Telling Your Story
The stories we tell about ourselves are the key to our well-being.
If you’ve interpreted the events of your life to mean that you’re unlucky or unwise, it’s hard to look optimistically at the future. Conversely, if you acknowledge that you’ve made mistakes and faced difficulties but seek (or have already glimpsed) redemption, you’ll feel a much greater sense of agency over your life
What narrative have you constructed from the events of your life? And do you know that this is the single most important question you can ask yourself?
If you’re having trouble constructing an honest yet positive life narrative, here is an exercise to help you. Just ask yourself these three things:
- Can you think of an early part of your life when you felt strong and happy? If you had a difficult childhood or other challenges that prevent you from identifying this starting place, try thinking of the time when you were still cradled in the womb.
- What was the challenge, or series of challenges, that came along to threaten your strength and peace?
- Can you find meaning in these challenges? You don’t need a classic happy ending as long as you’ve found meaning. And don’t worry if you’re not there yet. Just think of the outcome you’d like to see one day.