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Every human being’s life has a prevailing narrative. Whether we choose to acknowledge this or not, we all have them!

From childhood we create a series of interwoven stories about ourselves; stories that define who we are, what we can and cannot do, and how we relate to others.

Throughout our lives they impact us at a deep and subconscious level, affecting what and how we think, the decisions we make, and our self-image. Yet, despite their impact, we’re often naive to where they come from.

The birth of the narrative

Your life narratives were birthed by those closest to you; your parents, siblings and wider family. And as you grew, they would’ve also been shaped by your peers and the societal and cultural norms and expectations of the day.

And whatever the experience or significant life event, whether it was being humiliated by a teacher or awarded a certificate to the applause of onlookers, the indelible mark of that occasion will have also influenced the narratives you tell yourself.

The narrative in person

Life narratives take various shapes and forms, with some being more helpful than others; some personal, whilst others vague. For example, ‘I’m stupid’ vs ‘I’m going to tackle world poverty’.

Clearly, telling yourself, “I can’t” or “I can”, will invariably correlate with the results you see in life. For narratives, played repeatedly day after day, will determine how you live in the present and shape the outcome of your future.

The power of the narrative

Such is the power of your narratives that the greatest realisation is the discovery that they can be changed. Yes, the narratives you’ve told yourself can be rewritten and made to be more conducive to what you desire.

Our narratives serve to either constrain or make us flourish; and this is why we need to take control of them rather than being controlled by them. So, knowing the power of the narrative, the shrewd scriptwriter, will craft intentionally with grace.

How shrewd are you?

Questions to consider

What narratives do you tell yourself about your life? Who have they come from? How helpful have they been? How have they affected your view of yourself and your potential? Where might you need to change them? What would you like them to be? Leave your comment below.

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