Who we are is the story we tell ourselves. When we look back over our life events we paint those events into the context of the story we believe we are living and the character that we think we are. When a traumatic event happens to us, we can choose to recount those events within the context of the Story of the Survior or we can recount those same events within the context of the Story of the Victim. The events haven’t changed, but the story has and because that story has changed, the way that we view ourselves also changes.
This isn’t just an intellectual exercise. We all tell ourselves stories about ourselves. Sometimes those stories help us succeed and sometimes those stories hold us back. Thus, it becomes important to consider what story you are telling yourself and what character role you are painting yourself into. Because the thing is, we can always choose to change what role we play within our story. And it doesn’t matter if those around us believe in that new role or not. It only matters if we believe.
As the untreated ADHD kid, I grew up hearing the message that I wasn’t good enough. That I was too loud. That I moved too much. That I was choas. That I was defiant and rebelious. That I was unfocused and undisciplined. The adults in my life drew a character sketch of who I was and outlined my story. When I was an adolescent, I decided I didn’t want to be the person that they were telling me that I was. And I worked really hard to become someone different. But the thing is, I kept telling myself the same story. I would recount my childhood to family and friends within the same context that the adults in my life had always given me. It wasn’t until I started rewriting my story that I was able to make real changes in my life.
I am different, not broken. I am excited, not too loud. I am passionate and creative rather then chaotic. I have integrity and the courage to stand up for what I believe in which means that there are times that I challenge authority. I have an eclectic mind giving me a wider foundation to build upon. This shift in my story did not make any effort to change the events that occurred during my life. Rather in looks upon the events under a different light. I took the time to look back and consider the why behind the behaviors I’d had as a child. All the adults in my life, didn’t have the whole story. They only had pieces and superfical glimpses. I am the only person that has my whole story.
Do not let other people write your story. You are your narrator and main character. You have complete control over the story of your life. Other people will make suggestions and define you within their story, but that doesn’t have to become a part of your story. Take the time to consider what story you are telling. Does your narrative set you up for future success or does it set you up for future struggles?
Write your own story and be your own hero.