An important part of personal development is overcoming the human tendency to run from change. Being open to new opportunities and mindsets—wherever they may come from—is the only way to keep growing.
Kindra plans to spend the rest of the year promoting her upcoming book Choose Your Story, Change Your Life: Silence Your Inner Critic and Rewrite Your Life from the Inside Out, available for pre-order ahead of its release in January 2022.
Meanwhile, Madison has exciting plans for the podcast. “I want to focus on women of impact,” she says. She’ll be speaking to women and people from the LGBTQ community who have fought for success in every area of life, including as entrepreneurs and parents.
In this episode of SUCCESS Stories, Kindra and Madison talk about being open to learning life lessons in unexpected places, welcoming opportunities however they present themselves, and how storytelling can change your mind and your life.
Be open-minded about finding new opportunities.
We often picture our dream opportunities being presented to us in the form of an out-of-the-blue phone call or email. But most of the time, you have to pay attention to spot a new opportunity. You also have to take action to make them happen—and not be judgemental about where they come from.
For example, Madison found her future job at SUCCESS from a Google search. She immediately knew it was the perfect role for her, and it’s evolved over time.
The potential for evolution is another important trait of opportunities. The one you’re presented with may not be exactly what you’re looking for. But if it has nine or even eight out of 10 things that you want, trust yourself to mold it once you get there.
“If it checks off the right boxes and you jump in, you can advocate for yourself to take the role in the direction that you think could best serve yourself, the company and others,” Madison says. “Don’t be defeated by not finding exactly what you want: You can make anything what you want it to be.”
Life-changing advice can come from unexpected places.
Just as you can’t predict where your next life-changing opportunity will come from, you can pick up some of the best advice from surprising sources. Be open-minded in whom you speak to—and, more importantly, whom you listen to.
Madison received guidance that has shaped her life at a moment when she least expected it, from a relatively tangential figure.
The setting: an airplane home following a trip with her brother’s hockey team. The wisdom-sharer: the mother of one of her brother’s teammates. She called Madison over to sit beside her on the plane and asked her if she was happy. She told Madison, “You should never settle for being somebody’s option: You are so much more than an option.”
Because this isn’t a movie, this wasn’t a lightning bolt moment for Madison. She didn’t immediately reevaluate her life and become a self-confident advocate for herself in every situation. However, around a decade later, she realized that she had been carrying this advice with her, basing her decisions on it, and sharing it with others. She told the woman how much it helped her. Moms really do know best sometimes—even other people’s moms.
Reshape your life by telling your own story.
Stories are powerful—including those in the wrong hands. That’s why it’s so important to take control of the narrative of your life.
Certain people will try to tell you stories about yourself that play down what you’re capable of and convince you to put limitations on yourself.
Madison has experienced that personally: She had someone in her life who made her feel as though she wasn’t capable of achieving her goals. “I was listening to the stories of, ‘You’re never going to be good enough, You’re never going to amount to what you think you are,’” she says. Being told that she should be more than somebody’s option pushed her to put herself at the center of her story.
On top of making sure you’re the narrator, the type of story we tell ourselves matters. Too often we spiral into a horror story based on worst-case scenarios, instead of spinning ourselves the happily-ever-after we’d really like.
Once you’ve taken your narrative into your hands, tell yourself a story that focuses on the positive sides of a situation. For example, Kindra says that when she found out she would have to miss her kids’ first day back at school for a rescheduled work event, instead of making it into a story about her shame and disappointment, she focused on the fun they would all be having.
“There’s this fraction of a second—it’s almost imperceptible—between where we are and the action we need to take,” she says. “That’s when the story happens, and you get to choose what story you tell yourself.”
Kindra is moving on to a new chapter, but she’ll always be part of SUCCESS’s journey. And we’re excited to see what stories Madison and her guests will tell.