“Our experience of the world is shaped by the stories we tell ourselves and our interpretations of it, and these stories can often become so distorted and destructive that they completely hinder our ability to live balanced, purposeful, happy lives. So the key to personal transformation is story transformation” – Dr Timothy Wilson
Everyone has a story, a personal narrative that plays a role in how we approach situations in life, other people and our own self-concept. Your story contains countless pieces of information, some random and insignificant, others full of meaning. Although the facts of our history are immutable, the way we react to them and weave them into our personal narrative is not. When we feel a need to make changes in our lives, we can rewrite or revise our story any time we like. It is an opportunity to reinvent ourselves, to start over, and to behave in new and different ways.
The start of a new year is a great time to think about rewriting your story by looking at your past, and deciding what changes to make for the future. Often our stories are connected to events from our past. Positive chapters such as a happy childhood, successful career trajectory or healthy relationships can impact our personal stories in an inspiring and uplifting way. These happy events can make us more kind, provide us with a more positive outlook, and even improve our self-esteem.
On the other hand, negative life events such as trauma, addiction, illness, divorce, loss etc., can impact our story in a negative way. These often leave us feeling isolated, depressed and anxious. They affect how we deal with people and circumstances later in life. Challenging and painful chapters can make it harder for us to rewrite our story because we feel stuck in the past, powerless or even unable to make a change.
Everyone is fighting their own battle. It’s how we choose to handle difficulty that determines what our life will become.
1. Self Assessment.
The first step in changing your story is to self assess. How you have been feeling and behaving, and what circumstances have impacted your life. Ask yourself, “What is my story and what would I like to change about it?” Take time to truly figure out who you are, what is missing, what needs to be improved and how you want to be in the future. An important part of this step is to realise that you can be resilient and rise above challenging times, and a challenging past, by taking steps toward positive change.
2. Identify what changes you want to make.
The second step is to begin to work on the changes needed to rewrite your story. i have come across a lot of people looking to change their life, but don’t think they can because of their past or age. Your age or your past only limits you if you allow it. Create a vision and never let the environment, other people’s beliefs or the limits of what has been done in the past shape your decisions. Ignore conventional wisdom.
You can do whatever you desire at any age — as long as you believe it to be true and put in the work to make it a reality.
3. Continue to revise as you go along.
Finally, in changing your story, take time out on a regular basis to remind yourself that you can always take steps to change your behaviours, your path and even your life. When we forget we have this power, we tend to feel stuck. When we remember that we have the power to change the trajectory of our narrative, we feel strong, hopeful and happier overall.
Happiness is a choice we make – it is a state we can become through our actions. The path to happiness is more than material items and superficial things. Rather, happiness is an all-encompassing way of being. Change your thoughts, change your life — that is, choose to be happy and watch as your negatives shift to positives.A hard life doesn’t prevent you from success unless you tell yourself it will. Click To Tweet