The inner and outer stories you tell define your life. If you think something is possible for you, then you are probably right. If you think something is not, then you are probably right too. If you have personal development on your agenda for 2020, then consider focusing on one thing: how your ways of thinking and being in the world might be holding you back. And keeping you trapped in the wrong story.
It’s time to step up. Be bold. Tell your story and be the hero/ heroine. Warts and all.
Sharing creates connection
Feeling shy and embarrassed about parts of your story? Well don’t be. By sharing your story, you can help others.
Let’s use the ladder as a metaphor for your life. Each rung on your ladder represents a challenge overcome or accomplishment achieved. Sometimes in life, you get stuck on a rung longer than expected.
As Søren Kierkegaard, a Danish philosopher, said ‘life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.’
With this in mind, reflect on the times you were stuck on your ladder. What happened? What did you learn and how did you grow? What do you do differently today as a result?
There’s usually an amazing learning during a period of personal growth. And this might be one of your super strengths today.
By sharing your story, you motivate and inspire others who might be stuck on their ladder of life. By being vulnerable, you create a deeper connection with another human being where compassion and empathy can run deep. You never know, they may have been there, done that and fully understand your struggle / win too.
Shout out your accomplishments
Do you feel uncomfortable blowing your own trumpet or bragging about your achievements? You are not alone. However, it’s perfectly OK and even important to do this.
Not only is it a personal confidence builder but it also reminds you of skills you have forgotten you had. This can be useful when faced with new challenges or learning opportunities. You have (forgotten) resources to draw on! And it gives you credibility in front of a potential client or hiring manager.
My story, my pride
I live a life with hearing loss. I’ve struggled almost every day since I was 15. Silently. I was told by a doctor to ‘go away and get on with it.’ I did exactly that. My handicap has consumed me and taken my energy in more ways than I expected. Sometimes I was oblivious to support when it was available. Because I didn’t know otherwise.
In 2018, I had a cochlear implant which totally changed my life. I now hear the birds sing and can talk on the phone again. I listen to podcasts and TED talks too. I recently spent quality time with family in Australia over Christmas. My nieces and I were playing a game about things we would change about ourselves, if we could wave that magic wand. My ears were on my list.
‘But then you wouldn’t be you!’ A little voice piped up. So true!
And what strengths do I have as a result? Deep resilience and empathy, as well as an ability to hear the things that are not said.
What’s the silver lining in your story?
How to get unstuck from your story
Each transition you experience in life, creates a new story. And a new opportunity to rewrite an old story which no longer serves you. Brene Brown’s quote below is a powerful reminder you are in control of your story.
‘When we deny the story, it defines us. When we own the story. We can write a brave new ending.’
What’s your story? Is it supporting you or holding you back? I invite you to pick up your pen and write that brave new ending!