I talk a lot about what our stories can teach us about our own strengths and resilience. They can show us our values and help us find our way … but sometimes we get stuck in a version of our own story.
Have you ever looked at a particular time in your life and thought “what a hard time” or “I was so miserable”? Maybe you see failure in your job or a relationship … instead of what you learned from it or took from the situation.
I can help you to take a fresh look at your story, to tell it in a different way. I’ve shared before how I realized that part of my life that I looked at as one of anger had shaped me deeply in positive ways. Writing my story helped me realize that.
Sometimes revisiting your story is enough to help you see it in a new light, but there are also some techniques to try to help you gain perspective.
Start by choosing a story from your life that has strong feelings for you, perhaps a time of anger, sadness, loss or failure. Try writing about the experience through somebody else’s eyes. You could:
- Simply write in third person. Sometimes writing he or she instead of I gives us a little distance to see the story differently.
- Write the story as you imagine another person saw it—a parent, teacher, coach, spouse. Focus on what they would have actually observed (sights, sounds, smells, touch). If you have too much history and find yourself getting judgmental, try writing what a stranger might have noticed.
- Imagine watching somebody else go through the same situation you went through. How does seeing somebody else’s experience affect how you see things?
However you approach it, don’t change any details, simply write about it as if you were observing it.
Sometimes it’s good to step out of our own skin. After writing from another perspective, you may want to go back and write from your own. Has your story changed? Can you seen your experience in a new light? I’d love to hear if you had any ahas with this prompt. You can always hit reply to share.
P.S. Interested in learning more about the power of your stories to create a life of resilience, connection, and meaning? Check out my Write Into Joy workshops to learn how to build resilience and joy through journaling & reflecting. Click here to see a list of upcoming workshops.