Each of us has a story, but it’s not always a satisfying one. To change your story, you have to change the way you view the world. Then you can visualize and energize new possibilities.

If you perceive only a narrow range of potential opportunities open to you, you might feel hopelessly boxed into your current situation with no recourse. We all have constraints: Not all medical conditions are reversible. Not all relationships can be rekindled, because others may not be willing to forgive us. Not all situations can be reversed, even with a great deal of time and effort on our part. However, you may be able to accept the boundaries of the box you’re in if you can enrich the box’s contents. You may even be able to expand the boundaries of the box so that you have more freedom of movement.

A friend of mine, who is a doctor, found herself increasingly agitated with the endless paperwork, the long hours, and the economics of practicing general medicine today. She felt trapped. She liked working with patients but was feeling burned out. She saw no reasonable alternative by which she could switch her profession and replace her income. She felt as if she were in a box that was stifling her and she was fighting to escape.

She could have broken out of the box and made a radical change in profession, finances, and lifestyle. By exploring what she most valued and becoming more aware of the positive aspects of her situation, she was able to accept the boundaries of her box. She experienced an internal shift: She realized how much she felt called to be a healer and what she could do to recapture the art of healing. She signed up to teach a workshop on shamanism rather than simply use shamanic techniques on her own for self-exploration, which she had been doing for some time. She also became more appreciative of what her income and career is able to afford her instead of just focusing on the details of her life that bother her. She is transforming her way of thinking about being trapped in a box, and expanding the walls to suit herself better.

The process of changing your story tends to be more successful and long lasting when you first take the time to truly appreciate and honor what is working for you. Then, instead of seeing yourself as closed in by the walls of a box, you can see more possibilities and begin to write a new story for yourself despite any limitations you have come to accept.

Do you feel boxed in? Can you learn to better live within your box or do you need to expand your box’s boundaries—or even tear them down?