Our lives are like stories, playing out one chapter at a time.
Our experience frames our narrative — our belief system about ourselves and the role we play in the world.
We then experience future experiences through that existing narrative lens, which serves as further confirmation of what we believe to be true.
It’s as if our past stories are writing the future.
We insist who we are is based on who we’ve been.
But what about who we might become?
How can you create the next chapter of your life if you’re still clinging to an old or unhelpful narrative?
Do you find yourself recycling any of the following conclusions?
“I could never do that.”
“I’m just not a (fill-in-the-blank) person.”
“That will never happen for me.”
“I guess it’s just not meant to be.”
“The last time I tried that, it didn’t work.”
These statements give control of your future story over to your past. If it hasn’t yet happened, it never will.
Turning the page starts with the belief that a future storyline is possible even if it’s one that hasn’t previously been experienced.
Would you read the same book over and over again when you know what happens?
… Maybe, if it’s a favorite. But if the story isn’t a good read, you’d put it down and select another.
How many other options exist in your personal library?
Our past stories have created our present reality. It makes sense then, that the beliefs we adopt and the actions we take in the present will create our future.
Take the time to examine how a long-standing narrative is serving you in the present.
Maybe it’s time to retire it and write a new one.
Our stories are ever-present, always ongoing, and dynamically developing.
We are the authors.
Edit accordingly. Write anew.
Valerie Gordon is a former television producer, longtime storyteller and the founder and owner of career and communication firm The Storytelling Strategist and the Commander-in-She blog. Her first book, “Fire Your Narrator! A Storyteller’s Guide to Getting Out of Your Head and Into Your Life” explores how our inner stories impact our external results. Contact her to learn how you might advance your own story.