Iyanla Vanzant: How To Rewrite Your Life Story (VIDEO)

01/02/2013 10:43 am ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014
  • OWN

When hiccups happen in life, your mind can replay disappointments or downfalls in an agonizing loop. Relationship expert Iyanla Vanzant calls the negative message you tell yourself a "story," and says that painful thoughts can keep you stuck.

During an episode of "Oprah's Lifeclass: The Tour," Oprah and Iyanla discuss the spiritual solution to stories that have become stumbling blocks. One audience member they help is Steve, a 48-year-old photographer and former drug addict who is trying to rewrite his story now that he's sober.

When Oprah wants to know how to stop recounting a painful past, Iyanla says there are three spiritual tools to use to spin a new story.

First, you have to "tell the absolute truth about who you are, about what you want," she says. That means coming to grips with how you cause pain in your own life -- and owning that responsibility. Iyanla says that Steve is addicted to telling his negative story.

"State the facts, speak the truth," says Iyanla -- a mantra that can remind you that you don't have to focus on negative realities, but speak positively about your current situation. She says that once you stop vocalizing the negative thoughts in your mind, "a new [more positive story] will bubble to the surface."

Second, speak up and say what you want. "Most of us are stuck because we're accepting what comes along, and we don't have the chutzpah, the cojones, the nerve, the guts... to ask for what we want," Iyanla says.

Even if the answer you receive is no, the third step will act as a secret weapon to squash your addiction to your story. "Get a vision," advises Iyanla. "A vision will pull you out of the story. The vision will pull you forward."

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