Did you know that you are a storyteller? Or that you are just one story away from what you really want?
Most of us don’t realize that we have a few central narratives running through our lives because the stories we tell ourselves are so familiar that we don’t even realize they are stories. The easiest way to see this is to notice other people’s stories. It’s ironic that even when you can’t see your own story clearly, you can easily see the story a friend, employee, or student is telling herself.
Why does your story matter?
It could be a matter of life and death. In a study of nuns chosen because they had to write a short autobiography as they entered the convent at age 18, Deborah Danner and her colleagues discovered that the teens who told their life stories most positively were 2.5 times more likely to be alive six decades later than those who told their life stories in the most negative light.
Create a New Story in 3 Steps
I’ve discovered that it’s not the events of my life that allow or prevent my success in love, work and happiness, it’s the story I’m telling myself– and I can change my story. Here’s how you can tell a story that boosts success and passion:
1. Start by naming your old story. Ask yourself, how would I summarize the story of my life, my work, or my family in one sentence?
2. Ask yourself, how can I tell a different story about where I want to be in the future? Write a few paragraphs with your new story, as you’d like your future to be and (this is the most important part): feel how good it feels to be in that new story.
3. Pick out one phrase you can say to yourself that reminds you of your new story and start saying it. Hint: make sure it’s something that actually feels good when you say it.