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Reframe Your Story Towards Empowerment

Stories dominate the way that we see the world, the action we take, our beliefs, and our values. Fundamentally, who we are as humans is also driven by our narratives about ourselves, our families, societies, and even the meaning of life.


Whether you are telling a story about how your day went, or your personal origin story, that narrative will likely pull you towards different experiences, actions, and outcomes. The reality that our narratives can definitely shift our purpose and experience is a powerful way to see the world. It means that we can choose between empowering and disempowering narratives, and choose those that are most supportive of our goals, dreams, and authentic selves.


What is a narrative? 

A narrative is the way that we retell the stories about any events, situations, or relationships in our lives. It is the way that we make sense about what has happened to us, and also what it means to us. As humans, our brains are wired to create patterns and make sense of things and we do this through stories and narratives.


Is a narrative a false belief?

Narratives are not true or false, they are just versions of events or situations. Of course, when we describe our lives and what has happened to us, we try to get as close to the truth as possible, but due to influences such as memory, perception, and experience, we may always be deviating somewhat from the truth. Additionally, different narratives can focus on different perspectives and contain different evaluations of the same situation. Understanding these influences can help us get closer to the truth, or remove negative beliefs.


How are narratives empowering?

Imagine somewhere in your life you were told that you were very artistic. You believed it and this idea made you believe you could try new art forms and put your energy into creative work. You never doubted this. Now imagine the opposite. If you were told you were bad at art and you were not creative, and you held onto this belief, the results would be very different. Choosing empowering narratives means aligning with the versions of the truth that give us the most power and momentum. To do this, you can begin with identifying where you might be holding onto negative beliefs about yourself or your life.


You can also try this exercise: Consider an area of your life that you would like to make improvements. Now write down all of the negative ideas you have about yourself or the situation. If you’d like to improve your financial position, consider what stories you may hold on to about money: “Pursuing money is shallow” or “I will never make a lot of money.”

What stories do you tell yourself? Where can you re-evaluate your beliefs to better understand the truth and reality? There is always a lot of work to be done in the area of narrative for self-improvement and you can discuss with your coach any negative beliefs or ideas that might be holding you back.


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