Five ways your stories can change your life; Using narratives for transformation
I have been through many counseling and coaching sessions where I’ve heard my clients’ stories. Even in my personal sessions with my own therapist or my own coach, I have told stories. These stories have power. They give meaning to our past and to our present. These stories explain who we are based on experience. We resonate with them. They have meaning for us. They are about where we have been, what we have endured, and how we have gotten through things or make do.
However, stories are more than just a narrative. Stories can transform. I am sure everyone can find at least ONE story which marks a period of time which gives meaning to their lives. Sometimes it is a story that they want to forget, and other times it may be a story they hold on to with beloved memory. Regardless of the positive or negative effect of the actual experience, the story itself can teach us something about ourselves and help us either to change the narrative in our head, or create a new path before us to help us grow.
Here are five ways that using storytelling about our experiences can change your life.
1. Recognize what your story is saying about you.
Telling your story can be very therapeutic, cathartic and empowering, yet there comes a time when it is time to let go of that story to gain more personal power in the present. Recognizing how the story may be giving you power or taking it away is a good first step to working with your story to help your personal transformation. Is your story labeling you as a victim or a survivor? Is your story giving your past too much power? Is your story taking away from your present experiences, or does it tell how you got to where you are?
2. Acknowledging that YOU are more than just the story.
Your story alone does not define you. The story is a memory of an event. Just like a movie, sometimes people play the same scenes over and over again. Life goes on beyond the story and you continue to grow as a person. Acknowledging this helps to loosen the grip of the story and to move beyond it. “I am not limited by my story. I am much more than my story.” This can create a shift in your thinking. If the story is of a negative event that happened, how can you glean the most from it, and move forward into your present? If the story is a positive story, how has it empowered you to continue on your path?
3. Use your story to benefit your present experiences.
How has the story of your past experience made you a better person today? Or, ask yourself how you plan to change your story to gain more from your present experiences. Taking your story out of the past and bringing it into the person that you are today, as part of who you are, can help you to acknowledge that it is part of who you are in the present.
4. The story or narrative is not the end; YOU can implement change.
Writing a new story can assist you in challenging the negative thoughts, and limiting beliefs. Implementing change is more about rewriting your story. Rewriting your story is empowering and is about changing your voice. Start with today and use your own story. Rewrite your story in an empowering way. Start the shift in your thinking and in your story and take back control of your life and start by using your voice. This is how you start to implement change in your life.
5. Practice your new story and experience the shift in your thinking and being.
After you rewrite your story in an empowering way, start to implement and live your story. Practice this story and start telling it instead of the old one. The old story was full of limiting beliefs and held you back. Your new story gives power to your experiences and changes how you see yourself.
My story started to change when I realized I held the keys to change. I have always held myself to high standards and expectations. This held me in a tight box in which I believed certain things had to happen in a certain order. When I challenged my story and limiting beliefs, I moved past the box, and my life began to change.
In love and light,
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