Rewriting The Story Of Your Life

leadership mindset and goals personal development May 31, 2021

Everyone has a story - a story about ourselves, where we come from, who we are, and what we can or can't become. Your story to date may consists of good and bad memories, wins and losses, childhood trauma, or even the pain of adversity. The truth is, your stories contribute to the view you hold about yourself and determines to a great extent how you show up in the world.

We perceive the world based on how we view ourselves. This perspective is why rewriting the story of your life is so important. As a high performance coach, I firmly believe that it is never too late to change your story.

So do you ruminate on your past? Does it distract you and prevent you from enjoying the present? If you spend a significant amount of time replaying past events on the screen of your mind, you may need to rewrite your story. So how do you rewrite your story? Here is how you do it.

Examine the present

First and foremost, you've got to examine your present reality. Take a good look at where you stand. Be conscious of what you keep telling yourself. The words that you say or those behaviors that keep getting in the way could indicate what's happening below the level of conscious awareness.

While the conscious mind accounts for 5 percent of the mind's capacity, the subconscious mind accounts for 95 percent. Hence, our behaviors are automated most of the time. Being driven by the subconscious mind means that we got conditioned to think and behave a certain way through our interaction with our social environment.

Examining the present, therefore, creates self-awareness which is the prerequisite for change. Once you have become aware of where you are in life, take responsibility for who you have become.

Stop blaming others for where you are in life, even though it may be true that they have hindered your progress. Look for the advantages in disadvantages. Take responsibility for your thoughts, your actions, and your current behavior. Of course, this takes a lot of courage, but take note that the "cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek" (Joseph Campbell).  

Confront the past

Adverse events of the past can hinder you from becoming the person you want to be. If you do not confront and let go of the past, it will undoubtedly define your future. Though we cannot change the past, we have the power to change how it affects and shapes who we become. 

An essential first step is to embrace the past for what it is. Accept that you cannot change what happened, but you can change how you respond to it. As a matter of fact life is about 10 percent percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you respond to it.

So how will you respond to your past experiences? You can respond by having one of two types of interpretation: an interpretation that empowers or dis-empowers. By simply reframing, or what Social Psychologist Tim Wilson calls story editing, you can use those negative experiences as building blocks for the future.

So rather than looking at how difficult the past has been, look at how resilient you have become. With this approach, you will be empowered to see the events in your life as waypoints and not as a dead-end road. 

Design the future

You are the architect of your destiny. Furthermore, you are the only one who writes the story, and it's in your power to change the narrative at any time. Though we cannot change our past, we can rewrite our story and design the future we want. But how do you do that?

Start by focussing on what you want, as opposed to what you do not want. Secondly, alter your conscious thoughts to conceptualize what the future you could be. Whatever those positive thoughts are, keep telling them to yourself until the script gets rewritten in the subconscious mind.

Research has suggested that by altering your thoughts, you will invariably change how you feel and act. The converse is also true; changing your behavior can also influence the way you think and ultimately rewrite your life story.

So what is your story? Whatever it is, we can all create a better version of ourselves, and we all possess the power to make that story come true. All you need is the courage to examine the present, confront the past, design the future and remember, "it is never too late to be what you might have been" (George Eliot).