Rewriting Your Story

red-hands-woman-creative

While listening to a podcast the other day, I learned the empowering concept of “rewriting your story.” You hear it all the time:

Think positively.

Re-frame your mind.

Be confident.

Yes, cliche but easier said than done. Or so I thought. Stick with me here.

Why is positive thinking and confidence important? Because you can have great style and wear a million-dollar designer outfit, yet still look a bit off. Confidence is the ultimate “completer piece,” the finishing piece to complete a look. However you can improve your confidence by rewriting your story.

All too often we get stuck in a way of thinking. I know I definitely do. There’s a story we tell ourselves which affects how we see our life and how we project our image on to others. For example I always blamed my shyness on my dad. He always criticized me for being loud and unladylike as a kid. I used my dad’s criticism of me as an excuse for withdrawing socially. We all do something similar to this whether that’s letting our past define who we are or blaming our shortcomings when things go wrong.

Yet everyone experiences hardships in life such as divorced parents, losing a loved one, or being bullied. We can simply play victim and continue our negative thinking, or we can refocus our attention and rewrite our story.

I’ll start.

My old story:

My family didn’t have much growing up and my parents worked endlessly. My dad was very short-fused and verbally abusive.  As a kid, I dreaded the moment my dad got home from work. I had horrible insomnia, and every night as soon as my dad drove into the driveway, I’d pretend to be asleep. After a grueling day of work, he needed to get out his aggression. I, of course, was always first in the line of fire. “Clean up! Make something of yourself! Get out of my damn house!”

And my mom. She was always in and out of my life. She just wasn’t around.

My rewritten story:

Although my family didn’t have much growing up, my parents were the most hard-working and loving people. My dad worked seven days a week, 365 days a year but he always made the most of what little time he had with us. Every night after work, he’d wake my brother and me from our sleep to join him for a scoop (or two) of ice cream or watch a late-night show together. We’d laugh and giggle over Conan O’Brien’s funny gestures and odd jokes. I honestly didn’t think my dad got any of Conan’s jokes, but I loved him for trying. It was funny laughing at the things he thought was funny.

My mom, on the other hand, was a quiet woman who showed little affection. However, she showed her love in other ways. She was an incredible cook. I still crave her cooking to this day. She slaved over a hot stove at work yet came home every evening to cook us a hot meal, day after day, each dish more delicious than the last. Coconut juice-braised pork belly. Yum. Tomato, egg, and crab noodle soup. YUM. Vietnamese chicken curry. YUM!

By rewriting my story, I’ve flipped a switch. Rather than feeling hopeless and as if life is out of my control, what I put in is what I put out. My past does not define me. I write my own story.

I encourage you to rewrite your story. What’s been holding you back? How can you re-frame your way of thinking?