Inside your mind lives a storyteller.
This storyteller can either be a HUGE asset to helping your dreams come true, or it can be a HUGE demotivating force in your life.
We all have one of these little storytellers inside our minds. The only difference is that some people’s inner storytellers inspire, motivate and encourage them to do great things and achieve their dreams in life, while others have an inner storyteller that demotivates, distracts and destroys their dreams.
Let me explain.
About two months ago I connected to a dream I once had for building a business in the tabletop gaming niche.
About ten years ago I walked into a gaming store and saw a display case with some painted tabletop miniatures and was completely mesmerized by how awesome they looked.
Shortly after that my wife bought me a starter set to paint, and I was hooked.
Since that day I’ve dreamed of building some sort of business in this niche market, and have been doing research on and off for years.
Back in 2011 I started a blog called TabletopGamer.com, and my first idea was to start an online store selling Warhammer miniatures from Games Workshop, who is the biggest name in tabletop gaming.
Unfortunately around that same time Games Workshop changed their policies, effectively completely shutting down all relationships with any online retailers of their products.
They made the decision to only sell their products on their own website, and at physical local gaming shops who are not allowed to sell any of their products online either.
Around the same time, one of my other businesses went through a rapid expansion so I had to put my TabletopGamer.com website / project on hold, while I focused on my growing business.
It is now four years later, and I’ve re-launched my TabletopGamer.com blog a few months ago, and this time around I have a dream of creating my own line of tabletop products.
So how does the “inner storyteller” relate to this?
Well, when I was trying to make the decision to get into the business of producing and marketing products in the tabletop gaming niche, I did a tonne of research trying to find a line of products that I would enjoy creating and selling, and which would also be useful and wanted in the marketplace.
Once I had an idea of the types of products I wanted to create I had to figure out how I would go about designing and manufacturing those products.
In order to get setup with the resources I needed to get into designing, manufacturing and selling those products I had to setup a workshop for myself to be able to do it in.
I chose to setup the workshop at home, and that required me to do some renovations on a workshop that I have in my home that I haven’t used since I moved here eight years ago.
For the workshop to work for my needs it needed to be completely gutted to the bare bones framing and re-built from scratch with new insulation, drywall, etc.
I knew that doing a reno like that wasn’t going to be easy, but I was excited to make this project work.
This is when I really started to notice my “Inner Storyteller” coming to my aid.
Essentially I broke down the project into individual steps and one of the first steps was to clean out the workshop room, and to get it ready to be gutted.
When I thought about doing this first step, my inner storyteller started saying things like “Well, once you get that room cleaned up, the rest of the stuff will be easy…”
So I got the room cleaned out and then I sat down to plan the next step.
The next step involved ripping apart and completely gutting the room, which required ordering a garbage bin, taking down an old workbench that was in the workshop, and ripping down all the walls, ceiling and insulation etc.
Again, my inner storyteller starting saying things like “Well, once you get that room gutted, and all the garbage and stuff out, the rest of the project should be pretty easy…”
So, with the help of my friend Jabeel and a few other family members that came out to help with the project, I started gutting the room.
It wasn’t an easy job, but we got it done and I noticed something interesting…
… when we finished doing that step, I noticed that a few of us would say something like “Well, that wasn’t easy, but at least now the hard part is done….”
Again that was our inner storyteller talking.
So then I started on the next part of the project which involved clearing out a whole bunch of other garbage I had laying around my property from previous renovations and landscaping work I did over the last eight years.
I had ordered a huge 40 yard garbage bin, so I figured it was the perfect opportunity to get that garbage off my property while I had the bin there.
So for the next week or so I spent time hauling garbage from around my property into the garbage bin.
I live on acreage, so there was quite a bit of landscaping garbage that had piled up over the years from things like some old wooden fencing that I took down a few years ago, a bathroom reno we did a few years ago etc.
All in all we filled up the entire bin full of reno garbage, yard waste and landscaping garbage. The total weight on it was 3 tonnes!
That was NOT easy, physically speaking… hauling that much garbage into that bin.
But here’s the interesting thing…
… once we completed that step and the garbage bin got picked up and taken away, we once again said “Well, that wasn’t easy, but at least the hard part is done now….”
Starting to notice a pattern? AGAIN our inside storyteller told us a story.
The story it was telling us was “Hey, the hard work is done…everything from now on will be easier, so just keep going…”
The project required MANY more steps to get my new workshop fully renovated.
At each step in the process the interesting thing is that my inner storyteller kept telling me “Ohp, well… the hard part is now done…keep going…”
I noticed this and realized that this inner storyteller has been inside my head all of my life – TELLING STORIES!
I say “STORIES” because what it tells me is neither true, nor a lie. It’s actually both truth and fiction, intermixed into one… which is why I like calling it a story.
YOU have an inside storyteller inside your head as well.
We all do.
Since I’ve become aware of this little inside storyteller, I’ve started to really pay attention to what other people say and it has become really clear to me that each of us has a different storyteller.
Some people have a storyteller that tells them things which motivate and inspire them, and other people have storytellers which demotivate them or cast doubt in their minds.
See, nothing our inner storytellers tell us is actually true. It’s just a story.
That story can HELP us to make our dreams come true, or it can HURT us by creating doubt and demotivating us.
The truth is that none of the things my inner storyteller was telling me was the truth.
Meaning, when I was working on the first step in my project of clearing out the stuff inside my old workshop, when I completed that step my inner storyteller told me “The hard part is done.”
This helped me to stay motivated and to tackle the next step.
But was it really true?
Was the “hard part” really done?
Not really… the hard part hadn’t even begun.
Hauling 3 tonnes of garbage into a bin was harder work than cleaning out the workshop.
And when that part was done, my inner storyteller again said “oh well, the hard part is done.”
Was that true?
No, not really…
In the grand scheme of building an online business there will be a LOT of steps, challenges and situations I will have to go through before my business becomes successful.
Even though I’ve already put in a LOT of work to get this project off the ground, in the overall scheme of things I’m just getting started…
… so the truth is that the “hard part” is NOT done. It’s not even close to being done.
I’ve built businesses from scratch to millions of dollars in sales numerous times in the past, so I know how much work it takes.
BUT… here’s my point…
The whole time, as I’m working on the current step I’m working on, my inner storyteller is keeping me motivated by telling me these little stories, saying things inside my head like “oh well, at least the hard part is done….”
You have an inner storyteller inside your head as well… and it’s telling you stories ALL THE TIME about everything.
I’ve been really paying attention to this with other people as well as with myself and it’s really fascinating how we all tell ourselves stories.
You see, as we go through life, we are almost always acting and thinking based on incomplete information.
Our senses only allow us to perceive less than 1% of what is really going on in “reality”, and the rest we fill in with our inner storytellers.
Yesterday, for example, was the Canadian federal election and I was trying to decide what time would be best for me to go and vote.
My inner storyteller said “Go around 2pm. Around that time it’ll be the least busy with the people who went to vote at lunch time already gone, and the people who come after 3pm not there yet.”
So I went and voted around 2:30pm and it wasn’t busy at all.
But was that REALLY the least busy time in the day to go vote? I have no idea.
My wife’s story teller told her “Go first thing in the morning…” so she went and voted first thing in the morning.
Was that the best time to vote? Who knows.
We all go throughout our lives mostly living in a reality where we perceive only 1% of what is really real, and the other 99% we make up as a STORY inside our heads.
When some people look at a potential business model, and they see no competition they think “Oh man, there’s no competition! This is awesome. I’m going to make a lot of money!!!”
Others think “There’s no competition, which means nobody is doing this, which means there’s no money to be made here.”
When some people see a young man driving a Ferrari they think “Wow, that guy must be really smart! Probably an entrepreneur.” while others instantly think “Must be nice to have rich parents…” while others yet think “Must be a drug dealer.”
The truth is we have no idea HOW that young man is able to afford that car. It could be a rental for all we know. We have no idea, but we make up these STORIES inside our heads, and then we convince ourselves that they are true… because it “makes sense”.
But in reality, we are all going around telling ourselves STORIES which are not really true… at the very least they’re inaccurate.
We all do this.
We can’t really ever know what is really true, nor would it be practical to live our lives trying to know the truth about everything, all the time.
We use these stories inside our heads as shortcuts, to navigate the reality we live in.
When we walk into a BestBuy store and we see a young guy or girl wearing dress pants, a dress shirt, and a tie walking towards us, we think “Oh, they must work here…”
Why? Because most people who work at BestBuy dress that way. But that doesn’t mean it’s true.
I was once at a BestBuy wearing a shirt and tie, looking to buy something, and a woman walked up and starting asking me all these questions about some product they had.
I quickly realized she made the assumption that I worked there – LOL.
HER inner storyteller told her a story.
Our inner storytellers are always telling us stories, and most often they’re not even really true.
So the real question is this…
If our inner storytellers are going to be telling us stories, all of our lives, and those stories are not going to be completely accurate no matter what we do, how can we use this to our advantage?
Well, we can start to PROGRAM our storytellers to tell us stories that INSPIRE and MOTIVATE us towards our dreams.
When I had to do my workshop renovation, and my inner storyteller said to me “Well, at least the hard part is done…” it was telling me a story.
That story inspired and motivated me to keep moving forward.
Other people have story tellers which in the same situation would tell them “Man, that was hard work…and it could get even harder…what if this doesn’t work out?!”
And that type of story will create doubt and demotivate them from moving forward.
Start paying attention to your inner storyteller. What’s it telling you?
Is it saying something that will inspire and motivate you, or is it casting doubt and demotivating you?
Either way it’s just a story.
Either way it’s not going to be 100% accurate.
However, one story will help you to reach for your dreams and to make them come true, while the other story will destroy your dreams.
It’s your choice.
This storyteller works for you. It’s inside YOUR mind. You have FULL control over it
You just have to become aware of it first, and then start to make choices where the only stories you listen to are those that are motivating you towards your dreams.
Pay attention to people who have already achieved what you want to achieve. What kind of stories do they tell themselves?
You’ll notice that people who make their dreams come true, and who achieve great things in their lives are masters at telling stories…
Not to the world, but masters at telling stories inside their heads.
They’ve engaged their inner storyteller to be a force of positive, motivational, inspiration power for them, while those who fail use the same inner storyteller as a force for creating inner doubt, inner conflict and inner demotivation.
I’ve been using my inner storyteller to keep me motivated, and now my workshop is done, and I’ve just finished putting together my first prototype terrain piece for the tabletop miniature gaming.
It’s a little house / hut, designed from scratch and laser cut from 3mm MDF, which will be part of a whole village set I’m working on for 28mm miniature wargaming games which are set in medieval times.
Here’s a picture of my prototype:
It even features a little outhouse. 🙂
I’m very happy with how quickly I’ve been able to get my workshop done and to finally get my prototypes produced.
It would have never happened if my inner story teller was a “Negative Nelly” always casting doubt and demotivating me from moving forward when things get tough.
What’s your “inner story” teller doing for you?