The stories you tell yourself are your life. We all tell stories. The stories we tell ourselves and others establish our identity and reveal who we are. They give meaning to life, help us make sense of the world, and guide our actions.
This is why we should always pay attention to what we constantly tell ourselves and others. We are not influenced by the objective world but by how we imagine and interpret it. The narrative can always be turned either way. That is, reframe the life story so that it helps and serves us.
Here are 4 ways to reframe your life stories and start creating a better life for yourself.
- Describe a difficult problem
Professor James Pennebaker describes a method he has developed over the years: its essence is to use writing exercises to help you deal with difficult life events.
Do the following:
- Think about something that happened to you more than 18 months ago. It must be something that you can’t get rid of the memory of until now.
- Set aside 15-20 minutes at the end of the day to write about this problem. When you write, don’t pause or censor yourself: just write without stopping. Write only for yourself. Be completely open.
- Do this for four days straight. However, you can use this exercise for much longer if you like.
- When people do this exercise on the first day, the writing seems too disorganized. But with each time, the story begins to come together, making it possible to make sense of it and make sense of it.
Ask yourself: what have you learned from this experience, what have you lost and what have you gained? Also, examine how these past events guide your thoughts and actions now and will in the future.
In four days, you will find that you now interpret the story completely differently. It will turn out that many of the fears are fictional, and you can look at the situation from a different angle.
- Write about the current chapter of your life
Psychotherapist Kim Schneiderman states that there are many ways to tell the same story, and we should always find the best version of it to make ourselves feel hopeful.
Here’s a quote from her book Step out of your story:
“Stuck in the same old story, many of us believe so much of the entrenched tales of sacrifice and martyrdom that we can hardly imagine an alternative, positive and redemptive reading of our life story. Perhaps because we have been taught to view life through one particular lens, we simply fail to see other, more inspiring ones that might set us free.”
Think about the problem you’re facing now and write a story about it. Schneiderman recommends writing in the third person (not “I” but “he/she”).
The story should have:
- Protagonist (you).
- Villain (person or circumstance)
Ask yourself how the conflict can be resolved. Also, find out what the situation you encountered can teach you. Then proceed to create the ending you want for your story.
- Write an inspirational chapter
Michael Hyatt, a popular blogger, and author, writes that when he was 29, he became vice president of marketing for a major publishing house. It was a huge step up, given his age, so he felt he didn’t deserve it. Michael was convinced that executives would soon discover that they had made a mistake in promoting him.
Whenever in a meeting, Michael sweated profusely, and his hands were ice-cold. He did everything he could to hide these symptoms of nervousness:
- Wore two shirts, hoping that one would absorb the sweat and it wouldn’t come through on the other
- Washed his hands with hot water so that the people he was shaking hands with wouldn’t notice how cold they were
Michael soon realized, however, that the root of his problem lay in a story he had made up. He told himself he was a phony, and his body was failing him. Then he decided to rewrite his story and began telling himself that his youth gave him an advantage because he was energetic and had new, fresh ideas. In addition, he was a quick learner and could correct mistakes quickly, almost on the fly. As soon as he started doing this, he instantly relaxed. The symptoms described went away, and the work got better.
- What unpleasant stories do you tell yourself about yourself?
- How can you turn them into positive and inspiring ones?
Rethink your life stories. Rethinking even a small story from your life and writing it down on paper help you better understand both yourself and the situation as a whole.
- Create new stories.
Your mind is always watching you. If you want your mind to start telling positive stories, get out there and do something positive:
- Do you want your mind to tell stories about what a good person you are? Help someone.
- Want your mind to tell stories about your tenacity? Think of a goal you’ve abandoned and achieve it.
- Want to seem brave and entrepreneurial yourself? Go on a journey of your own.
Always be on the lookout for new opportunities to create positive stories about yourself and your life.
We wish you the best of luck!