Why Owning Your Story Sets You Free
“When we deny the story it defines us, when we own the story, we can write a brave new ending.” (Dr. Brené Brown)
Owning My Story
As a little girl I was constantly wondering why we humans are here. I kept thinking that we are actually some sort of dolls, and somebody "up there" is playing with us. I tried to make sense of it all. Balancing in my mind the challenges of our family (out of my control) with my little victories at school (under my control). Using outdoors and nature as my magic happy place. Living daily the shame, the confusion and the challenges related to my alcoholic father was an enormous struggle for little me - yet I still felt deep down that there was more to living one´s life than what I knew. There was more to life, or shall I say, there were more ways to approach one´s life, only that nobody around me had the knowledge, tools and maybe even courage to practice and teach it.
In about my teenage years I found from our exhaustive bookshelf (my mom used to work in a bookstore) Dale Carnegie´s book “How to Win Friends & Influence People''. This was a turning point in my life. While I did not learn or aim for how to actually influence people, I did learn about the power of our own actions and our mind. Despite being a curious A-student I had never before come across with this kind of positive thinking (no surprise at all as times were different, the Soviet era had ended just a bit before my teenage years). Not long after I found on a bookshelf of a friend´s mom Dale Carnegie´s “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living”. I borrowed the book (which I never returned.. I am truly sorry, it just ended up this way) and this really changed my (internal) life. So much so, that I graduated my high school with a final essay starting with a quote from Dale Carnegie:
"Happiness does not depend on any external conditions,
it is governed by our mental attitude."
So much so, that I managed to make peace with my childhood challenges and family history. I decided never again to lie or hide the alcoholism of my father. I decided never again to let the shame, quilt and confusion to define me. After long years of trying to hide the truth, I made peace with the truth. If anybody asked, I would tell the truth. I might have even gone to extremes.. as once they asked about my father in a job interview.. Well I did get the job!
What I want to say is that making peace with the truth disarmed my shame and offered me a huge relief. It gifted me the opportunity to embrace my story to the fullest, remembering the best parts of my father and my childhood. After decades of struggle, last year my father passed away.. I truly hope he has finally found peace and also his own opportunity to start over..
Rewriting Your Story
I know for sure that we all go through all kinds of struggles throughout our life. I am sure that many of us have experienced challenging or traumatic events, and thus relating fear, shame, pain, anxiety. But I also believe that most of us have the possibility to heal, forgive, make peace and make some sense of these difficult parts of our story. We have to seek help when needed. We have to be patient, courageous and loving towards ourselves. And when we do that, we become free. We become free to tell our story.
Well, the good news is, since you are the storyteller of your own story, you can rewrite it into powerful masterpiece full of learning, nuggets of wisdom and inspiration. Instead of focusing on the misfortunes, you can shift your perspective, emphasising your courageous acts and resilience when overcoming incredible difficulties. You hold the power to rewrite your story, focusing on the sweetest memories and the parts that empower you and others. You have the power to rewire your brain, creating new thought patterns. Instead of being victim, you can be the hero of your story!
Challenging Your Stories And Limiting Beliefs
Have you noticed the stories you tell to yourself? Your past is no more than a collection of facts and the stories you tell to yourself. Your core beliefs got formed throughout your early days based on your experiences and based on what others told you. Of course, not all of these memories and beliefs are accurate or truth. And not all of them are serving you or helping you to live your life to the fullest.
Questioning and decluttering your beliefs, about your past and about yourself, is a great beginning for rewriting your story. Your identity is made up of these different stories and beliefs that might stop you from growing and moving forward. Becoming comfortable and aware of your truth opens up new perspectives. And of course, the context of hiding, denying and shame, is a fertile soil for limiting beliefs as nobody can challenge them.
Is there any story that is stopping you from feeling happy, from feeling free, from feeling empowered to live the life you desire? Or.. maybe you are using one of your stories or limiting beliefs to play safe..? For example.. “I do not deserve this”, “I am unlucky”,”I am not enough/smart enough/pretty enough".
Self-awareness and self-reflection are powerful tools when it comes to breaking your limiting beliefs. It is always good to start by getting clear about the gap between where you are now and where you want to go and why it is important to you. Once you have this clarity, try to get really creative about how to achieve your goals. And when hesitation and obstacles show up, try to challenge them - Are they facts? Are they objective? Are they hiding some other fear? What is the real reason?
Writing Your Next Chapter
Every single day you have the possibility to write a new fresh chapter to your story. You have the possibility to focus your energy on things you want more of in your life. But, you also have the possibility to rewrite your past in a way that it supports and contributes to your wellbeing and your future. You are the owner of your (hi)story, it is about your memories and your perception. You can choose to amplify the good memories, find lessons and learning from the rough patches, turning them into something positive and inspiring for your future or even better - for inspiring somebody else. Sharing is caring as they say, and this goes also for experiences and life lessons!
You are the writer of your story! You are the painter of your art piece! You are the composer of your symphony! You hold the unique experience and wisdom of your life and only you know what is best for you. You hold the key to your heart desires and the power of imagination for your life. What is your vision for your life? What could be your next chapter in life?
What if today you started to rewrite the story that has been holding you back?
* In case you would like to find out how I as a Life Coach can help you to own your story and write your next chapter, please do not hesitate to contact me firstname.lastname@example.org.