This is a guest article by Alysia Seymour.
We’re all familiar with personal development. I mean, life coaches seem to be around every corner these days, and that’s amazing! There’s someone for every personality type.
But, what if you don’t want a life coach? What if, like me, you’re an introverted personality who would rather eat a chocolate covered frog than sign up for life coaching, even if you know it would help you?
I’m happy to share that there is another way. You can change your life by changing the stories you tell yourself without a life coach. You can craft a new life-narrative through writing. And I’m going to show you how.
You may have heard of therapy journaling. If not, here’s an article on its benefits. Journaling is a great tool to work through difficult moments and sort out feelings. But the practice I’m going to show you is a bit different. We are going to revisit a pivotal moment from your life, uncover the theme of the story which you told yourself, and use the power of fiction to powerfully rewrite this story.
I know, this might sound a bit “out there”, but hear me out.
As a fiction writer, and self-published author, I’ve used fiction writing as my healing power for years, as many writers do. And I’ve cultivated a particular practice that never fails to shift my perspective of a past event, circumstance, or belief from a place of victimhood to a place of power. Now, I’ve created it into 5 simple steps that you can follow as well.
Keep an open mind during this practice. If you haven’t done similar work to this before, it may seem uncomfortable or unnatural at first. But I urge you to complete all the steps because, if you do, you will really see a transformation in your life and in your mindset.
Here are the 5 Steps to crafting your life-narrative to shift the stories you tell yourself:
- Sit quietly and close your eyes. Think back to your childhood. Just let memories flow for a couple of minutes, visualizing these moments from your past with a vivid sensory.
- Write down ONE moment during this time of your life which left a “not so pleasant” impact on you. It will be an event that took place, someone who came in or out of your life, or an observation you made about yourself and your world—to list a few. It will be something that shifted your very being after you experienced it.
- Reveal the theme of your story. Make a list of the emotions this pivotal moment created, or still create, for you. After your list is complete, circle the one emotion that really stands out to you from this list. (Hint: It’s the one that gives you the heaviest feeling when you think about it.) This emotion has been the theme of your story since that moment.
- Change your theme. Start by changing the story you’ve told yourself up until now so that you come from a place of power, not victimhood. (i.e. Confusion to Clarity, Unworthiness to Empowerment, Putting up walls to Vulnerability). So, if the emotion you circled was unworthiness, what does the opposite of unworthiness feel like to you? It could be empowerment, or maybe it’s acceptance. Decide for you what your opposite emotion is and write it down. This is your “power theme.”
- Rewrite your story. Type or handwrite a new version of the pivotal moment you imagined using your new power theme—about a page or so. A story that empowers you and creates you as the hero. It helps to write in a fictional sense, with a character who is someone other than yourself, and in a setting which isn’t normal for you, so you can remove yourself from the story. If you could see how this moment happened FOR you and not TO you, how would your story change? If you viewed this moment from a place of power rather than victimhood, how would it be different? Now, write it out.
Be creative and allow yourself to wonder about this moment. Let yourself explore without judgment or regret. Remember, everyone has moments like this—while unique to our own life and experiences, they often evoke the same emotions, making these moments more common than not. Which means, you’re not alone.
This process is one I’ve used in my own writing for some time now. I’ve found that by using fiction as my guide to rewrite my life stories, I can create more healing and growth because I see the story for what it really is rather than tying it personally to myself, or my worth.
We are not our thoughts. We are the thinker of our thoughts. James Wedmore has an incredible episode of his podcast, Mind Your Business, where he interviews Jim Fortin on this topic. You can listen to it here.
But I like to take it to another level.
We are not our stories. We are the writer of our stories.
So, why not rewrite the negative stories we tell ourselves? This process of crafting your life-narrative will allow you to do just that. If you’ve never written in this sense before, it’s simple. Let yourself dream and wonder for a bit. Then write, without thinking about it.
That’s it. Your intuition will take over if you open yourself up to it.
Reconnect to your imagination. That’s where the healing happens. And healing is magic.
Alysia Seymour is a fiction author and Story Guide. She is a self-published author of The Raven Dreams, with another novel currently in the works. She created a one-on-one transformational journey through rewriting your life story into a fictional short story to heal, grow, and create life your way. You can start the journey today.