Kindra Hall from Success Magazine wants you to Choose Your Story, Change Your Life | PoP 657

A photo of Kindra Hall is captured. Kindra Hall, MA Wall Street Journal best selling author, Award-Winning Storyteller Kindra Hall told her first story in the spring of 1992. Kindra Hall is featured on Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.

What story do you tell yourself? How does the story you tell yourself impact your life relationship? How often do you question your beliefs?

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks with Kindra Hall from Success Magazine about how choosing your story can change your life.

Podcast Sponsor: Brighter Vision

An image of Brighter Vision Web Solutions is featured as the sponsor on Faith in Practice Podcast, a therapist podcast. Brighter Vision builds all in one websites for therapists.

We made it another year and now it’s time to jumpstart your practice and gear up for a successful 2022. What are the first steps to bringing in more of your ideal clients? Having a great website and marketing your private practice online.

Whether you’re a seasoned clinician with a website in need of a refresh, or you’re fresh out of school needing your very first therapist website, Brighter Vision is the perfect solution.

And, during the entire month of January, they’re running their biggest sale of the year!

For the entire month of January, they’re completely waiving all setup fees and only charging $39/month for your entire first year of a new website – that’s a savings of $240 for your first year of website service with Brighter Vision.

All you have to do is go to brightervision.com/joe to learn more and take advantage of this great deal.

Meet Kindra Hall

A photo of Kindra Hall is captured. She is a renowned author and keynote speaker. Kindra is featured on Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.

Kindra Hall, MA Wall Street, is a sought-after keynote speaker trusted by global brands to deliver messages that inspire teams and individuals to better communicate the value of their company, their products, and their individuality through strategic storytelling. Hall is also the Chief Storytelling Officer at Success Magazine where she shares the inspiring, often untold, stories of achievers like Daymond John, Deepak Chopra, James Altucher, and Misty Copeland in print and on the podcast Success Stories with Kindra Hall.

Kindra Hall is also the best-selling author of Stories that Stick: How Storytelling Can Captivate Customers, Influence Audiences, and Transform Your Business. Her highly anticipated second book, Choose Your Story, Change Your Life: Silence Your Inner Critic and Rewrite Your Life from the Inside Out, releases in January of 2022.

Visit Kindra Hall’s website. Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

In This Podcast

  • Catch
  • Analyze
  • Choose
  • Install
  • Kindra’s advice to private practitioners

Catch

We are storytellers, that’s who we are as humans. I’m not talking about the stories that we share with each other … you are a very good storyteller when it comes to the internal stories that are happening. (Kindra Hall)

The stories that you tell yourself are not obvious. They are quiet and consistent in your mind, but they are strong enough to dictate much of what you think and feel about the world.

Therefore, the first step to changing these stories is to become aware of them and catch them in the moments that you perceive them in action.

Analyze

Once we catch these stories, and often they come to us as statements, like limiting beliefs … that’s where the second step is to go deeper and [ask], “where is this coming from?” What are the stories from my life that have equated or built up to this belief or statement that I have now created as a truth and is holding me back? (Kindra Hall)

As you become more aware of what you say to yourself, or what meanings you attach to events in life, you can begin to question their origins.

Do they come from a healthy place? Are these beliefs or truths that you agree with? Do they put you in alignment with where you want to be?

Choose

Raising awareness is one aspect of changing your story. The next step is to take action, address those that do not serve you, and instead choose to embrace those that do.

A story depends on you to be created and listened to. Therefore, be aware of where you put your energy and which stories you pay attention to in order to choose those that properly serve you in your life.

These limiting stories are there to keep us safe but what stories, instead of having those subconsciously on repeat, what stories can I consciously curate, choose, and insert when I start going down that spiral? (Kindra Hall)

Stories are ongoing, so it is a continuous process, but it is a worthwhile investment of time and energy in your quality of life to address how you talk to yourself and about your life.

Install

Installing new stories requires a level of discipline. Be sure to use your good, uplifting, empowering, and self-fulfilling stories instead of only thinking about them once and never again.

When you find a story that moves you towards your future and more developed self, you must use it.

Over time, the more you use them, the more they become installed and integrated into your self-perception.

Kindra’s advice to private practitioners

While you are often working with your client’s stories, you need to be careful in monitoring your own stories as well because your job is big and difficult.

You can find more satisfaction, joy, purpose, and protection when you watch your stories too.

Books mentioned in this episode:

Useful Links mentioned in this episode:

Check out these additional resources:

Meet Joe Sanok

A photo of Joe Sanok is displayed. Joe, private practice consultant, offers helpful advice for group practice owners to grow their private practice. His therapist podcast, Practice of the Practice, offers this advice.

Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.

Thanks For Listening!

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Podcast Transcription

[JOE SANOK] This is the Practice of the Practice podcast with Joe Sanok, session number 657.
[JOE] Well, welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast. I’m Joe Sanok, your host and happy new year. Hope it is kicking off for you great. We have some really killer interviews coming up this month, of people that are just helping us think differently about this new year. I’m not a huge new year’s resolution guy, just because I feel like every day, I’m trying to think about what I can do a little bit better, those small steps. Last February I started doing a daily one-minute plank and have kept that up throughout most of 2021 and it’s just amazing how you have those small little steps to make yourself better and from that you can just kind of change yourself in a lot of different ways.

That’s what I’m so excited about having Kindra hall today on the show. Kindra is the bestselling author and chief storytelling officer of Success Magazine who teaches leaders, executives and entrepreneurs across countless industries how to harness and leverage the power of their stories. Her book, Stories that Stick debuted at number two on the Wall Street Journal bestseller list, and Forbes said it may be the most valuable business book you read and her new book, Choose Your Story, Change Your Life, rewriting the stories you tell yourself release today. Today, this moment.

You can get it. You can get it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble or your local bookstore, wherever you get your books. So at release today, January 11th as well, she’s our expert this month in Next Level Practice. So in next level, people get access to these high level experts like Kindra or Pat Flynn or John Lee Dumas that we bring in every single month. She’s going to be our expert on January 19th. So Kindra, welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast.
[KINDRA HALL] Joe, thank you so much. I am so happy to be here episode at 657. That’s so crazy. Congratulations.
[JOE] We’ve been going at this for a little bit. And when we started doing three episodes a week, we really could like start pacing that.
[KINDRA] Yes, that’s a lot. That’s a lot, but I’m so happy to be here. Glad to be reconnected at this side with our roles reversed.
[JOE] I know. I got to be on your show and you helped with my book launch and like we’re talking, you said, Hey, I have a book coming out in January after I asked and now you’re here.
[KINDRA] Now here we are. It’s January.
[JOE] So first I want to hear, so you have previous books you’ve written. You’ve been chief storytelling. Like why another book? Why did you even decide you wanted to do another book?
[KINDRA] That’s a good that’s a great question. I ask myself that question sometimes on the darker days of being an author, I’m just kidding.
[JOE] Why am I doing this myself again?
[KINDRA] Why did I do this to myself? It’s like having a kid. You have the first one and you’re like never again and then a week later you’re like, oh, but they’re so cute. Let’s have another. Really it came, I think I always knew, I love writing. So I think writing is a part of my life and I knew I would write one book and I think I knew pretty shortly after or in the midst of writing that one, that there were more things I wanted to write and that second book would be in the future.

However, what’s interesting about this book is it is not the book I thought I would write. When I wrote Stories that Stick in the book, I talk about the four key stories that anyone in business needs to be able to tell. These are the ones focus on the value story, the founder story, the purpose story and your customer story. I thought what my second book would be, would be to go deeper on the purpose story and helping leaders really dive into all of the different stories that are at their disposal, what stories they should tell, which stories they shouldn’t.

But honestly as time went on, and there was one moment in particular that then it progressed, I realized that that wasn’t the next book that needed to be written. Then of course, 2020 happened. It became clear that right now, it’s not so much, well, the stories we tell outwardly are extremely important. There’s actually a fifth story that matters and we can only have so much success in business or satisfaction in life if we’re paying really close attention to the story we tell ourselves. That’s what this book is.
[JOE] Man, so when did that shift, you said that you weren’t planning on writing this book and that there was kind of a moment that shifted. Did something happen or did it just emerge that like, oh, this is a story I need to tell or how did that blossom?
[KINDRA] Yes, I had, I think it was something that was always within me, but what happened was, it was an event several years ago when my career was taking off. My career at that point was mostly keynote speaking. I was traveling, I was speaking to audiences of thousands. It was exciting. It was one wonderful. It was, I mean, if I had written down a dream job, I had it and it was going great and yet I was miserable. Not all the time, but there were so many moments that should have been filled with joy that just weren’t. The reason that was plaguing me is any time I felt joy or happiness or excitement about my career, there was this voice inside my head telling me that I was a terrible mother, that I was failing my children, that I was inadequate, that I was selfish, that I was whatever.

In some ways it made me worse at my job, right, because I wasn’t fully present and I wasn’t at, it was just this constant battle. At the very least it was siphoning the enjoyment that I should get from things going well and living your dream job. I remember I was at one event in particular and it was a mostly female audience, entrepreneurs, mothers, people who I knew. The majority of them had probably experienced what I had experienced and kind of fed up. Well that morning I was pretty fed up with myself and saying I need to change this. I can’t have this be what’s on repeat in my mind. That day kind of spurred the moment on the stage. I decided to share with them that as important as all these other stories are that you need to be telling in business, the most important story you can tell is the one you tell yourself.

I told them about how I keep telling myself these terrible stories about myself that are keeping me from my goals and yet there are so many great stories of times when I was an excellent mother. Like, yes, there were all the stories of the field trips I did and go on or the time that for Halloween, they were supposed to bring a sugar pumpkin. Instead I sent them with a big humongous pumpkin, and then I realized why you can’t do that because a kid can’t really navigate carrying a 20 pound pumpkin. Like all of these mom fail moments, but there were so many other moments that were really beautiful and there was one in particular.

It was when, at that time it had happened just a few weeks earlier when I was sitting at home with my daughter. She was about three years old at the time, in her bedroom, very pink, building something on the bedroom floor with blocks. She looked at me and said, “Mama, we are building a castle.” Now there was some architectural issues with the castle. We needed a moat and a drawbridge in the towers. She looked at me again and said, “And we live in this castle mama, because we are two princesses,” which, to have your daughter see you as a fellow princess, because obviously she was a princess, but I got to be one too, was a beautiful thing and would’ve been enough. Then she looked at me again and her eyes narrowed and she said, “And it’s a big castle mama, because we are two princesses,” who go to work. And the enthusiasm, and she just, there was so much pride in her in that moment.

I was on stage telling this story and realizing like, here it is right here in front of me, this story of that, maybe what I’m doing when I’m traveling and everything that I’m doing is teaching my daughter to dream bigger. What better thing can I do, can we do for our daughters? So why do I not have that story and the many others like it on repeat. So it was one of those spur the moment things I shared this story and the response from the audience afterwards was just different. Like they liked the strategies and all the typical storytelling business technique that I was known for, that I was hired for but when people came up to me afterwards, they were talking to me about the stories they tell themselves and how it holds them back and how it makes them feel worse and how it makes them question themselves.

So that could have been one of the moments, but then I kind of decided to test it in future audiences. The next audience was mostly women again, and it went great, but I remember there was one audience that was 98, like .7% middle aged men. I was one of the only women in the room and I was the one on stage and I had this instinct to maybe not tell this story, because maybe it wasn’t appropriate. It’s a story about being a mother. But I decided to tell it and afterwards I couldn’t, I almost missed my flight because I was stopped so many times by middle aged men who were weeping telling me stories of their daughters or their wives or their mothers or the women who are important in their life or for themselves as fathers.

Then those conversations would expand to the stories they tell themselves about business. It’s not all about parenting. Like why do we put these negative stories on repeat? I think that was when I knew this is a much bigger and really important topic to discuss.
[JOE] Man, thank you for sharing all that. I think there’s so much push and pull and guilt in business and being parents and trying to do it perfect. Like I was just walking with my sister the other day, we live in the same neighborhood, and we walk our kids to school every day and back together. She was talking about how much she feels like she has to be perfect as a stay-at-home mom. I mean, she’s trained as a nurse, she’s highly educated, worked at Cleveland Clinic and University of Michigan and this amazing, brilliant woman who’s choosing to stay home right now and how she feels all this pressure to just like do it perfectly. We kind of talked about being raised in the eighties and nineties with this whole self-esteem generation where everyone’s good enough, smart enough, and gosh, darn it, you better like us.

It’s like, well, what does that lead to as an adult? We feel like we need to do everything perfectly. We need to follow this perfect script and have it all be Instagram worthy. So I love that you’re saying that it can shift, that these stories we tell ourselves can help affect the direct of how we think about ourselves, how we believe in ourselves and then ultimately our kids, you know raising two daughters very much on my own to think about that and say like, what are the stories I’m telling them through the stories I’m telling myself? So let’s dive in, you’ve got kind of four kind of major parts of the book that you walk through, some steps in the stories we tell ourselves. Walk us through those four steps and then we’ll just meander where we meander.
[KINDRA] I think that it’s so interesting because I share that story about daughter, but that these stories happen all the time. Like I was just thinking of a story in all different areas of our life. I was just thinking about, it was just yesterday and I had a packed day when you got a, like the book is coming out and it’s just like, it’s a really intense time of life. I was in the shower and I find that we’re able to catch some of these automatic stories in moments of quiet. So like the shower is a great place to do it. And catch is actually the first step in that four part process. So I’ll get into that process in just a second.

But this story I had on repeat is I can’t get it all done. I can’t do all this. I can’t do it all. I can’t, I can’t, I can’t do it. I’m limited and it was on, well, what kind of, and it was playing me stories of the times that I’ve procrastinated and how I never, like I always overbooked myself or whatever it was. I stopped myself and was like, hang on a second. How is this story serving me? Like walking around with this on repeat, isn’t going to make me more capable. So that’s really what this is, whether it’s in, and I talk about this in the book, like five different areas of life, so business and career, money and finances. Money’s a big story for people, family and parenting, yes, love and relationships.

Then of health and wellbeing. So many stories about our health and our fitness and what we are and are not capable of. So this overlays in all areas of our life and ultimately I knew with the title, Choose Your Story, Change Your Life, it sounds very big and fluffy, and it could just be a bunch of like change the story you tell yourself. But there really is a specific, simple approach that if people follow it, they can see results. So the four steps are catch, as I mentioned. Analyze is the second step, choose is the third step, and the fourth step is to install.
[BRIGHTER VISION] We made it another year and now it’s time to jump start your practice year up for a successful 2022. What are the first steps to bringing in more of your ideal clients? Having a great website and marketing your private practice online. Whether you are a seasoned clinician with a website in need of a refresh, or you’re fresh out of school needing your very first therapist website, Brighter Vision is the perfect solution. During the entire month of January, they’re running their biggest sale of the year. For the entire month of January, they’re completely waving all set fees and only charging $39 a month for your entire first year of a new website. That’s a savings of $240 for your first year website service with Brighter Vision. All you have to do is go to brightervision.com/joe to learn more and take advantage of this great deal. That’s brightervision.com/joe.
[KINDRA] As I mentioned, catch being the first step, an important thing to understand here, and if this book, if this message does nothing else except to raise awareness about this, it’s that we are storytellers. That’s who we are as humans. I’m not talking about the stories that we share with each other. I mean, that was an argument that I made, of course, in Stories that Stick but even if you aren’t great at telling a story on your blog or on social media or in your next big presentation or pitch you are a very good storyteller when it comes to the internal stories happening.

And we have automated this. It is invisible to us. We barely even know it’s there. I liken it to the rats in New York city I’m based in Manhattan. And there are some people who will say, they’ve never seen, they’re like, “Oh, I’ve never seen a rat.” Well that’s because the rats don’t aren’t traipsing down the street. They’re living right out of sight. They’re right under the surface level. They’re hiding in the nooks and crannies of this bustling city. But that doesn’t mean they’re not there. And the same is true for our stories. So this first step is so important because until you make the unconscious conscious it’ll rule your life and you won’t even realize that it’s happening. So that first step is really catching these stories when they’re tearing us down or holding us back.
[JOE] I’m so glad that you start there. I’ve been reading this book, I think it’s pronounced [inaudible 00:17:40]. We can put a link to it in the show notes. This guy was talking about how, you know if you use water, like you wouldn’t just leave your faucet running all day, or if you turn on the lights, you wouldn’t just leave those on all day. Like these tools, we don’t leave them running, but yet our brain, which is a tool like we have no power, it seems like to turn it off. That skill of learning to just pause your brain and notice and catch those stories and say, well, how is this serving me as a tool versus just letting it run all the time, like a faucet that’s just left on. So I just love that that’s where you start.
[KINDRA] Well, and I think it’s automated in the way that blood flow and breath are. But of course now if you follow any biohacking, it’s the paying attention to your heart rate at different levels throughout the day or night, or even during a workout. You can optimize that. The same with your breath. Like there is so many, now there’s all the, and there has been for many thousands of years, but recognize that really paying attention to your breath can make big changes in your physiology. The same is true for our stories. I love that faucet example.

The second step in the method then Joe is to analyze. Once we catch these stories, and often they come to us as just statements like limiting beliefs and not fully stories. That’s where the second step is to go deeper and say, well, where is this coming from? What are the stories from my life that have equated or built all the way up to this belief, this statement that I’ve now created as a truth and is holding me back? And you actually did that on your walk with your sister without even necessarily realizing it. It’s like, okay, I believe I have to be perfect and this comes from growing up in the eighties and nineties and the self-esteem. And my guess is if you were to look even more closely, you would find stories from your life of when you were expected to whether it was an elementary school or maybe it was something in your home, or maybe it’s a behavior that you saw your mother or father, can you see, can you think of some of these stories right now?
[JOE] Oh my gosh, I totally forgot. At age three I was not going to bed appropriately and my behavioral psychologist, father created a star chart. When I had a certain number of perfect nights I got to go pick out a toy from the grocery store and it’s like, boom, there we go.
[KINDRA] So isn’t this okay? So you just said it right there. Like, is that a story that you think about on a daily basis?
[JOE] No, not at all. I haven’t thought about that in years.
[KINDRA] So the —
[JOE] Kindra Hall just yanks it out of my psyche
[KINDRA] So that, but look at how quickly you were able to recall it. And I bet you can picture what that chart looked like.
[JOE] Oh yes. I know exactly where it was.
[KINDRA] I mean, and so this is, so again, just because we don’t know that these stories, they are so there. They are there all the time and they’ve shaped us. They’ve taught us how to behave, because that’s what our stories do. They teach us how to behave, how not to behave, what is right, what is wrong? So this second step is designed to be like, okay, so you found that story and you’re like, whoa. And in the book, I won’t list them all here, we’ll leave something to the imagination, but six key questions to ask yourself, to analyze these stories. And to break it down, like where did this come from is the first one. You found it. You found it right there. Like, wait, this is just one of them. Is this story true? What price do I pay for letting this story be my operating system?
[JOE] It’s so interesting you say that because like, even just comparing that, my dad’s a wonderful person, but they just got a puppy the day before Thanksgiving. The old way he trained the dog was like when they had dogs before is like, if they peed or pooped in the house, they’d like put their nose in it and be like, don’t do this, blah, blah, blah. Now he’s reading all this new stuff that says, well, then the dog’s going to just go crap in the corner and hide and going to think it’s a secret. So even just seeing him develop as a behavioral psychologist and seeing the limits of curly, external reinforcers, which is mostly how I was raised to say, hey, there needs to be some internal Lotus of control here for whether it’s a puppy or a person. So just to recognize that change in him in learning. I’m sure he wouldn’t do a star chart now. That means I can go of the star chart too.
[KINDRA] Isn’t that, but exactly, like these aren’t our stories, and that’s the most beautiful thing about stories, is we often think as humans that they are written in stone, that they are, and in some cases like cement sealed around our ankles and pulling us to the bottom of the sea. But stories are written in sand. Now, not in the sense that like, that didn’t happen, the star chart didn’t happen. The things in our lives have happened and that can’t be changed, but with experience and understanding and the natural growth that happens as humans we can start to see these changes differently and, or we can see these stories differently, and as you said, decide if you’re going to let that hang onto you.

Or does that, or yes, it is hanging onto you, or is that a story that now can change into wow, look at, because when you pair the story of the star chart with the puppy, it’s an entirely different message that you can take from that. It’s a message of look at how someone could be so resolute in what they thought was the right way forward and look at how someone can evolve, that someone being your father. So for you now that becomes like an empowering story, because you’re like, whoa, I can, instead of a star chart making you feel like you’re inadequate and perfection is the key.
[JOE] Yes, that idea of they were doing the best they could with information in the eighties. Like the previous generation just hit their kids or didn’t even talk to them. So that was like a big step forward to give a star chart.
[KINDRA] Well, and you said it. You said something earlier, I can’t remember if it was in our conversation before we even hit record. I think it was, but you mentioned the word grace and just approaching things with grace. And I think that’s something that’s not always easy to do but I do think those people, those who embrace the idea of grace are able to flow through life maybe more easily. So if grace is a good thing, then this act of evaluating and seeing our lives as a combination of stories is a window or it’s a pathway to grace. Because of look at the grace that you just felt for your father right there. Like what a beautiful thing?
[JOE] So step three of choosing, I mean, we kind of started to get into that, what else should we know about choosing in step three?
[KINDRA] So this is where the consciousness really becomes, I mean, it’s one thing to be aware, catching the stories, to raise your awareness as you analyze them, but step three is really where it happens. This is where the action takes place. That is okay, I have this one set of stories that brain is putting on repeat. I know that we also have a negativity bias. Of course you know this. Your listeners know this. Like we’re drawn to negativity. And these limiting stories are there to keep us safe. But what stories, instead of having those subconsciously on repeat, what stories can I consciously curate and choose and insert so that the next time I start going down that spiral?

So for example, and I will say, this is an ongoing, like, again, our stories are of sand. So you may have gotten this one aspect of it really under control and you’re like, okay, great. I feel I don’t go down these spirals and then something happens, something changes and you start to struggle with it again. So I really had that bad parent, like I’m failing my children story under control. I felt I kind of released myself from it and knew that if it did pop up what stories I would tell myself. But then there was a point, it was actually after the, not after the pandemic, because what is after the pandemic, but it was September. I was starting to travel again because I had a group of live events that just happened to all be in September because it was, they booked before Delta and all that stuff.

I was at my first event. I opened my email that morning and there was an email from the school that said, “If you have a fifth grader, you’re already well on your way to applying for middle schools.” It was just this, like you should already be applying for middle schools, which in New York city, you have to apply to go to public middle school. Don’t even get me started. I read this email and it just triggered me. The email was written really poorly to make you feel inadequate. So it was all, I mean, it was a recipe for disaster, but there I am in my hotel room thinking I can’t do this. I can’t be a parent in a pandemic and be traveling and be writing and launching a book and like, I need to quit. I need to pull back on my ambitions. I need to stop.

And it was my first trip, Joe. It was the first time I had like left my house in a year. Well, I mean, I had gone a few other trips, but there I went. I just went spiraling down. In that moment I felt it because we can feel this when it’s happening. I stopped myself and said, okay, no, I’m going to choose to tell myself a story of how I’m excelling at being a parent. So I went back, told myself the princess story. I found another story that I could tell, which is parenting is not entirely my responsibility. I have an active participatory, you know me, I like to make up words, spouse.
[JOE] I love making words.
[KINDRA] Yes, it’s a good, it’s the way to do it. So I had, who is the president of the PTA? Like he is an involved, so I told myself the story of my husband shouldering the responsibility of the like, why was I discounting his involved? So I had to stop in that moment and pull on these other stories that are actually the truth. So I chose those stories and could then move forward from a more positive place.
[JOE] I think it’s so important to look at those other angles in those, like say a parenting story to even think, well, how do we even get to the point that we feel like parents need to be these helicopter or lawnmower parents, that that’s the healthiest thing for kids. I mean, for me having my kids just be able to do art projects for two hours after school and not be on the iPad, like sure, they’re not in a million different sports, but they’re calm. They initiated wanting a Zen zone in their houses for them to go meditate. Those things don’t happen if kids are just burned out all the time. So yes, to even just say like, it is the narrative that society, the story society’s given me is that even what I want to accept? The neighbors on one side are gone every weekend for baseball, football, fill in the blank. Like, do I want that for my family? No, that sounds ridiculous.
[KINDRA] Well, and I think you hit on something really important here and it really is another side of the decision to use the word choose, not only for this step, but also for the title of the book, because I could’ve said change your story, change your life. Because that would’ve had a nice little, and sometimes people call it that. But for me, a really important part of this is that agency, is the act of choice. And also the ownership and the release. Like I don’t have to have my neighbor’s story and I don’t have to criticize or belittle or judge them for that is they’ve chosen their story and as long as their story —
[JOE] They made a love out of that.
[KINDRA] Exactly, and as long as their story that they’ve chosen is serving the, I’m 100% in support of it. I get to choose what my story is and what our story is. Again, this isn’t true. I keep coming back because, of course the first story I told was about my daughter, but this happens in all areas of our life. So Joe, I took a group, as I was writing this book, I took a group of participants through this process for my research and spent a lot of time with them, one on one on Zooms and group calls. There was one woman who was really struggling with exercise and health and fitness and finding the motivation and trying to get out there and do that. When I was working, when I was taking them through this method, it was in the depths of the pandemic.

So there were no gyms open. It was very well, I suppose, depending on where you live, where she was, there were no gyms open. She said, her admitting story was I need group fitness in order to work out. Okay, so that was fine. So therefore, there wasn’t group fitness, so she couldn’t work out, but that story wasn’t serving her. So she chose to tell herself the stories of the times where she actually created community in her life. Instead of then just waiting for a gym to reopen, she got a group of people together via Zoom who all happened to have treadmills in their basement, her friends and they would go for daily walks.

But she chose to tell herself the time where she rallied the troops for something.one was for like a field trip, one was for an outing. So all of a sudden it wasn’t like I need a community. Her new story was I create community and she had a series of stories that she could use as proof that that’s what she does and what she’s capable of. She ended up exercising and by the end of our time together, she was like, I feel like a different person.
[JOE] That’s so beautiful. I mean, I think that idea of just when have you done what you feel like you can’t do and just finding those stories and then installing them in. So how do you install it for step four? How do you, you know you’ve gone through, you’ve caught these stories, you’ve analyzed them, you’re choosing now, how do you install it?
[KINDRA] Well, and this is where the discipline aspect of it comes in. So it’s one thing to find a story and be like, oh yes, that was a great story. It’s another thing to say, I am going to use this as a tool the next time I find myself stuck in a limiting place. So I offer a lot of different options for installing. But of course, one of them is once you find a story that serves you, a story that changes your mindset, a story that moves you in the direction you want to go to capture it somehow. So whether that’s journaling, which even in my group as we got to the install step and I said, okay guys, so you have to journal, there was like an audible grown, which is impressive because they were all muted at that point.

And I could still hear them. I didn’t want this to be a book about journaling by any means, but you can’t ignore the research that says writing things down is valuable. Even the act of doing it with pen and paper slows down your own cognitive processing so you can really see the story for what it is. So installing it, you’ve got to capture it first and then find those key moments. Maybe you start every day with telling yourself the positive stories. If it’s kind of just you want to elevate your baseline level, place of operation, if it’s more specific. So there was several people in the group who had triggering moments, where they felt their limiting beliefs cascade over them and they would spiral down.

So there was one gentleman who had this triggering moment. Every Monday, they would send out a sales, like who was the top sales people of that week. He was never in the top because that wasn’t the kind of person he was. Like, he was doing his job, but he had, there was something, but it was very triggering for him to open that email and see it. So he decided to install his chosen story, which is a beautiful story, which I share in the book right before he read that email. He would just sit down and remind himself of this story that he had chosen that illustrated his true values and what good he brings, not only to the company, but to the people he was serving and then could open that email from a much better place and see it for what it was. It didn’t send him into this I’m not worthy cycle that he would finally crawl out of then start back over again every Monday morning. So whatever those triggers are for you, for some people, it might just be social media. So every time you open up Instagram to know what those stories are. But again, it’s to be actively and intentionally replacing the old stories with the ones that serve you until your chosen stories are the automated ones.
[JOE] Love that. Well, Kindra, the last question I always ask is if every private practitioner in the world were listening right now, what would you want them to know?
[KINDRA] I would want them to know that while they’re often working with their clients stories and the stories the clients are telling themselves, I feel like I’m preaching to the choir here, it is so important for each one of the practitioners to be carefully monitoring their stories as well. Because I mean, your job is big and it’s not easy and you’ll find more satisfaction, more joy, more purpose and more protection, really, like the heavy of it all, if you’re watching your stories too.
[JOE] So awesome. The book is, Choose Your Story, Change Your Life. It’s available everywhere right now. 50 of you in Next Level Practice are getting copies as a gift from us. And Kindra, thank you so much for being on the Practice of the Practice podcast.
[KINDRA] Joe, again, an honor to be here. Thank you so much for having me.
[JOE] So what are you going to do today to take action? So often we just consume content, we listen to podcasts, we read books, we do all these things. Those are good things. It’s good to fill our brains up, but just like, you know if you just eat all the time and never move your body, you don’t really get the results you want. So what are you going to do today? What is the action you’re going to take? Would love for you to tag me on social media or if you’ve taken notes from this take a picture of them and tag me. Wherever you are on social media. It’s always fun to hear how you are applying what you’re learning here today. It’s so awesome to look at this book, to be able to kind of just think through my own stories and say like, are these stories even serving me? Maybe I need to do some re-installation of the stories that I’ve told myself to be able to be the kind of person I want for this new year.

Also we want to thank Brighter Vision. Brighter Vision is the best website developer for therapists. We have been partners with them for, I think, five or six years they’ve been sponsors now. So head on over to brightervision.com/joe. They have their biggest sale of the year going on right now in January, 2022. So make sure you go grab that over at brightervision.com/joe.

Thank you so much for letting me into your ears and into your brain. Have a great day. I’ll talk to you soon.

Special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy for your intro music. We really like it. And this podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher, or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.

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