Harnessing the power of your story.
Each and every one of us has a story that we tell ourselves. The story of our life - the story of where we've been and where we are going. The story of who we are. We repeat this to ourselves more often than you might think. Have you ever thought to yourself, I would never do that or that's not like me or I'm not that type of person? Of course you have. Those type of thoughts flood our existence. We are constantly reinforcing the story we have developed about ourselves. Now, I'm not saying this is a bad thing. Not at all. But what it's important to be aware of is that our story is not dictated by reality. Our reality is dictated by our story.
The same person can look at themselves and their life, and create almost an infinite amount of stories, simply by choosing to focus on different things. For example, a story I tell myself is that - I escaped a life of corporate drudgery working in advertising, and instead chose the freedom and fulfilment of becoming an artist. That's my story. But - I could very easily change my story by looking at events differently. Instead my story could be - I couldn't handle having a real career and my own laziness now means that I'm poor and unsuccessful. BAM. It's that easy.
Having a story that we tell ourselves about our past actually determines our future. Like, seriously determines every aspect of our future life. If the story you tell yourself is that you're a failure and you'll never amount to anything - guess what!? That's what'll happen. If on the other hand, you tell yourself that every failure you've experienced is a step towards success - guess what!? You're gonna achieve way more.
Now, what does this mean for us?
It means that you need to take a good hard look at the story you're telling yourself - and how that story is projecting out to the people around you. If you project the story outwards that you're a failure, then people will treat you as such. The universe will treat you as such. Because really, your experience of reality is all dictated by your perspective - your story.
So how do we change our story to serve us?
You're probably very comfortable with your story, even if it's not a great one. Even if it's not really what you want. A lot of the time, the story we are telling ourselves doesn't serve us. It's not to our benefit. For example, a story I told myself for a while (I have no idea why) is that I hated everyone. I would repeat in my thoughts and often out loud in conversation "ugh, I hate everyone". Now, even though I became aware of this story and am actively working to change it, I still catch myself thinking it. I realised that this story does not serve me. It does not better me as a person or my experience of life. So why would I continue including that as part of my story? Honestly, it probably gave me an excuse not to develop deep connections with people and feel superior to others. Ick! I'd much rather be the kind of person who likes everyone and is open to new people. So that's the story I'm working on replacing it with.
Basically, the steps to harnessing the power of your story are as follows:
1. Becoming aware of what your story is.
2. Assessing whether or not it serves you.
3. Deciding on a story that will be better.
4. Substituting it with your old story.
But we are habitual creatures, and it's difficult to replace something we habitually tell ourselves! It will take time and trial and error and effort. But it's worth it.
Something that started out as a business move, updating the bio on my website, became a journey towards figuring out what my story is. And what I want it to be. I'm about to try and rewrite my bio, literally, to direct my story in the direction I want it to go. Perhaps we should all be writing an autobiography to help us sort our story out?
What's your story?
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