The Secret to Controlling Your Narrative
Your life is a story, and you are its main character.
Let me share a story with you that happened on the weekend. Miss J had interclub tennis, the final match for the season. At practice Saturday morning, she noticed that her backhand wasn’t working and she asked the coach to take a look and give her some pointers. Miss J was thrilled that she was ‘fixing’ her backhand and skipped home telling me all about the little changes the coach made. On Sunday morning she wanted to arrive early to the match and practise her backhand to ensure she had it ‘right’. She was fixating on her backhand, and as her doubles match started it wasn’t working, the balls were going out or hitting the net. Eventually it was her turn for singles, and her backhand just wasn’t landing. Then she looked at me during her third game with frustration and said “see, my backhand is terrible!” Oh I thought, here’s where the problem lies. So I responded by sharing with her “stop telling yourself it’s terrible, instead tell yourself your backhand is getting better with every shot and you will get the next one in” She looked at me like I was insane, “but then I’m lying to myself”. “No” I said, “you’re learning, you need to tell yourself that it’s ok to be learning and your backhand will continue to get better!” And wouldn’t you know it, from then on she didn’t miss a backhand shot, in fact probably 70% of her winning shots came off her backhand after that little interlude, and she won her match.
So let me start again, your life is a story and you are its main character.
As with Miss J, your story is influenced by the things you tell yourself. Without realising it, Miss J was disempowering herself every time the ball came to her left side telling herself her backhand was “terrible”. The moment she shifted her internal story, her outcomes shifted too.
As it is your story, you can control how your life looks, how it feels, how you move forward and the results you achieve. In fact, the stories you tell yourself can have a big influence on your wellbeing and your ability to achieve your personal goals. The stories you tell yourself can change and shape your brain and therefore your behaviours, so it’s important to empower yourself with good stories.
Unfortunately we tell ourselves disempowering stories too often. So I want you to take a moment now and reflect, what disempowering stories are you telling yourself? We all tell ourselves disempowering stories, every… single… day! The challenge is, knowing what you’re telling yourself and controlling the narrative.
“I’m not good enough” or “I can’t do it” or “I don’t have time” or perhaps you’re telling yourself “It’s too hard”.
Do any of these sound familiar? These are just a few examples of the little disempowering stories that we tell ourselves. It happens every day, and there is nothing you can do to stop it. What you can do though, is control the narrative. You can turn these automatic stories from disempowering and negative stories to positive and empowering stories. Practice reframing your story in your head or out loud and you will see a shift in the outcomes you achieve in your life.
Start to change your narrative by trying some of these stories, “I just haven’t tried yet” or “I just haven’t learned that yet” or “I can review my diary and make time”.
You can shift and control the stories you’re telling yourself. Indeed as your story unfolds, don't get stuck on the chapter that you're currently reading. You always have the ability to simply turn the page.
Start now and spend some time reflecting, notice what you’re telling yourself. Notice if it’s framed positively or negatively.
Then create a clear vision of the story you want to live and the outcomes you want to achieve.
Your life is a story and you are its main character, so what is your character going to do next? What is your story going to look like?