Know Your Story
All of us construct narratives about ourselves. It is important to use our stories to help us become the best versions of our imperfect selves.
The power of a good story is undeniable. We have all experienced them. A good story can serve as a vehicle to entertain us, encourage us, inspire us and even move us to take courageous action.
Yet, very few of us really know our own story. We hold tight to the 30 second commercial, microwave version that we play over and over in our heads. It’s birthed from the few moments in our lives that we declare defining moments or perhaps the opinions and observations of others.
For some of us, the narrative is positive. For others, it is not so pleasant. Either way, it is incomplete. We are far too unique, complex, and nuanced to be simplified in such a fashion. However, these Cliff Notes versions of self, often shape our perspectives, guide our choices, and impact our futures.
I am here to tell you that this form of storytelling is not enough. It is too shallow. It robs us of the opportunity to connect to who we really are and be the best versions of our imperfect selves. It lacks the depth required to maximize a life’s journey full of lessons, opportunities for reflection and transformative change.
CASE IN POINT
I have a former coaching client that is talented in many areas. She is an artist, writer, musician, and poet. She is an extraordinary orator – sometimes. She could give a speech that moved you to tears or bored you to sleep – a very inconsistent experience.
When asked how she would describe herself, her response was “a waffler that didn’t finish things.” She could even raddle off examples of lack luster performance and work started but not finished. She would describe situations when she would get in the middle of a project or task and lose interest. She didn’t feel inspired to keep it going. So she would stop and move to something else.
Yet when she looked closer and explored her entire story, she saw a life full of sustained successes, resolute behavior, and passionate pursuit of goals and dreams. Initially, her self-talk and limited narrative led her to see a life of half-baked projects. But, when she got on the balcony and saw the full picture – her life’s work – a pattern emerged for her. Projects aligned with her interests, passions, and values were met with maniacal focus and determination. When she submitted to the expectations of others – whether in WHAT SHE DID or HOW SHE DID IT – she approached tasks with lukewarm enthusiasm and got lukewarm results!
She is now experiencing greater joy and peace. Her speeches are now consistently magnificent. WHY? She connects the content to her personal experiences – her story. She found her voice.
Each of us has the unique opportunity to be the best version of our imperfect selves. We must take the time for self-discovery. Ask yourself: What is my whole story? You may be surprised by what you find
- The Authentic You!
Marvin Chambers is a Leadership/Life Coach and Ally. He believes in trust. He leverages trust to help leaders fulfill their promise and maximize their impact.
For more information on knowing your story or coaching support, please contact Marvin at 1-866-434-0825 or firstname.lastname@example.org.