Rewriting Your Narrative

Much of our lives are spent trying to get to that next level….middle school, high school, college, graduate school, the first job, the next job, marriage, children, the next job. And most of us didn’t do things in quite that order.

But life really is so much about going and going and going. As I approach another birthday, I’ve paused to explore where I’ve been and where I want to go. The majority of the journey is about the narrative that is crafted and honed along the way. Who are we and where do we fit in? What do we believe? Where do we apply our thinking, our beliefs, our values?

I’ve always loved a good book, those really well written stories that you can’t put down. Whether in book form or audio, I’m drawn to multi-faceted characters who overcome challenges, learn something more about themselves, and come out on the other side of adversity with strength, wisdom, and positivity. When the characters have beliefs and values similar to mine, I often strive to see the deeper connections. Is there something that I can learn that can add to my quality of life? My leadership? My outlook? My narrative?

I ran across a couple of tweets from the Dalia Lama earlier today. Perhaps it was when all of these thoughts were ruminating in my head early on a Monday morning, but they seemed to tie with this theme of our own personal narrative.

I love these two tweets and the Dalai Lama’s perspective on what we have to give to the world: warmth, kindness, genuine concern. And doesn’t the world need more of that?

What if we each rewrote part of our personal narrative to commit to being that ‘change in the world’ that we so often hear about? Or maybe we’re facing something and a shift in our life is needed. Sometimes that’s called rewriting the narrative or finding a way to tell the story differently by making changes.

Want to rewrite your narrative? Here are some starting points:

1. Think about what you want to change, or a problem that you are facing. Write it down. No really, write it down. Many studies have acknowledged that writing down a problem can actually help you address it and better process what is taking place. Its part of Change Management 101.

2. What is the current story or problem telling you? Are you down on yourself? Are you getting caught up in negativity and need to refocus? Challenge those assumptions.

3. What would a trusted colleague say? If you ask someone else, what would they say about your reflection or self evaluation? Are there tips there that can help you bifurcate and redirect the thinking?

The stories we tell ourselves – our own narratives – can empower or derail us. The choice is ours.

Intrigued? More below…check it out!

* Read it.

This is a simple but poignant blog by a personal growth coach. I love the strength and focus of her thoughts. Quick read….promise!

* Watch It.

This video recommends that when you change your story, you change your life. Suppose you wanted to get started changing your life. Where would you begin? As a psychiatrist and therapist practicing for over 20 years, Ted Sharp shows you a powerful and practical toolkit along with this very specific suggestion. Interested?

* Share it.

Can you print these and share them? Notes to colleagues on key topics like resilience, hard work, strength….here you go.

Now go slay yet another week!