Not subscribed?

Get the “Pursuit of Freedom” letter every Wednesday for short lessons on business, freedom and self-mastery.

You become the stories you tell yourself

Alright, friend. Listen up. This one is really important.

If you want to be successful in life, feel good on a day to day basis, and sleep like a baby every night, there’s one thing you need to do:

Start telling yourself the right stories.

I’m talking about the stories you tell yourself about yourself, about your abilities, and about what you’re capable of achieving.

See, here’s the thing: we all have stories we tell ourselves, and these stories can either empower us or hold us back. If you’re constantly telling yourself that you’re not good enough, not experienced enough, or not talented enough, you’re never going to reach your full potential.

Beyond that, you’re never going to have the kind of life that draws you out of bed each day and keeps you engaged until you’re too tired to go on. You’ll have a life that bores you and makes you want to go back to bed as soon as the alarm goes off.

But if you start telling yourself that you’re a badass, that you’re unstoppable, and that you can achieve anything you set your mind to, you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “John, please tell me you’re not turning into one of those touchy-feely self help gurus preaching the value of positive affirmations.”

I’m not, I promise. Let me explain:

In 99% of cases, the stories we tell ourselves are vague generalities.

I’m bad at sports. I hate sales. I’m not good at coding.

They’re easy to say and easy to understand—but they don’t tell the complete story.

Those statements are attractive to your subconscious mind because they’re so easy to digest. “I suck at .” There’s no extra thought required to make sense of that statement, and if it’s true, it requires no effort on your part to fix—it’s just a fact of life.

Convenient, right?

These situations are just like the negative space exercises from elementary school. You look at an image that depicts either a chalice or two faces looking at each other, depending on how you look at it.

Telling yourself the right stories isn’t about deluding yourself into thinking positively.

It’s about choosing to focus on the parts of the truth that serve you.

Once you’re aware of the worthless (and lazy) stories you tell yourself, you can start replacing them with useful (and more accurate) ones. Instead of saying, “I hate sales,” say, “I’m a rockstar prospector, and I’m getting better at closing every time I try.” Instead of saying “I suck at sports,” say “I’m definitely a team player; I’m just working on building up my endurance so I can compete.”

Don’t bullshit yourself—just focus your attention on the right parts of the truth.

And here’s another thing: you need to surround yourself with people who believe in you and support you. If you’re constantly surrounded by negativity and criticism, it’s going to be a lot harder to change those stories.

This isn’t to say that you should surround yourself with people who spew positivity regardless of the situation. Those toxic positivity people are nuts if you ask me.

Some of the most supportive people I’ve ever encountered treated me like absolute trash. They were hostile, aggressive, blunt and loved to scream and yell. But they knew for an absolute fact that I was capable of transcending my supposed “boundaries,” and they accepted nothing less.

Look, friend, I’m not saying that changing the stories you tell yourself is easy. But it’s necessary if you want to have a life that you love. You need to start telling yourself the right stories, the ones that empower you and push you to be your best self.

So start today. Start telling yourself that you’re a badass, that you’re unstoppable, and that you can achieve anything you set your mind to. And watch as your life begins to transform for the better.


I'm John Kakuk.

I’m a brand designer, web developer and marketer working with architects, engineers and construction companies. My purpose is to help others achieve the best versions of their businesses and themselves.

Here's how I can help you: