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  • Writer's pictureMa qualité de vie

Can we unleash our potential through the life story we tell ourselves?

Updated: May 7, 2021

Telling your story is to express aloud what is within you. It is to let your inner strength or your fearmongering soul shine through. Depending on your inclination for optimism or pessimism, you give yourself the power, either to progress and develop your potential, or to limit yourself and hinder the power that is in you.

Speech is a form of expression that transmits and testifies to our thoughts, beliefs, perceptions, opinions, feelings and others. Words are powerful because they carry a load that has an impact on oneself. As the main character and also the narrator of your story, you tell yourself through your perception of the world and through what inhabits your internality. Depending on how you look at yourself, you will be inclined either to be successful in life or to sabotage yourself. So, which character do you choose to embody in your life story? Hero or victim?

If you wish to nourish your existence with nutrients that will promote your fulfillment, that is to say, that will increase the field of possibilities, here are the elements to take into account in the story that you tell yourself and that you also tell moreover to others.

1. The dominant thoughts guiding your narrative

The dominant thoughts maintained by our mind guide the narrative. They permeate the words that are used and influence the turn of what is stated. These dominant thoughts materialize in our lives. For this reason it is good to spot them, especially when they are particularly negative. Indeed, they are able to contaminate your narrative. When you are primarily animated by thoughts unfavourable to you or your life (because they are based on negative emotions, events or beliefs), you continually build a story that leaves little room for salvation. If there is no salvation, there is no more hope and if there is no more hope you fall into fatality.

If your dominant thoughts are often negative, identify them and replace them with benevolent ideas about the same situation or problem.You can see the glass half full or half empty. It is the same here. By changing your perspective, you will tell a story that will highlight the transformative potential that this lived experience has brought you (whether the event was positive or negative). For example, I remember watching an episode of the Oprah Show, in which there was a testimony of a wealthy couple who lived in luxury until the husband lost his job. His job was 60% of the household income. So they lost everything and had to change their lifestyle. Although the couple initially considered this situation to be catastrophic for them, they realized that their new life condition had brought them closer together as a family and also pushed them to turn to what was more important in life than material.The way they told their story was inspiring and it influenced them positively.

2. Your responsibility

The story of your life is your story game. The game is a playful activity, but I don’t insinuate here that life is a game. I simply use the story game as an example to a subject that lends itself well: life narrative.

In the story game the players create the story by making choices throughout its unfolding.Y ou have the opportunity to do the same in the construction of your personal story. You don’t completely control the scenario of your life, of course, but you are almost a game master. Obviously, you have some room for manoeuvre just like the game master, who is responsible for the environment and other parameters of the game. Thus, it is certain that, in your life, you also have to deal with what you control and with what is not your responsibility. For example, you can choose your friends, but not your family, you can decide where you want to live, but not where you were born, you have the ability to select your collaborators, but not your colleagues.

Despite the constraints that exist in life, what's really important is the complete freedom you have to interpret and participate in the construction of your history. Your story, you can give it the connotation and colour you want and you can opt for an attitude that will have a favorable impact on your feelings. In fact if I refer back to the story game, you are master of the game you want to play because you also have free will. In other words, in your life you are free of the meaning you give to your story. You have the ability to take an active positive part in the narrative of your experience. Therefore, you bear a responsibility, which it would be profitable for you to assume. You are responsible for your identity, determining who you are through your history by the meaning and understanding you have of your life. Imagine again that you are in a story game and that you are able to create your character. Who would it be? For my part, it would be a wise women.

“To be master of your story, is allowing you to decide what you are.”

3. Your state of mind and the meaning given to your experience

What we say about our life is tinged by our own state of mind and the meaning we attribute to our experiences. Meaning is the coherence of the story game frame, in other words, the likelihood of your story. When you realize that there is a coherence to what you are going through, a logic, a reason, a meaning (even if they may not be apparent at first sight), you are able to recognize it in your narrative. Indeed, it is possible that the course of events is intended to change you, to equip you to accomplish your life mission, to make you reach a higher level of spirituality, to open up new possibilities. With such a state of mind, we are able to tell our story with openness. So we no longer feel limited, we do not make ourselves a barrier, we do not feel less or insufficient, whatever happens. It is important for everyone to have the opportunity to learn, grow and succeed according to their personal definition of success.

You are thus at the heart of your personal story, a story in which you interpret your experience and give it consistency. Your words, your intonation, the pace of your words give body to your speech and reflect your state of mind and your way of approaching life. The posture you take when you tell yourself your story can pull you up or down. Then the question arises: In which direction do you wish to go? Do you want to evoke your experiences by clinging to a vision that, despite adversity, pushes you to live at your best and smash ceilings? Or do you prefer to adopt a vision that focuses on the flaws of your life, without drawing the nectar that can give taste and momentum to your existence?

"Don't play the victim be victorious."

4. Your prophecy

What you say about yourself has an impact on your future life.You are your own oracle because you shape your vision of what is happening to you.It is possible to decide that your life is and will be happy and satisfying, or that it is and will continually be a burden or a thorn in the foot.

In the story game, your choices determine your destiny (or the outcome of the story). Similarly in real life, you choose the story you will tell to yourself and this selection will influence your future. Is it a story of bravery, spiritual growth, success, resilience, multiple possibilities or a story of devaluation, bitterness, failure, victimization? When you experience a trial, allow yourself with hindsight to consider it and tell it as a teaching you have learned from life, rather than seeing it only as a Calvary. And if you live the problems only with a defeatist perception, you will build a life focused on suffering instead of building it on the strength that has been offered by that pain. When you tell yourself that everything is going wrong and that it's hard to think that it will be better, you cast a spell on yourself. The story you tell becomes your prophecy.

You proclaim a self-fulfilling prophecy about your life. In your journey, you have expectations about the course of your life, and according to your thinking pattern, what you expect could be positive or negative.This leads you to align your behaviour with the positive or negative belief you have, which has the effect of making your prediction true. In fact, you are shaping your future biography today.

In sum

To unlock your full potential and be fulfilled, tell your story with clarity of mind, kindness, trust and faith, because transforming one’s life is also changing the way one tells oneself. So, what story do you want to tell about yourself? Do you want to activate your potential or turn it off? What character do you decide to embody? Who do you choose to be today and tomorrow?

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(Ma qualité de vie means My quality of life in French.)


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