When I work with clients to create the message to share with their audience — we have to tackle their fears about becoming visible and Impostor Syndrome while evolving into the leader they want to become.
But here’s the thing:
Whether you’re at a crossroads in your life,
Recovering from burnout,
Or struggling to figure out what’s next…
You can only move forward if you let go of old stories that no longer serve you.
You can only share your story to others if you stop reliving past behaviors or events where you fell short.
I totally get that it’s easier said than done!
So to help you out, let’s dive into what stories could be holding you back from moving forward in your life or career.
Here is an excerpt from my upcoming book, Rewrite Your Story: How to Find Who You Are & Thrive After Burnout…
…and the 8 stories to let go of to fully embrace who you are and who you are on your way to becoming:
1 – Let go of the story that success “has to” look a certain way.
For many people, success is based on what they own; a fancy car, a big house, and a well-paying job. For others, success is measured by their relationships with their family and friends. And for others, success is about the difference they’re making in the lives of others.
There is no one right definition of success. There is only your definition.
And unlike what most people may think, success is not a final destination. Success is a continuous process. There is never a point where you reach your limit or completely fulfill your potential. You can always improve and strive to do better. Which means your definition of success can still evolve over time… and that’s completely OK.
2 – Let go of the story that you’re not capable.
It’s easy for us to look back through our past and find confirmation that we’re not capable. The times we gave up. The times we started something only to leave it behind. Or those times we started something only to fail miserably. We tell ourselves that even if we wanted to succeed with every fiber of our being, we’ll never achieve success, no matter how hard we try. The belief that we’re not capable is enough to keep us stuck.
Start by believing in yourself. Decide that you’re worth betting on, trust that you can do what you set out to do, and then get to work. By making a series of conscious decisions to follow through on what you say you’ll do, you’ll prove to yourself that you’re more than capable of whatever you set your sights on accomplishing.
3 – Let go of the story that you’re not worthy of success.
Too often we feel unworthy of success. Many of us tend to think we don’t deserve good things and that somehow we “deserve” to suffer. Maybe you tell yourself you can’t complete what you started, or you always mess things up no matter how bad you want it. When you look back on your past and contemplate where things went wrong in your life, you think the common factor is you. You sabotage yourself and you find it difficult to approach setbacks without seeing them as confirmation of how undeserving you are.
If you don’t feel like you’re worthy, you will always find a way to sabotage yourself from allowing success (whatever that word means to you).
So cut yourself some slack for “failing” to achieve all the expectations that others have placed on you. With the bar of achievement set unrealistically high by our society and our own self-imposed standards, you’ve trained yourself to beat yourself up every time you fall short. You’ve developed a knee-jerk reaction of self-loathing instead of self-love.
Once you understand what makes you feel undeserving or unworthy, learn to cultivate compassion and forgiveness for yourself. Celebrate what you have accomplished and use it to bolster you as you move forward.
4 – Let go of the story that things must be perfect.
We’re taught to aim for perfection and nothing less. Perfectionism in our society is discussed mostly in terms of looks, money, or status. Sometimes it’s used when discussing things like intellect (“Look how young she was when she started to read!”), generosity (“Wow, their family donates the most money to that foundation every year!”), consideration for others (“Your son is so polite that we’ve given him the Student of the Week award!”) or ambition (“She grew her business to six figures in just six months!”). This can lead to feelings of failure whenever those ideals are not met. It makes us question our worth when we fail to be perfect.
I’m what you’d call a “recovering perfectionist”. When you’re an entrepreneur, you learn pretty quickly that aiming for perfect is the kiss of death. When you’re also a storyteller who writes words for clients, trying to emulate their voice, tone, and style of doing business, “perfect” goes out the window… fast.
When you commit to a life of success on your terms, the new path you’ll be embarking on will be full of challenges. The last thing you want to do is have your desire for perfection slow you down, blocking you from new ideas, making you overly critical of yourself and stopping your forward movement.
Instead, embrace each moment as a learning opportunity on the path to growth.
Progress > perfection. Done > perfect.
5 – Let go of the story that your past = your future.
News flash: the past version of you does not dictate who you can become.
Now, I’m not gonna pretend that all of us start in the same place in life. You may not have had access to resources others have. But you shouldn’t feel held back based on where you’ve come from.
As a storyteller, I’ve listened to the personal stories of hundreds of entrepreneurs overcoming adversity to build successful businesses. So regardless of whether you had to overcome homelessness, anxiety, violence, a life-altering injury, feeling like an outcast, flunking out of school, heartbreak or loss… please know that I acknowledge the pain you went through. There is, however, an important point to be made for whether you choose to let that experience define you or refine you.
Remember, it’s never the experience that creates the pain and adversity for us — it’s how we choose to think about it.
Don’t get stuck in regret or beating yourself up for your less-than-ideal past. Let it go however you see fit. Learn from it and take the opportunity to improve yourself where you can. Forgive yourself and others. Or use your past story as motivation for you to change your circumstances for good. The only thing you can control is how you act in this present moment. Then the next. Then the next.
6 – Let go of the story that you need a “magic bullet” to succeed.
Each year, millions are spent on advertising campaigns designed to sell you a “magic bullet” solution to your problems. To sell you the ONE THING you need to lose weight, be happy, save time or become successful. The problem with the magic bullet is that there is no “one thing” that’s going to give you the shortcut from where you are to where you want to be.
But if you’ve learned anything from studying your heroes in Chapter three it’s that there are no “secrets” or “shortcuts”. There’s only systematic hard work, cultivating strong habits and discipline, and choosing to believe in yourself more often than you don’t.
Instead of looking for a magic bullet solution, do an honest assessment of your strengths and weaknesses. Imagine what the most ideal version of yourself looks like and determine what steps you’ll need to become that person. Decide what you can improve upon and what habits you need to develop if you want to achieve success on your terms.
You and you alone know what’s holding you back. Work to change one habit at a time or improve on one aspect of yourself at a time. Invest in resources like books or mentors where necessary. Once you’ve developed that habit, move onto the next one.
7 – Let go of the story that you need to be liked.
Often when we decide to level up in our lives, we run into resistance from friends, partners, and family members. They’ve come to know us a certain way and this “new” upgraded version of who we are working to become may make them feel surprised at best; threatened at worst.
No matter how painful it is, stop trying to be liked. While it’s very normal and human to want to feel needed, understood, accepted, liked, and loved, it’s important to take a stand for who you are. You’re making a decision to live a life aligned with your core values, passions, and talents. What could be more beautiful than that?
People will find a reason to dislike you no matter what you do, how pure your motives are, or how wonderful this new journey is for you. When this happens, chances are it’s more about their issues and how your decision to improve your life will force them to question their own.
Instead of investing emotional energy in what you can’t change, focus on the why behind your decision to bet on your success. Communicate with those who will support you unconditionally on your journey. Either choose to ignore the people who will try to hold you back or be willing to let them go.
8 – Let go of the story that you aren’t worthy of love.
Our value as human beings is inherent, not acquired.
Love yourself for the person you were, for the person you are, and for the person you are on your way to becoming.
Even before you begin your journey towards living the life of your dreams… or when you stumble along the way… or when you achieve the wildest goal you set for yourself… remember this:
You are worthy.
You are enough.
You are loved.
Reprinted with permission from
Rewrite Your Story: How to Find Who You Are & Thrive After Burnout
by Kay Fabella
© 2019 All rights reserved.
Now it’s your turn…
Have you experienced burnout before? What did you to recover from it? And how do you avoid burning out?
Share with me in the comments below!
If you’ve experienced burnout, it’s never too late to recover, reclaim who you are, and rewrite your story to become who you were meant to be. I’ll show you how to let go of old stories that no longer serve you and start creating the life of your dreams. Pre-order a copy of my book here: Rewrite Your Story: How to Find Who You Are & Thrive After Burnout!