In our previous article, we looked at what Life Story is, how important it is to our career and life. We also looked at how is it created in the first place.
Here we want to take it one step further and learn about steps to change our story or write a new chapter.
Let’s jump right in:
First step to any change is realization.
This starts with self-reflection. Look at your current story with a magnifying glass and go through different aspects of your current story to find out the overall theme of the story.
What are the stories you tell yourself about others and tell others about yourself!?
What is the story that keeps coming to your mind and you are not telling anyone? What words or adjectives do you often use to narrate your past experiences?
Next step is to pick the elements of your story that you want to change. Are there any negative thoughts and limiting beliefs that keep showing up? How about recurring doubts and fears?
Maybe you don’t want to change a thing, rather want to add a new chapter in story.
To set goals start with these questions:
How do you want your life story to be?
If you were a character in a book, which book would you pick for yourself to be in?
How is your new character going to behave and carry themselves in your new story?
We all have few folks in our lives who are co-writing our stories. Their opinions, comments and expectations can change the course of our story. They act consciously or unconsciously like editors who add, change or remove parts of your story.
Most times these edits happen without you realizing it, but if you think about past events when someone disappointed you, you did something for the hope of someone’s approval, you decided on something to make someone else happy etc. then you know who your editors are.
Choose your editors wisely. Once you know who else has the power over your story, decide what to do with them. Explain your expectations, Ask them to behave in your desired way and if nothing changed, reduce or limit your contact.
Although we want to be the sole author of our stories, but it if far from reality. So, Choose your circle to write a better story.
Nothing can be achieved without a proper plan. This is the conscious effort stage by inserting new patterns into your life.
Pick one or two new narratives that you want to have in your story. Repeat them to your self first maybe a few times a day for few days. Then start repeating those narratives to others in small doses. After a while it becomes natural and you can insert more new narratives.
You may face push backs from your friends or family, if you change your past stories all of a sudden without a context. So give them a perspective by saying something like :” I always thought of xyz event as a bad thing, But recently I’ve come to see it differently. Now think of it as a positive memory.” This way you keep the trust and make the changes go smoother.
Monitor & Practice
This change will not happen in a week or a month. It takes a while, maybe six months or so to get into a new habit and to get to a point that things happen on autopilot.
Till then, use different strategies to hold yourself accountable for your progress; one technique could be: at nights when you are brushing your teeth, remind yourself of your new values, recall those moments of the day that you narrated your new story & Set goals for tomorrow.
Please don’t forget to show yourself kindness and compassion.
If today didn’t go as planned, set new plans for tomorrow and keep up with them. One bad day, doesn’t erase everything you have done so far.
Every single day we are writing another page of our stories. Sometime we start a page without knowing that it will be a whole new chapter by itself. But in every page of each chapter we have creative license to write new perspectives, new thoughts, new twists and new patterns.
Once you set your mind up with beginning of a new pattern, it will create the rest and prove you right.