

Positive affirmations are another way to help create your story

Anything you say, or think is an affirmation. They open the door for possibility. They help you focus on what you want. What you focus on, is often, mostly, what you get.

You don’t have to force yourself to believe it, just say them regularly, have them on your fridge, phone screensaver etc
Your thoughts become your words
Your words become your action
Your action becomes your habits/rituals/patterns of behaviour
Your habits become your story
Your story becomes your life.

Examples of positive affirmations;
* I am enough
* I have the power to choose
* I have courage to keep going
* I’ve got this.
* I am worth the money.

We all act consistently to who we believe we are. We hear people say ‘I’m not that kind of person…” Who told them that? Their parents, their older siblings, their teachers. Find out yourself what kind of person you are, you are an adult now, you choose.

Discovering your identity, your story is an inner game. You can’t do much to control the outside world, but you have absolute control of yourself. When you shift your identity, it’s amazing how other things shift with it and begin to align.
Tolerate where you are or lift your standards. It’s that’s simple. I remember as a kid thinking if I could take all the money from the rich and give to the poor it would all be better. And it might be for a short time but after not long, the rich people would be rich again, because they set a standard for themselves, they have their story and it’s not being a poor one.

You don’t have to wait till January to make a NY’s resolutions and change your story. You can do it right now. There’s a story about a man who finds an egg while he is out walking, an eagles egg. He picks it up, he takes it to his farm and puts it in with the chicken eggs. It hatches and as the eagle grows it pecks the ground and wanders about like a chicken. One day it sees a bird flying majestically in the sky, it asks the other chickens what it is, they say it’s an eagle, the king of the sky, don’t worry about him, you can’t be like him, you’re a chicken like us, just keep pecking the ground. And he spent his whole life being a chicken because he didn’t take the chance to find out who he really was. He didn’t write his own story. Don’t be a chicken if you can be an eagle.

You are ultimately responsible for your own happiness – not anyone else.
Decisions not conditions determine your destiny is a great and true Tony Robbins quote.
There are two types of pain in this world – the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The latter is much worse and much heavier don’t be left with that.

If you don’t like your story, you might not be able to change what’s already happened, but you can change tracks right now, you can change the now and change the future. It’s totally your call.

Kym Turale – Personal Coach
(Founder Progress Ahead Life Coaching)
 For more information:
Facebook/Progress Ahead Life Coaching
Email: progressaheadlc@gmail.com
Web: www.progressaheadlifecoaching.com

  • I had just watched a film last week which Opera was in called The Colour Purple!


  • Some interesting thoughts about change. I think many people will change their story, strive to be different and succeed at some level – so long as what we are changing is truly in line with ‘our story’… I don’t think you should strive to be something you aren’t just because other people are doing it….eg they have their own business, got a TV show etc. so you aim for that. You’ve got to find what is true for you and be content with that, Sometimes it might not mean much change.


  • Ophra’s story is very powerful !


  • What a great mantra for life – thanks for sharing this post. Do hope it helps some of the mums out there.


  • Such a good read!


  • I’m not sure if I would let my child dye their hair at such a young age. Maybe when they’re a grown up


  • This really is a story we all need to hear about. People can be so strong and change their path with determination. It is a hard thing to do but with determination and drive this story shows it can be done.


  • She’s a remarkable woman. We all need to believe that if we want something we can make it happen.


  • Wow what a great article I really enjoyed it especially Iam a big fan of Oprah

    • The books on her life are well worth borrowing from the library. Interesting reads and a deeper look at her life and not just the superficial info seen on TV and in the media.


  • I have read books about Oprah and her story is actually much more complicated and layered. The book on her are well worth reading.


  • This is easier said then done.
    My foster daughter was removed from her parents when she was 3.5yrs old. She lives with us since she was 4yrs old. She has a great sense of abandonment and from the beginning she lives with us, she has been stealing and lying. Things are totally escalating and she can’t stop. So much so that my husband is at his end and is hardly able to cope. She picks up on that and feels “I’m not wanted”. And the circle is round. She’s 8yr now and we fear she end up in Juvenile system. It’s the question if she has the power & ability to turn around.


  • I think vision boards and affirmations can be very powerful tools in helping you to focus what you want and helping to get a more positive mind. I think everyone can change their story IF they WANT to. We all have choice in life, and it’s up to you to decide how you want to live it


  • I think we all know someone who has been a victim their whole life. They always find someone to blame for why their life doesn’t work out. The trick is to hold yourself accountable for how your own life goes. That doesn’t mean what worked for Oprah is going to work for everyone. Just do the best you can.


  • I don’t believe in vision boards and find personal affirmations annoying.


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