Narrating or rewriting your Life story is probably the most beneficial self-help tool in the whole personal development toolbox. With this tool you get to change your mindset, your actions, your career and all other aspects of your life.
It’s more like a giant power tool that is intimidating to start working with, but once you get the hang of it, you can’t work without it.
To start working with this tool, your first step is to understand the basics or this concept.
What is a life story?
A brilliant engineer once told me “Pattern is the foundation of our logic; we study and understand math and the whole universe through patterns.”
We are born with a clean slate; our understanding of the world is very limited. Because there are no patterns in place, our mind doesn’t know what’s best and how to function, So it can’t help or protect us.
As we grow older, our mind finds, constructs and expands patterns in order to decode and understand us and the world.
Our mind keeps creating and using these patterns as a blue print from which we understand our life, predict the outcome of events or evaluate ourselves and the circumstances we encounter. These patterns become our beliefs about how our world works and how we should react to and control our lives.
These believes shape our values and eventually become our identity.
Examples Of Life Story
To be clear, we are not talking about achievements here, We are not talking about skills either.
Life Story is about yourself, your values and your identity. It’s an account of series events or experiences of your life that shaped who you are now and how you envision and place yourself in this world.
Examples of stories are:
“I used to had everything I wanted, I can’t start working now.”
“My parents were so indifferent to me, I will never have a normal life because of that.”
“I’m not smart enough for that, I never got good grades in school.”
“I grew up poor, I can never be accepted in high society.”
These are the results of the patterns in our mind and how our perception of the past events are limiting our current and future life.
How Patterns Are Created?
One of the main roles of our brain or more precisely in this context our Mind is to “keep the human safe!”.
From early childhood our mind processes life events and experiences and categorizes them based on our PERCEPTION of reality, rather than that event itself. It uses different sets of information such as direct information it receives through our senses, inputs from our family & friends, messages from our culture and even media to understand, generalize and categorize these events.
Once there is a good set of patterns in place, our mind starts to generalize these patterns to new situations to help us function and interact with the outside world. But it also goes through assurance checks, So it looks for proofs to confirm our bias or what we think is right.
How Patterns Will Be fixed?
Even our wonderful, capable brain is not a perfect machine. It comes with some built-in functionalities that prevents it from functioning 100% logical. These functionalities although useful and necessary, could be limiting under some circumstances. We call these limits or flaws “Biases.”
One of the fundamental biases of our mind is called Baader-Meinhof phenomenon.
Baader-Meinhof or Frequency Illusion Bias: This bias kicks in when our mind first notices something, Then it’s on a mission to find similar items to categorize and create a pattern.
let’s say when a new idea pops into our mind, a notion, a thought as simple as wanting to buy a new pair of glasses. Then our mind starts looking frantically everywhere to find identical or similar events. So you start noticing whatever you are thinking about more & more.
We can break down this bias into two minor biases:
- Selective Attention Bias: As the name suggests, our mind focuses on those things that we want or are thinking of and disregards the rest. You can imagine how useful it is when you want to study for an exam, or finish a project. But then it can prevent us from looking at all other options and possibilities when we want to find a solution.
- Confirmation Bias: This is when our mind looks for or perceives events, or remembers past stories in a way to confirm our beliefs or values. This is commonly seen when we are analyzing a situation or event, we are more likely to choose the information that is aligned with our thoughts.
Our stories are created unconsciously with these biases on full swing. What we remember from our past is not what it actually was. We missed and misinterpreted many things along the way.
What Does It All Mean?
This is good news: This means that we can take control and change our future. You can be the best of who you are meant to be. You can’t change the past, but you can change the story about your past.
You have everything in you to live your destiny. I’m not being naïve saying you can be anything. Because that’s just unreasonable. But you have it all in you, & you alone, to live to your fullest potential. You can aim higher and achieve more than you think you can.
Read our next article and learn how to change your life story to set your mind up for creating different patterns.