Whenever we undertake a new change in our lives – whether it’s starting a new job or business, moving to a new location, or implementing a new health & fitness routine – we tell ourselves a story about it.
The stories are different for each of us, but if we are not enjoying the experience, it’s most likely because of how we’ve written our story. There are hundreds of research studies that prove the power of a productive story, and these studies reveal that the greatest predictor of whether or not we live a joyful and fulfilled life is never the facts surrounding our situation, but rather the stories we tell ourselves about them.
In order to maximize the quality of our lives, we need to consciously decide which stories to keep, and which ones need an edit. And when we find ourselves in the midst of a story that is working against us, we need to empower ourselves to change the narrative.
This begins with acknowledging our role as the author of our lives. We get to choose what lives on the pages of our minds, and the details that shape our reality. The key to personal transformation is story transformation, and we can rewrite or revise our story any time we like.
Get to Know Yourself
The first step in rewriting your story is to assess who you are, 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 and what needs to be improved in order for you to live a happier, more fulfilled life.
Get clear on what you want your life to look and feel like. Write a letter to your future self about the kind of life you envision living and design a vision board showcasing your desired outcome. Journaling every morning about how you want your day to unfold, from start to finish, will also put you in a position of personal power and help you live with intention.
It’s pointless to rewrite your story if you view yourself as someone life keeps happening to. If you want to change your life, you need to acknowledge your role as the creator. You get to choose the personality you want, the characters involved, and the location of the settings. Hold yourself accountable and choose carefully. You will also want to allow space to be inspired by other people along the way, just be careful not to relinquish your power. It is a privilege to be the author of your own life, so don’t let anyone else hold the pen.
We all face plot twists in our own personal stories. These are the obstacles and setbacks that can impact our lives in a negative way. The key to overcoming difficult situations is to embrace them as an opportunity for growth. Life was never meant to be easy, so we need to stop expecting it to be. Bad things happen, challenges arise, and things don’t always turn out the way we want them to. This is life. Expect setbacks, do your best as you work your way through them, and remain positive at all times. Remember, YOU are the author of your life and for every setback YOU get to devise the comeback.
Write Well, Edit Often
As the creator of your story, you get to decide the overriding theme and the words you use to tell your story. You have the power to change tragedy to triumph, discomfort to growth and failure to opportunity. When storylines change, realities change. Be mindful of this, and always write and edit your story to match to your desired outcome.
Carefully Select Your Supporting Characters
Always seek supporting characters that will positively influence your life and help you accomplish your goals. There will be times when certain characters may need to exit your story, but change will be inevitable in all aspects of your life as you continue to evolve and grow. Accept this and proceed with gratitude for the role each supporting character has played throughout your life.
Enjoy the Process
Above all else, remember to enjoy the process. Taking back the power over your life is a spectacular, life-altering journey. Remove unnecessary fear and give yourself permission to enjoy the ride. Think about creative ways to make the process fun. You could host a “Story Changing Party” with some of your close friends or plan an intimate evening of self-care to kick off the festivities. Whatever brings you the most joy: integrate that as part of your writing routine.
Take control of your personal story, and you’ll take control of your destiny.