Our personal narratives are powerful. The stories we tell ourselves is a reflection of the active role we play in our lives. Sometimes the stories we hold onto are dictated by the wounds we continue to carry from past traumas, failures, and relationships. I’ve realized that I have several unhealthy narratives that have been defining who I am as a person. In many ways, it’s like a domino effect. After one bad experience that led to several similar experiences, I began to think that these stories served to be true to myself.
These narratives didn’t come from thin air. They came from a past I’ve held onto. They also come from repetitive patterns. Do these narratives serve me? Absolutely, not.
It took a while, but I’ve realized that the power lies in rewriting these narratives into stories that serve us. Understand that whatever narrative you have for yourself, good or bad, they are just placeholders until you create a new story. The author and narrator always have and will always be you.
How can one start to re-write their narrative?
I like to use the brain dumping method for a lot of things: projects, article prompts, day-to-day tasks, etc. Brain dumping is a way to allow your ideas and thoughts flow without any restrictions. Look at the past decade and take a moment to brain dump events in your life that pop up and write them with no limitations. You can either keep writing until you are satisfied with your list, or you can set a timer for yourself.
2) Look at repeated patterns
Go through this list and look for repeated patterns. Have you switched jobs every several months? Have you jumped in and out of relationships? Have you been sifting through social circles? Patterns are not necessarily a bad thing, but instead a message. Take these patterns and observe them. These patterns often influence your narrative.
3) Be open to rewriting your story.
Rewriting is the easy part. Revisiting these memories can be challenging, especially if it is connected to events or things we have buried. While this may be uncomfortable at first, it’s a stepping stone to leading a happier and more well-balanced life.
Some narratives you can begin rewriting:
Romantic relationships and the role you play in them
Personal relationships to friends and family
To sum it up, your narrative is the inner dialogue you have with yourself. Remember to be kind, and know that you are the writer of your story.