What is your story?
What type of story do you tell yourself about who you are? Do you tell yourself a story of weakness or of strength? Of sickness or health? Of failure or success?
Whatever your stories are about yourself – they become your reality. A story is a sophisticated label we give to ourselves that we live and become defined by. Our stories limit and define our thoughts, feelings and actions. We stick to the plot, subplot, characters and themes that we have written for ourselves. Our stories effectively block us from seeing beyond the much broader potential that exists for each of us.
If you tell yourself a story that you are weak or small or a failure – then you create in your eyes a perceived reality that you are indeed weak, small and a failure. On the other hand if you tell yourself a story of success and power and health – then you create in your eyes a perceived reality that you are indeed successful, powerful and healthy.
Stories can be harmful…
Sometimes our stories are relatively benign. But sometimes our stories can have much more serious implications for the types of relationships, jobs and lives we choose for ourselves.
For example, owning a story that you are disorganised and aren’t good at housework may result in nothing more than a messy house – but it may result in an annoyed partner who doesn’t think you pull your weight. Owning a story that you are disorganised and can’t manage time may result in a reputation for lateness – or it may cost you grades or even a promotion.
Your story becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because we ‘believe’ in them we don’t stop to challenge how true they really are for us. Stories simply stop us from trying to peer around the edges into other, more expansive, ways of living. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
…But stories can be changed
We have the power to identify our stories and liberate ourselves from the chokehold they hold over us. We can rewrite our stories to become who ever we want. We can reframe things and create an amazing life beyond our wildest dreams.
Instead of owning a story about being disorganised, we might write a new story about our tendency towards chaos that allows for a fluidity in thinking and creativity to approach life in non-linear ways.
Feels a lot more powerful and a lot less limiting doesn’t it!!!
Write your own story
Like all acts of writing, rewriting your story is creative and not a linear process. It can’t be approached the same way you approach doing a science experiment. There is no one-size-fits all approach. It is evolutionary, developmental and kind of magical. It takes courage and tapping into the deep inner wisdom we all have about ourselves. It involves letting go and taking a leap of faith in yourself.
Making changes seems to require a level of discomfort, dissatisfaction and unhappiness with the status quo and received wisdom about yourself. If you are comfortable with the way things are then there is no pressure to change. So you need to find a point of discomfort and work from there.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to find the discomfort from which you can begin the work of rewriting your story:
- Who am I really?
- Am I living the type of life I really want?
- What lost dreams do I carry with me?
- Is my life as it is good enough for me?
- Who says life needs to be like this?
- Am I living the life I always wanted?
- Am I settling for second or third best in life?
What comes next?
From realising the need to change – to actually making and implement changes is as individual a process as our fingerprints or eye-colour. I can’t really tell you how to go about it in a blog. But a good place to start is by asking yourself questions like:
- What are my strengths and my talents?
- What are my values?
- Who do I really want to be?
- What do I really love to do?
- What does the best me look like anyway?
- Where do I really want to go?
You may want support of a coach to guide you through this process – or you may go about it yourself. Either way, as you ask yourself these questions with curiosity and courage you will begin to break through the shell of your story and find the vein of gold running inside you.
And then you’ll be well on the way to rewriting your story…and rewriting your life.