“When you change the way you look at the things, the things you look at change.”
–Wayne Dyer, Bestselling Author & Motivational Expert
Sounds good, but how in the world do we see the world differently when an old story of pain literally imprisons us from becoming who we really can become? How do we shift our personal stories and transform pain and fear into success — and awaken into an inspired, new life?
Look no further than the great movies and plays; look at the characters.
Shifting the POV
The truth is, as simplistic as it sounds, you can learn to redefine who you need to be in the world once you are able to shift your perspective and envision your life’s journey through a basic understanding of how a movie or a stage character operates. True personal freedom comes when you’re able to see yourself as a character (hero) on a journey to face your greatest challenge: to become your greatest you — who you need to be.
In 2011, co-developing a theater-behind-bars workshop in prisons across Colorado, I witnessed true change become possible when inmates saw their old roles literally as what they actually were: roles, painful masks, that needed to be discarded.
“If you could save a life with this story would it be worth it?” I ask. No one in the prison workshops I’ve facilitated has ever said no. Why? Because the new story is no longer about you.
The truth is, everyone has the inner ability to radically shift from imprisonment to empowerment, transform fear into success. Just imagine yourself nervously, but thrillingly, about to step into the new role. Your greatest you.
Four Crucial Steps to Transformation
1. Who am I talking to?
In a movie or play, a character is always in a relationship with someone, and in order for dialogue to exist they must be talking to someone (even if that relationship is with themselves). Shift this idea to your relationship with the world. Ask yourself (as an actor playing a character would ask), “What is my connection to the world?” Dare to see the people in your life literally as scene partners to help you see who you are (your character) — and who you need to be — to step into your greater role.
2. What do I really want?
In a movie or play, characters are suddenly (and painfully) thrust into a situation that emboldens them to discover what they really want and what really matters to them on their journey. Embrace your “knock-knock” moment (this moment might be the moment when life gets too uncomfortable to not ask this question) and ask yourself, “What do I really want, right now, right here in this moment?” If you really ask the right question, you’ll really get the right answer. You will be on your path to living, enraptured with your role and not just going through the motions.
3. What is getting in the way of what I really want?
In a movie or play, the greatest character emerges in the face of great conflict. Without conflict in a movie or play, the story would fall apart. Imagine Jaws without the shark! Your true power and potential can emerge when you stop fighting your conflict and see it as your greatest opportunity to leverage your fear to get what you really want.
4. What is the change? What could change?
In a movie or play, from beginning to end, the greatest characters go through powerful changes. They transform, hopefully for the good. But they change. When you can deeply envision what the greatest change in your life could look like and feel like, you’re on the road to making true and lasting change possible and experiencing a more electrified and passionate way to live your life.
Seeing yourself through a deeper understanding of character on the world’s stage will help you get in touch with the desire and courage you need to transform your greatest fears into your greatest triumphs. Imagine your new life filled with wonder and a sense of decadence you never experienced before, but always knew was possible.
Imagine becoming enraptured with your new story, your greater story.
You’re already in the play — why not cast yourself in the right role?
About the Author
Jesse Wilson is a Communications Specialist, Human Connection Trainer and Speaking Coach, Author, and Performer. The CEO of “Tell the Winning Story,” Jesse has taught hundreds of personal transformation workshops across the country, helping people make communication breakthroughs into their authentic selves. A Juilliard Theater Graduate and 2 time TEDx speaker, Jesse shares how the lessons from the stage can help ANYONE step into a much more powerful role when they can envision the greater role, and the greater story, waiting in the wings. You can connect with Jesse Wilson at www.tellthewinningstory.com.
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