Personal narratives are very powerful. They are developed through a mixture of experiences and personality and they create the lens through which we see the world. Our narratives tell us what we can and cannot do. Without an understanding of your narrative, it becomes very hard to make changes in your life.

Your life is a story, and you are its main character. That means making your own decisions and taking responsibility for things. Many times we find ourselves leading a life that is dictated more by others than ourselves. We find ourselves in a situation that falls short of our ideal vision of a great life, creating a sort of void. We feel stuck in it and are afraid or don’t know how to make a change. The solution to this is to rise above the excuses and become the author of our own story, dreaming up possibilities for ourselves and making attempts to turn them into reality.

Controlling your narrative is a conscious choice. If you don’t design the life you want for yourself, life will just happen to you. It is better to live your life pursuing the things you want that will maximize your level of happiness than reacting to whatever comes your way. It’s important to write your script and move closer to the ideal vision of yourself. The things you tell yourself do matter. Don’t limit yourself.  Examine your narrative. Take ownership of it. Disrupt what no longer works. And then shape your story so it’s in alignment with the vision of the life you want to lead.

The Benefits of Controlling Your Narrative:

  • It helps you discover your purpose
  • It helps you achieve your goals
  • It helps you gain a better understanding of yourself
  • It strengthens your relationships
  • You become a good leader
  • It improves your decision-making skills
  • It improves your emotional and mental health
  • It leads to life fulfillment
  • You become happier
  • You become courageous

Action Steps:

The following actions can help you with controlling your narrative:

1. Take ownership of your life – everyone can dictate their path if they care enough to want to do so. This is your life, and you need to lead it.

2. Believe in yourself – realize that you can become someone who figures out what they want out of life and then takes intentional action to move towards those things.

3. Create a clear vision of the story you want to live out – a vision is a projection of yourself into the future Create a clear vision of the story you want to live out.  Know where you are going before you get started.

4. Set goals – write down and look at your goals every day and make sure you’re moving forward in some way. That’s what the journey is all about and will make life worth living.

5. Face your fears – take tangible action towards what you want. That’s taking control of your narrative. Think about the daily habits you need to put in place to do this.

6. Change your mindset – your mindset matters. It shapes the narrative in our head, and what is in our head shapes how we live our lives so it should be in complete alignment with what we want to achieve.

7. Practice positive self-talk – constantly remind yourself of your abilities and that you are in control of your life by replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts and speech.

8. Practice mindfulness – mindfulness, journaling, and thoughtful conversations can help you become aware of the stories that limit you, identify what is serving you and what is no longer working for you.

9. Focus only on what’s in your control – when striving for greatness, you’re going to face challenges and setbacks, so focus solely on your thoughts, actions, attitude, and effort, which are solely under your control, and tune out the forces that are beyond your control.  

10. Welcome feedback – while working on your story, listen selectively and don’t completely block out criticism or the voices of others.

11. Improve your circle – Your life is all about you, but in a sense, it’s also about the people around you. They will shape your moods, your views, your ability to get things done, and of course how you shape your life.