Posts tagged: beliefs

Midlife: Are You the Chicken or the Eagle?

Our lives are shaped by the way we perceive ourselves.  Sadly, thAre you the Eagle or the Chicken?ose perceptions are often a long way from the truth but we nonetheless behave and live as if they were true. How many times have you stopped yourself from living your dreams because you “didn’t deserve to”, “weren’t good enough to”, “didn’t have the right background”, “weren’t smart enough” or a myriad of other “good” reasons?

A perfect example of this is a story that comes from American Indian folklore. According to the legend, an Indian brave found an eagle’s egg that had somehow fallen, without breaking, from its nest. Not being able to find the nest, the brave put the egg in a prairie chicken’s nest, where the mother hen hatched it.

When the young eagle took his first steps into the world what he saw were the other prairie chickens.  So naturally he did what they were doing – scratching the ground, running around and pecking here and there looking for grains and husks. Every now and again they would use their wings to fly a few feet above the ground. This was the way he perceived life was meant to be and this was how he lived for most of his days.

The legend continues with how one day an eagle flew over the chickens. The now elderly eagle, still thinking he was a prairie chicken, looked up in awe and admired the bird as it soared through the sky. “What is it?” he asked, astonished.  One of the chickens replied, “That is an eagle, the proudest, strongest and most magnificent of all the birds. But don’t imagine that you could be like that. You are one of us and we are just prairie chickens.”

And so, imprisoned by this belief, the eagle lived and died thinking he was prairie chicken.

Think “impossible” and dreams get discarded, projects get abandoned, and hope for wellness is torpedoed.  But let someone yell the words “It’s possible,” and resources we hadn’t been aware of come rushing in to assist us in our quest.  I believe we are all potentially brilliant and creative-but only if we believe it, only if we have an attitude of positive expectancy toward our ideas, and only if we act on them. – Greg Anderson, “The 22 Non-Negotiable Laws of Wellness”

“Take the First Step” by Doug Stevenson

I was in a class led by Doug Stevenson at the 2009 National Speakers Association convention.  His story-telling method was extremely impressive – the stories all but leapt off the stage!  I wanted to share his article here because it is such an appropriate first step to following your passions.

I can remember growing up in Chicago when the year 2000 was a long way into the future. And now, in 2010, as we enter the second decade of the 21st century, I’m taking stock of how far I’ve come and what it took to get me here.

As a child watching movies, I dreamed of being an actor in Hollywood. And then one day…I found myself acting on a movie set at Paramount Studios.

After 16 years, when my acting career didn’t work according to plan, I set out for points unknown to find a new place to live and a new direction in life. That journey of discovery led me to Colorado Springs and a career as a residential real estate broker. Real estate led to keynote speaking, which expanded to training, and later included coaching.

As I look back and analyze what I had to do in order to get to where I am today, there are three things that I had to do over and over again.

  1. Decide what you really want – even if it doesn’t make logical sense
  2. Let go of the past in order to step into the future
  3. Take the first step, regardless of how knowledgeable or prepared you are

What did you want to be when you grew up? Did you do it? Did you even attempt it? Or did you let other people talk you out of it because it was impractical, illogical or unrealistic? Or did you talk yourself out of it for the same reasons. Perhaps you pursued your dream, (like I pursued my dream of becoming a movie star), and at some point along the way found yourself disillusioned with the results.

I find the life I’m living in the year 2010 is one that I never would have imagined. I have a thriving speaking, training and coaching business. My wife, Deborah, and I work together in the business and get to travel all over the world. Our life together is better than what I had ever dreamed of. But it would never have happened, had I not followed the three steps above.

As many of you know, I’ve taken up running to get in shape. I run three or four times a week with the goal of running several half-marathons each year. In other words, I’m in training. Every time I workout, I chart how many miles I run in my logbook. Runners call it putting miles in the bank. The more miles you put in the bank, the better you’ll do in a race.

Putting miles in the bank is a metaphor for putting life experiences in the bank.

Looking back, I’ve utilized my simple three-step formula every time I wanted to move to the next level of achievement in my life. At every turning point, the decisions I made, letting go and taking the first steps were like putting miles in the bank – my life experience bank. And with each mile, I got stronger.

My first big life decision was to make a serious commitment to becoming an actor. So after one year of college, I let go – dropped out – and got involved in the acting scene in Chicago. The first step I took was to enroll in a Second City improvisation workshop. Someone in that workshop told me about a Method Acting class, so I studied there for 2 ½ years. And someone in that class told me about an audition for a new musical. I auditioned and was cast as Danny Zuko in the world premiere production of GREASE. I then decided to go for the big time in Hollywood, and I let go of the acting scene in Chicago and moved to Los Angeles. Then one step led to another and the rest is history. But it never would have happened had I not decided what I wanted, been willing to let go, and taken the first step.

Thirteen years later, having done everything I could think of to make it as an actor, it just wasn’t happening. I’d had limited success in movies and TV, had some great experiences doing plays and singing in a rock band, but it was clear to me that my acting career wasn’t going to take off. Once again, it was time to decide what I really wanted and to let go of what wasn’t working. At that point, I decided that what I wanted more than anything else was to be happy. And I wanted to be married and have a family. To do that, I felt that I needed to let go of my Hollywood dream of becoming a rich and famous actor. It was time for another first step: to pack my bags and head east.

I believe the hardest thing to do when things aren’t working, is to admit it and let go. When you’ve invested your heart and soul into something that isn’t working, the numbing pain you’re living with seems less frightening that the excruciating pain of letting go and moving on. Having invested 16 years of my life into being an actor, I didn’t want to let go. Being an actor wasn’t just what I did, it was who I was. But I summoned my courage, and just as I’d done when I left my past behind in Chicago for an uncertain future, I make a decision, let go and took the first step into the future.

You cannot move forward in life while holding onto everything from the past. Something’s gotta go. And sometimes, someone’s gotta go. For me that something was Hollywood and an acting career. And that someone was my old identity as an actor.

1. Let go of beliefs that have been proven false:

  • About yourself and who you are
  • About the way life is supposed to work
  • About needing to know how before you begin

2. Let go of people who are holding you back:

  • People that you love that are negative
  • People that want you to stay the same for their sake, not yours
  • People who have a world view that is not in alignment with yours

3. Let go of fear of the unknown. When you step out, you will make it known.

4. Let go of believing you have to do it all by yourself.

Each bold new decision is accompanied by the need to take another first step. In my experience, each first step is almost always accompanied by fear. At the beginning, the fear is huge. But every time you take a step, you put miles in the bank. And with each mile you run, the fear diminishes and you become stronger.

It takes courage to change. Every time you make a change however, you become more courageous. With every mile, every life experience, you get stronger.

You’ve made thousands of decisions that have brought you to where you are right now in your life. Are you happy? Or do you want more: something else, the next level of achievement? I thought acting was going to be the entire book of my life. I was wrong. It was simply a number of amazing and unforgettable chapters. Are you ready to start writing the next chapter in your life?

What do you really want? Forget about being practical and rational for a moment and let yourself say it. Let yourself dream it. If you want your life to be different in 2015, you need to start training today. Decide what you want, let go of the past and take the first step.

  • There are over 5000 subscribers to this newsletter. I took the first step in April 2000.
  • This is the 83rd Story Theater Newsletter. I took the first step back in May 2000.
  • I just hosted my 96th Story Theater Retreat. I took the first step in August 1996.
  • I’ve given over 700 hundred keynotes and trainings. I took the first step in October 1987.

What are you in training for?

  • Your first book? How many pages did you put in the bank today?
  • A full time speaking career? How many speeches did you put in the bank this month?
  • A new job or career? How many inquiries did you put in the bank today?
  • A new certification or degree? How many classroom hours did you put in the bank this month?
  • A job promotion? How many “above and beyond” actions did you put in the bank this week?
  • Running a marathon? How many miles did you put in the bank this week?

And finally: what are you going to have to let go of in order to move into your new and exciting future? What are you holding onto that is holding you back? Who are you holding onto that is holding you back?

Take the first step. Today.

Doug Stevenson
Author of Doug Stevenson’s Story Theater Method and creator of The Dynamite Speech System

“You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do.” Henry Ford

Create Your Life: It’s a Choice!


Create Your Life

Create Your Life


The future is not a result of choices among alternative paths offered by the present, but a place that is created—created first in mind and will, created next in activity.  The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating.   The paths to it are not found but made, and the activity of making them changes both the maker and the destination–

John H(omer) Schaar (born July 7, 1928), scholar and political theorist.


We all have our stories based on our experiences and the belief system that evolved from those experiences.  The way we confront, rise above and transform them creates the picture that we call OUR LIFE.

If you want to see how powerful you are, look at your life. It is the expression of all the beliefs you have held till now.

Perhaps the first thing that comes to your mind is “bad news.”  However, the GOOD NEWS is that if you don’t like the movie, you can change it.  The choice is up to you!

How do you change your negative beliefs might be your next question!  My favorite way is by using EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques)   If you would like to learn more about EFT, contact me via my website at

Change Your Mind, Change Your Body

This past weekend I spent a lot of time on the phone, due in large part to the fact that my mother-in-law was having lung cancer surgery (for a tumor larger in size than a table tennis ball) in Omaha.  If you’ve had a parent with a life-threatening illness, I’m sure you can relate.

Since learning of the diagnosis a couple of months ago, my husband, Bill, has traveled to Omaha a few times in order to help mom have the best possible outcome from the surgery. How?  By teaching her self-hypnosis, visualization and EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques).  And that’s saying A LOT, for a lawyer!  But, you see, he is also a gift healer. 

Some of the suggestions he gave her related to minimal bleeding, fast recovery, least amount of pain, minimal discomfort, no fear or anxiety and surprising the doctors with “perfect” test results, etc.  So how did it go?

  • Before the surgery she was not afraid or worried, didn’t lose any sleep and never had a concern about the outcome – in her words, it was “the most amazing thing”
  • There was very little bleeding during the surgery
  • Instead of having to spend a number of days in intensive care, she was out of there within a day
  • She was on solid food within 24 hours instead of on a liquid diet for a few days
  • She didn’t even notice when the pain control drip came out and she was only receiving a fraction of the amount she should have been
  • The doctors were amazed at her speedy recovery
  • The staff called her “their prize patient”

Her recovery would have been fantastic for a woman in her fifties but here she is in her early eighties!

I’m writing this to show you how incredibly powerful the mind is.  We can use it to heal ourselves if we have the focus, concentration and belief.  One of my favorite books is The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter, & Miracles by Bruce Lipton, Ph.D.  In this book Dr Lipton discusses the latest research in cellular biology and quantum physics showing that our bodies can be changed if we change our thinking.  It’s only our erroneous beliefs that hold us back from living the life we dream of.

How do we change our beliefs?  You can do this in a number of different ways but the most incredible tool I have found is EFT. It’s my belief that EFT is the “medicine” of the future.  I’ve seen it change the lives of many of my clients.

To learn more about how it can impact your life, click on the link below and visit the World Center for EFT –  Then read some of the phenomenal case histories and download the free manual, a gift from Gary Craig, the creator of EFT.  It may change your life!

WordPress Themes