You Have a Transformational Story and the World Needs to Hear It

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There’s something important I want you to know: You have a transformational story.

And that story has the power to heal and inspire others.

I talk often about the power of transformational stories. In all my books and talks, I share my own stories as well as others’.

Why our stories matter

When you have an empowering message to share, it's your responsibility to get it out there | Gabby BernsteinI share my stories, and I encourage other people to share theirs, for an important reason: I know they will help other people.

You know how your ears perk up when someone says, “I have a story for you”? That’s because we love stories. We learn through stories. Stories inspire us to change our lives in radical and amazing ways. I’ve seen it happen countless times.

People tell me all the time how my story of getting sober, which I share in my book Spirit Junkie, inspired them to get sober, too.

They also tell me how my story of spiritual surrender helped them find their faith and release the need to control. In my SuperSoul Sessions talk, I shared my story about releasing the need to control… and to this day I still get emails from people about how much it helped them.

Plus, I can’t tell you how many times another person’s transformational story has been the catalyst for my own growth.

“What if I don’t have a transformational story?”

But even though we all recognize the power of transformational stories, I have noticed people getting hung up on something. When I talk about this topic, oftentimes someone will ask, “But what if I don’t have a transformational story?”

I want to call this out right now!

The fact that you’re reading this blog post means there’s a voice within you that wants to share your story. You wouldn’t have had a reason to click on this post otherwise. It’s proof that you have experienced some kind of inner transformation. You wouldn’t be reading this if you weren’t on a spiritual path.

Your story doesn’t have to be painful to be powerful

Your story doesn’t have to be a trauma story to have a major impact. This is a misconception, and it’s a harmful one. This myth leads us to think our pain has purpose and that we must suffer and struggle in order to succeed. It can keep us stuck in the story of victim.

Your story doesn’t need to involve overcoming trauma in order to be powerful. In fact, if you haven’t been through serious trauma then that is something to be deeply grateful for.

Tweet: You have a transformational story, and the world needs to hear it. @gabbybernstein #spiritjunkie

Your story also doesn’t have to involve a total life overhaul. You don’t have to quit your job, sell everything you own and backpack around Europe for two years to gain beautiful insight. Deep inner transformations can happen in the most familiar and ordinary places and situations.

If your transformation did happen as a result of something very painful or traumatic, then I want to offer you a lot of love and support for being willing to heal and doing the spiritual work required. And I want to remind you that you don’t have to tell a story you aren’t ready to tell.

So let’s settle this once and for all. You are here because you have a story. And your story is what heals. Now your work is to embrace that truth and uncover your story.

There are many kinds of stories

In my talks, books and courses, you’ll notice I include many different stories.

They’re not all earth-shattering stories of life upheaval. Rather, they’re stories about mindset shifts around topics such as money, work, relationships and happiness.

There are many kinds of stories.

In recent weeks, we’ve seen powerful stories from people of color about their experiences. One beautiful example comes from the activist, speaker, CEO and author Haile Thomas. She shared this story with strength, grace and vulnerability on Instagram — you can watch it here.

Your authenticity is what matters most

Sharing your authenticity is the most transformational gift you can give the world | Transformational storyWhat matters about your story is that it’s authentic. Your truth is what heals. Everyone’s story is different. Remember that you got here today because you have a voice inside you that wants to share your story. Honor your own transformation for what it is. When you stand in your authentic truth, you give others permission to do the same.

Your transformational story may take place over a few months or a few decades. Regardless of your timeline, it’s likely that your “big” story contains smaller stories of more subtle shifts.

Take the example of Spirit Junkie. In it I told my story of detouring into fear and addiction, and then surrendering to spirit, getting sober and changing my life. That’s a major transformation. But it played out over many years. And in that time frame, I experienced many smaller transformations and revelations that added up to radical change.

In my 2011 TEDx Talk, I shared a very condensed version of my story. I had just 16 minutes for my talk, so you can see how I adapted my story for this format:

And, of course, my story didn’t end there! As you continue on your spiritual path and in your life, you will experience new spiritual assignments and miracles, and you’ll have more transformational stories and lessons to share.

Now let’s begin uncovering your story.

How to uncover your transformational story

Below is a fun writing exercise that will help you unpack your transformational story and bring it to life!

Step 1: Free write

Open your journal or a Word/Google document, and then free-write the answers to the following 3 questions. Don’t edit yourself at first. Just let the words flow.

  1. Where were you (literally or figuratively)?
  2. What happened?
  3. Where are you today?

Step 2: Review your story

Add anything you may have missed and edit your writing to make it clearer and cleaner. You can continue to revise and polish your story. Over the next few hours or days, other elements may come to you. Add them in.

Step 3: Share your story!

You can share your story in whatever way feels good to you. You can:

  • Share it in a comment on this post (I’ll be reading all of them)
  • Post it on social media, whether as a written post or as video/audio
  • Call or email a friend and ask to share it with them

And if you feel called to share your story in a big way, check out my Bestseller Masterclass!

Learn how to write, publish and market your book

Bestseller Masterclass by Gabby Bernstein

In my Bestseller Masterclass, you’ll learn how to share your message with the world using my formula for writing, publishing, and marketing a bestselling book.

For the first time, this 5-module course is completely online — and enrollment opens this week!

You don’t need to have a big following, an established business or a writing degree to share your story through books. People in every stage of life, from every background, and in every profession hear this call.

Over the past several years I’ve met and worked with many people with important stories to tell and lessons to share. They’ve been first-time writers, experienced authors, and everything in between.

If this is resonating with you… I believe you’re one of them.

Get on the waitlist and I’ll notify you as soon as enrollment opens!

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  1. I was living in fear and regret i was blaming my self on everything, I felt shamed. I didn’t liked how others treated me i was so small and doing what other people like me to do, so i turned to be perfect which is i wasn’t real me. What happened i herd on tv motivational speaker ibrahim al-fiqi he was talking about self development It was a course on tv for 30 days and he changed my life totally, I still on this path ever since and today i am very happy on my spiritual connection with god my life is better now i am more confident don’t care with other people opinion and until i saw dear gabby she became a role model to me thank you.

  2. 5 months back I was in so much distress obsessing over relationships which didn’t even exist and being sad and playing the victim for the past 3-4 years. Then one day I asked the universe to help me, I don’t know how but I just wanted help and that day when I came home from school I found your book on my bed. Since that day my life has complety changed. I can’t thank you enough gabby maam

    1. Wonderful, Bhuvvnesh. So glad Gabby’s work resonates with you. Here is a post that I think you will find helpful: /truly-live-moment/. xoxo

  3. Once pre-med and valedictorian, now I use my story to inspire others to keep going when times are tough.

    Essentially, my story is crazy. (Especially the details I haven’t yet shared) because I survived. Others aren’t so lucky. They don’t live to tell the tale.

    And that’s why I show up daily on my Instagram. If there’s anything I want others to see from my life, it’s that you can always say screw it to the life you had, do things to get the life you want, and defy all expectations and defy all odds.

    Thanks for this prompt!

    1. So glad this post resonates with you, Michele. Glad to hear you were able to see your obstacle as an opportunity to serve others. Keep shining your bright light. xoxo

  4. Chapter Ideas:
    * 39 procedures and counting…
    * The day they found out what was wrong with me.
    * Well that sucked.
    * That time I stopped breathing because Mom made me laugh.
    * Waking up a week or so AFTER becoming a Mom.
    * Butt stories.
    * The car that pinned me to my desk.
    * The things they don’t tell you before receiving a Kidney Transplant.
    * Be careful what you pray for; you might get bigger boobs.
    * Peeing on a table … and not being able to pee at all.
    * Why you shouldn’t pull an NG tube to your stomach out through your nose immediately following surgery.
    * Great guesses as to what caused it all.
    * All the things that went right: it only took 32 years to figure it all out.

    I was 14 when I was diagnosed with kidney disease. Threw up almost every day as a child and no one knew why. My husband and I met when I was 15 & I had been told with all my health issues I probably wouldn’t be able to have children. I was 17, on birth control and antibiotics when we found out we were pregnant… I had 3 seizures and woke up a week later to find my baby had been taken at 26 weeks, only weighing 1 lb 3.8oz. My husband and I have now been together 20 years, our son -who has is blind and autistic will be 18 this month. After 39 procedures including a kidney transplant, hysterectomy, and uretero-ureterostemy (reconstruction of my entire right side to correct complications of transplant), I am now perfectly healthy… surviving a pandemic immune suppressed and working a full time career in investment finance. I think the world slowing down has provided me with the perfect opportunity to tell my story in my true humorous way of delivering the ridiculous and awkward things that you go through as a long time patient. I’m interested in the cost of your course and would love the chance to work with you

  5. 7
    August 28
    I arrived in Shenzhen by plane on 28
    August. My first reaction was that it was incredibly
    hot and humid. Everything in China is hot and
    humid in August, but without the smog of Chengdu
    to dim it, the sun was brutal. I was met at the airport
    by a teacher from the school.
    I remembered this teacher who had been sent to
    meet me from the week before in Qingdao. She
    hadn’t seemed to take it seriously and had appeared
    to spend more time trying to get the attention of her
    male colleague than anything else during the week.
    People who behave like children didn’t even
    impress me when I was still a child, and that was
    my impression of the colleague whom she had
    seemed smitten with. I would later learn that she
    was a teacher who was very serious about
    improving pedagogy and only lacked access to
    90 Days in Shenzhen
    8
    resources and examples. He had just been the only
    person she knew in Qingdao.
    When he had said that the most important thing to
    him as a teacher was that the students liked him, I
    shared articles with him and the group from ACSD
    on why teachers don’t need to be and shouldn’t be
    friends with students. Some of the best advice that
    had been given to my class of pre-service teachers
    in 2009 was that adults don’t need thirteen-year-old
    friends. It was put even better by one of the most
    amazing administrators and teachers whom I have
    ever met when she said in 2011, “If you care about
    them, show it by teaching them.”
    I think that is so true in education. Looking back
    even now, I know which teachers were strict
    because they cared. The ones who sat with me when
    there was a skill that I was determined I couldn’t
    master were so much rarer than the teachers who let
    us sit on desks and gossiped with us quite
    pathetically as though they’d never left their own
    adolescent stage.
    He had only rolled his eyes and groaned at the idea
    of being an effective teacher. So, knowing now that
    he was at this campus let me know that not quite
    every teacher was as qualified and competent as
    they had been hyped up to be. In fact, he had been
    rejected from the program, but one of the directors
    90 Days in Shenzhen
    9
    had a crush on him, so she had argued to bring him
    back in.
    I was taken straight to work. My suitcases were left
    by the door of the cafeteria because the other
    directors were already waiting for me. We had a
    meeting over dinner, then I was taken to a
    dormitory room to leave my luggage. The room
    smelled of nicotine, but they had bought fresh
    linens and changed them for me while my boss
    walked around checking out the room, flipping
    switches off and on. She told me that the former
    resident had been moved temporarily so I could
    have a room on the first floor, and I could stay there
    as long as I needed to stay. She hoped though that I
    would be moving into my apartment Friday.
    I reminded her that I had to take a trip out of
    mainland China Friday to reset the stay on my visa.
    They hadn’t begun my work permit application yet,
    so I would need to leave and return through a port
    of entry and have a temporary resident permit filed
    to stay legally. I had found a cheap room at a
    famous casino in Macau. I planned to take the last
    ferry from Shenzhen to Macau then stay one night
    at the hotel before traveling back to Shenzhen on
    Saturday. She was concerned because there was a
    lot to do before the parent meeting on Sunday, but I
    was not going to risk an overstay in China.
    90 Days in Shenzhen
    10
    We had a final meeting in my office and created a
    schedule for the week. Although they kept
    remarking that I must be tired, there wasn’t a sign
    of actually stopping until after the sun had gone
    down. I was finally allowed to return to my dorm
    room to sleep around 9 o’clock that evening. There
    was no Wi-Fi and my cellular signal was weak, but
    I was able to send a message to my family at home
    and friends in Chengdu that I had arrived.
    The room I was assigned to sleep in had windows,
    but no curtains. I wanted to use a blanket to drape
    over the lower bunk, so people wouldn’t be
    watching me sleep, but I didn’t want to sacrifice the
    only one I had when I’d need it to keep mosquitoes
    from biting during the night. There was a wide gap
    under the door, and cockroaches and mosquitoes
    came and went as they pleased throughout the night.
    The small room had a powerful air conditioner, so
    my strategy was to make the room far too cold for
    any living thing that didn’t have a blanket.
    Allowing strangers who wanted to walk by and
    creepily stare at the sleeping foreigner was better to
    me than finding a cockroach crawling across me in
    the middle of the night. The door had a lock against
    any 2-legged pests that might try to come in.

    1. Thank you for sharing your story with us, Amy! It sounds like you have interesting experiences to share. xoxo

  6. 1. Where were you (literally or figuratively)? (this is long, sorry)
    In a constant state of anxiety, overthinking, trying to control what’s next, very rarely truly present, always planning and organising, which was often holidays/events in the future some in the distant future for example planning my 50th birthday on the Amalfi Coast for May 2020 in March 2019 in great detail!
    Unhealthy in the most part, binge drinking when in social situations mostly due to some of the culture/social circle expectations, attending social occasions with social anxieties & followed by a lack of consciousness/awareness leading to a very unhealthy and frequent hangover, which in turn fuelled the anxiety cycle.
    I was also very inconsistent with exercise and diet, struggled to get a routine, often all or nothing, giving work my all and with that I struggled to focus on maintain balance, again fuelled by anxious thoughts, worrying all the time I could not maintain the career/s and reputation that I had achieved.
    I have experienced so many syncronistic moments over the course of my life, I guess maybe only in the last 20 years or so have I realised that they were syncronistic moments.
    I understand and appreciate now these were/are gifts from the Universe.
    Too many to mention but there has been a substantial amount of WOW moments to date, yet still for a great part of my life I have still felt the need to be in control and always be in charge of the outcome and not trust that I will be guided or that it will happen again, basically I have felt like the Universe will have a big fall out with me/not love me, which is a theme of my life with most relationships.
    2. What happened?
    I left a successful & mostly very enjoyable career after 15 years
    I received some Covey training to become a better leader, which was great, but it also got me questioning my life and where I would be in several years- time if I kept on that path.
    The last 7 years after that to present day I have had several positions, two in the charity sector, which I felt might be my calling one was great but they had to make cuts, as soon as that was mentioned I jumped quickly into the 2nd charity position, which gave me the job security that I felt I needed but was in fact a very toxic environment
    I decided very unlike me of the past just to give it up, the timing was good as the admin person in my partners business was leaving and it felt a good fit and time for me to take on this role, the office is also at our home.
    In this, 7 period I got my own fur baby, I am physically fit, exercise is pretty much a daily routine for me. I mostly always eat healthy, and I have moderated the drink binges (every now and again I allow it to happen and feel the regret the day after)
    I created a book club with a couple of friends and through that met a great group of friends
    3. Where are you today?
    My 50th took place in my garden in Manchester last month, not at all how I PLANNED… yet with so much love around me, so many socially distant visitors but yet every one was emotionally present.
    I am currently in the best place spiritually that I have been in my life due to the time out given to me from the Universe in the form of Covid-19.
    I have surrendered my fears & anxieties not given in to my past habits of worrying over money etc, I am sure I can surrender some more.
    I have finally managed to get daily meditation into my life although I still can do more it is giving me an inner peace and knowing that I have never experienced before.
    I currently have a relationship and work challenge both are entwined & both are a roller coaster of elation/love to toxic and emotionally challenging. & draining
    In this current situation I have let go of the need to control, as yet there has not been the urge to jump in & fix it.
    I am meditating & surrendering more and hoping that the answers and direction will be provided by the Universe

    1. Wow, Jackie! It sounds like you experienced a wonderful shift. Thanks so much for sharing. You’re story is a beautiful reminder that change is possible. Sending you much love. xoxo

      1. Thank you & much gratitude to Gabby/team Gabby who have over several years shown up for me just at the right time xxx

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