Posted On : 22nd September 2022
We all have stories that we believe about yourself.
“I’m good with money.”
“I like cupcakes”.
Some of these stories we choose to accept. Others we are given by others, such as our friends, family, or even strangers.
No matter how we get them, psychologists tell us that stories influence the way we think and act.
Storytelling, for most of us, usually plays in the background. It’s usually something we don’t think about. When you’re going to work, going to school, and doing your everyday activities, most of us don’t take the time to reflect on the stories that we are living.
Then something big happens….and you start to realize that the story you are living is not the story that is helping you.
For many of the guests on the Adverse Effect podcast, it was trauma, pain, or some other adversity that caused them to take a step back and reassess the story.
For Evalaurene Jean-Charles, it was realizing that the story behind America’s education system wasn’t working for Black kids.
For John Walsh, it was realizing that you can reinvent your life multiple times, whether you are a homeless kid with big dreams...or the mid-life successful career-changer who transformed a corporate job into a revolutionary non-profit
For Nubia Younge, it was realizing that you didn’t need to look a certain way to become a world traveller...and start making money from the experience
As these guests realized, the story you are living now is not the story you have to continue living.
You have the power to change your story….even if you don’t have the power to change your situation yet.
For John Walsh, things didn’t immediately change when he realized that he wanted more for his life. They began to turn around when he got a job and did his best at it so he could pursue his dream.
For Nubia Younge, things didn’t immediately change when she realized that she wanted to get away from her hometown. They began to turn around when she took vacations and saw that she could live the life that she wanted.
In both of these stories, the opportunities did not drop into their lap.
The only thing that changed, for a while, was just their thinking.
As their thinking changed, so did their actions. Those actions led to bigger and better actions and new perspectives. The new perspectives led to even more actions which led to newer perspectives.
For example, when Nubia Younge began to take small vacations, she noticed that she liked travelling. That inspired her to take more vacations and to begin asking “What else can I do?” and a journey that turned into a podcast and even bigger trips.
This process of changing your story is something psychologists call “story editing”. Story editing uses our ability to reflect on the stories we tell ourselves and change stories that no longer serve us. It is the process we use to work through those stories and then begin to create new stories that align with the person we want to be. By “editing the story” and taking small actions to make that story a reality, we change our lives.
You need two things to start a transformation in your life: A new story and a new way of acting.
The key is to find the old story and replace it with a better one.
Once you have the new story, your brain will start thinking of ways to complete the story
Once you take the first step, your “story” starts to change...and brings your life closer to the story you want