Stephanie Burns

Most entrepreneurs are eager to take external actions to increase their revenue, like building a better sales funnel or buying the newest “blueprint.” But if you want massive success, you should focus on making internal changes by rewriting what Cynthia Garcia calls your “Stuck Story.”

“My Stuck Story was written on my eighth birthday. After waiting all day for some small token to celebrate my existence (A present? A cake?), my mother made it clear that not only did she forget it was my birthday, she also didn’t care. So, I created my ‘Stuck Story’ that day which was, ‘I’m not special and I don’t deserve nice things.’ You can see how that would hold someone back from success.

“Before my business hit even seven figures, I was one of those externally-focused entrepreneurs with internal problems that needed fixing. Once I rewrote my ‘Stuck Story’ I was able to break through to next-level success,” says Garcia.

Cynthia is a leading expert in the field of transformational mindset work and the founder and CEO of the Institute of Transformational Nutrition (ITN). The following tips are how she overcame her stuck story to create massive success.

Step 1: Identify Your Stuck Story

“Stuck Stories fall into five categories: the Powerful Procrastinator, the Visionary Victim, the Passionate Perfectionist, the Distinguished Deflector, and the Prestigious Pleaser,” notes Garcia. “These aren’t personality types. They’re deeply stored, limiting identities that hold us back from reaching the level of success we’re capable of.

“Powerful Procrastinators tend to take themselves out of the game before they even get started. How? Simply by not taking the next right step toward the thing they know they’re meant to do. (If you don’t think you matter or can win, why play?) When I was trying to write a book a few years ago, I would procrastinate sitting down to write. But once I was able to rewrite my stuck story and finish the book, it led to huge financial success. We sold over a million copies, I got national media attention, I built up my platform and grew my online following.

“Perfectionists want to do everything themselves, so they tend to hold themselves back by not delegating. Deflectors, for example, they never toot their own horns. You’ll say, ‘Great job on this project!’ And they’ll reply, ‘It was really a team effort.’ That holds you back from getting promoted or stepping into the spotlight as someone people want to work with.

“Pleasers say no to themselves because they say yes to everyone else. That means there’s no time to do the things that they want to do—the things that will move the needle for their own success. And Victims blame others for what happens in their lives. If you don’t think you have any control, why make any effort to achieve greater things in life?” explains Garcia.

Really assess which category you fall into so you can move forward.

Step 2: Let Go Of Your “Identity”

To start rewriting your story, it’s critical that you dismantle the limiting beliefs tied to your identity. Until you do so, you will continue to stay stuck, repeating the same actions over and over again. “Part of letting go of the identity your story created is noting how it has also served you. For example, I didn’t have a great mother figure in my life so I figured out how to nurture and meet my own needs. I became a problem solver who can handle anything. That still serves me to this day. Often, the perceived weaknesses from your past are actually your greatest strengths,” says Garcia.

Once you’ve taken the good from your story, let go of it. Then all that’s left of your Stuck Story is your descriptor. If you’re a Powerful Procrastinator, for example, when you let go of the Identity of “Procrastinator,” all that’s left is being “Powerful.”

Step 3: Select A New “Identity”

“Imagine the successful version of yourself you want to become. Most of us have already pinpointed this person (or these people) but we just don’t realize it yet,” notes Garcia. “Maybe it’s a celebrity you’ve always fantasized about switching places with like Oprah or Michelle Obama. Or someone you religiously follow on social media like Kim Kardashian or Jimmy Fallon. Or perhaps it’s someone whose products you always buy like Donna Karan or Sara Blakely.”

Now ask yourself:

  • What does this person do on a daily basis? 
  • How would they respond to this email?
  • How would they lead their teams?
  • Who would they allow in their environment?
  • How much time would they spend on unimportant tasks?

You get the idea. Be as specific as you can here.

Step 4: Act As If

Constantly ask yourself those questions and then act accordingly. This is where the shift into your new identity actually starts to happen. You begin living as if you’re already the person you want to become.

“While writing my new book, I imagine how Cheryl Strayed, Glennon Doyle or Tara Westover would approach their writing schedule. How they would set up their writing environment. How much time they’d spend on research. And then I act as if,” explains Garcia. “The practice calls you to set higher standards for yourself and then strive to meet them every single day. That’s the real work of an 8-figure and beyond entrepreneur.”

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