The narratives we tell ourselves are a big part of who we are but those are also the key to who we could become. What kind of stories do you tell yourself?
When I participated in AltMBA last February, we talked a lot about narratives. One of the most mind-blowing tasks was to rewrite one. I hadn’t really realized you could actually do that nor that it would be so powerful and empowering experience. We tend to think that what happened, happened exactly how we remember it but are you really sure about that? What’s in the past exists only in our memory. It’s not a universal truth. It’s your version of it and when there are more people involved, everyone will have a different story to tell.
I bet you’ve been in a situation where someone remembers the same thing completely differently. The most interesting part of it is that because of that, you can rewrite whatever part you want. If it only exists in your imagination anyway, you are the only author of it.
The narrative I chose to rewrite was very awkward, and where I had seen myself unprofessional and rudely belittled. That whole case haunted me for months and colored my self-image. It affected other situations too, kicking in the fight or flight mode when it wasn’t necessary and made me doubt myself and question even my entire career choice.
When I finally intentionally went back again to rewrite the whole thing, it started to fade and lose its power. It may or may not happened as I remember but that’s not important. The only thing that matters is how I will tell that story to myself from now on.
The choice is yours. The story exists only in your own mind.