It’s no secret that our personal narratives can profoundly impact our lives. The stories we tell ourselves often dictate how we see the world and our place in it. If our narratives are filled with self-doubt and negative beliefs, it can be challenging to achieve the sort of success and fulfillment we desire. On the other hand, if we tell more empowering stories that inspire us to reach our full potential, we can open ourselves to new possibilities and greater success. We can also inspire others along the way.
So, how can you tell a different story about yourself to move forward? Here are three tips for doing just that!
Be aware of the stories you’re telling yourself.
If you find that your narrative is filled with self-doubt and negative beliefs, it’s time to take a step back and reassess. What stories are you telling yourself about your abilities and potential? Are these stories helpful or harmful? If harmful, it’s time to start changing them.
But, nothing can change unless you are aware of what needs to change first. Start paying attention to the stories you tell about yourself. This takes a bit of work because these stories are patterns that we have been running for years, possibly even since we were little kids.
For instance, if you are struggling with getting ahead at work, ask yourself what is getting in the way of that the most? Fear is an answer I hear a lot from my audiences. So, maybe you discover that it is fear of putting yourself out there. Perhaps there might be a story in your unconscious where you asked for something you wanted and were told no. It could have been a toy when you were five years old or a promotion at work when you were 30. When you were told no, perhaps you started telling yourself the story that there’s something wrong with you or that you’re not good enough to get what you want. The problem is this story is a pattern running automatically, reinforcing itself, and being told daily through your unconscious beliefs. If it isn’t supporting you, then it needs to change!
Develop new, more empowering stories.
Once you’re aware of the harmful stories you’ve been telling yourself, it’s time to start developing new ones. These new stories should be more empowering and positive and should help you see yourself in a new light. By telling yourself new stories, you can open yourself up to greater potential and success on your terms.
This doesn’t mean completely erasing your past or pretending it never happened. Instead, it means acknowledging what has happened and reframing it in a more positive light. For example, one of my coaching clients was overlooked for a promotion. It was crushing because she really felt she was capable of more, and soon the stories of “not good enough” started playing in her head. However, we uncovered in one of our sessions that it wasn’t about her. The company was dealing with irregularities and would be sold, but no one knew at the time, and the news didn’t come out until later. Still, she hung onto a version of the story that didn’t support her.
The stories we tell ourselves should be empowering, not disempowering. If your story is no longer serving you, it’s time for a change. It might take some time to really believe in this new story, but it’s important to keep repeating it to yourself until it sticks. Remember, these stories are just patterns that have been running for years, so it will take some repetition and practice to change them.
Practice telling your new story.
Telling a new story can be difficult at first, especially if you’ve been telling yourself the same old story for years. But with practice, it will get easier and eventually become a tool for your success.
For example, I share on the stage the story of how I hit the wall in my corporate career. I share the mess of feeling stressed out and how the stress started physically affecting my body. I share that I didn’t know how to get to the next level because I was so focused on being perfect (Hello! More stress, anyone?). I also share how I discovered how I was the most in my own way because of the stories I was holding onto. It was a rather dark time, but what came after it is important too. I started to understand how the stories I told myself were sabotaging me. I uncovered the lies I was telling myself and changed the narrative. I discovered my way forward.
Telling your story can be a powerful way to connect with others and inspire them to reach their own potential. When you share your story, be sure to focus on all aspects, the mess and the success, and most importantly, how it helped you become the woman you are today.
Telling a different story is one of the most powerful things we can do to support ourselves to create more success. So shift your story and step toward your full potential, then share it! When we share our stories, we show the world what we’re capable of and inspire other women to follow to reach for their potential too.