A life narrative, is the story your journey through life. It is knowing exactly where you’ve been, who you are and where you want to go. Being able to clearly express who you are from the events, transformations and experiences you’ve been through.
There are plenty of personal development frameworks for tracking progress, in different aspects of your life. Which are incredibly helpful to visually see where you’ve come from and also plan out where you want to go.
But I’m a huge fan of stories…
It’s no secret that story telling has traditionally been the best way to pass on information and share ideas. Myth, fairytale, legends, plays, poetry and narratives are how we share the most important knowledge, the universal truths of the world in a rememberable entertaining way.
I feel like it’s the colour you can add to a story that makes it so powerful. Something a pie graph just cannot capture. Using language, makes the growth you’ve achieved, far more REAL. It allows for nuance, characters and layers of depth that make it remarkable and memorable.
It’s far more magikal, I believe, to describe a weekend walk in the bush with a friend, than to tell someone I’ve moved from a level 5 social to a level 6.
Here is why I believe knowing and sharing your own life narrative with people is incredibly valuable.
Develop a deep personal relationship with yourself
Imagine you’re being interviewed, someone wants to know all about your life and get to the bottom of who you are as a person.
Would you be able to describe who you are?
What you’re all about?
The lessons you can pass onto others?
The things you stand for?
Do you actually know who you are?
It sounds completely insane, but it’s entirely possible you’re not very close with yourself. Spending time reflecting on your life experiences often and describing them to others will give you deep insights into your own identity and help you become acquainted with yourself on a level you weren’t even aware of.
Form meaningful relationships with others
If you have trouble forming meaningful relationships, there’s a good chance you’re yet to develop a personal relationship with yourself.
Taking the time to work through your life experiences with another person will allow you to become more connected to your own needs and become more empathetic of others.
You’ll figure out exactly what motivates you.
You’ll describe the journey you’ve been on, you’ll hear yourself talk about what you really want and you’ll become aware of it.
Everything we need is inside us, we just need to practice getting it out.
It’s far to confronting and difficult to answer the most important questions…
Questions like, “What motivates you?”, “What do you want?”.
We stumble on these questions because they are buried deep inside our unconscious. The best way to get them out is to get into a fluid state of flow while telling the stories of our life, living out the emotions of our experiences while putting words to them.
We assign or reassign value to these words, we can come back to these stories and emotions so they can give us energy and power when we need it.
Create self awareness
Whether you’re aware of it or not, you’re constantly revealing yourself to others in conversation.
To maintain congruency in your life, you need congruency in your ideas and thoughts. This ensures you can follow through and pursue the things you want.
As you develop acute awareness of your needs, values and beliefs through describing your journey, you’ll learn everything you need to know about yourself to take control of your life.
Self awareness allows you to understand where you need to put your time and energy to get the things you want.
Learn from our mistakes
The only way we can learn from our mistakes is to know we made them.
Reflecting on these moments, extracting the lessons and purpose of every experience will help us grow faster, fear less and appreciate more.
Filter thoughts and let things go
Sometimes we feel like there is too much going on inside our our brains. Like a washing machine of thoughts, that really detracts from our every day experience.
Talking it out with someone will help you sift through the mess and focus on the things that really matter. Giving you the oppitunity to take action on the things you really care about and moving on from negative past experiences.
Understand your purpose
Over time you start to see the patterns in your behaviour, thoughts and reactions. You start to see where you’re spending all your time, money and energy.
You start to connect the dots, what things really matter to you, how are they related, what does it mean?
You start to make guesses about what your purpose is.
You may not get it first go, but now you’re on the path.
Have meaningful conversations
When you’re aware of your life narrative you can tell captivating, entertaining, moving stories. When you are able to share meaningful parts of yourself with others, you can build rapport and engage people on a level you wouldn’t think was possible.
You can bring a room to tears or laughter, because it’s REAL. People today are disconnected and STARVING for REAL life.
Become the hero of your own story
The hero always has a back story.
Understanding where you’ve been will help you create the environment you need to succeed going forward.
If you decide to make changes NOW, that is excellent. But without the context of past experiences, it’s impossible to understand how you will react and grow over time.
Build resilience and self belief
Seeing the positives of any difficult past experience will make you more resilient in the future. Having the courage to try, to overcome the fear of darkness, of the unknown world comes from our past experiences.
Believing that there is never failure, only lessons, will come from long contemplation of past events.
Be open to sharing yourself…But also more importantly be open to other people sharing themselves with you.
Rather than feeling conversation as a chore, you can make it an uplifting experience for both parties. Increasing your overall everyday experience of life.