Reframing Your Story
I shared my story at a women’s ministry event last week. After I spoke, one of the ladies from the audience purchased my book, Beyond Bound and Broken, and said she is going to write her own book so she can help others. I was incredibly humbled to hear that I inspired her to share something she has been holding in for more than 20 years. She had been holding it in because she felt like a victim. When I shared my story, she realized she had a choice – see herself as a victim or as a survivor.
“The story of your life is not your life. It is your story.” ~John Barth
We never choose to become a victim. We choose to become a survivor.
We all have a story to tell. We’ve all experienced things in life that have shaped us, molded us, refined us, or defined us. Look at some who overcame incredible adversity: Les Brown, Liz Murray, Bethany Hamilton, and so many others. These are examples of people who have stories and they haven’t let it define them, but refine them. Define or refine, what’s the difference?
It’s how we frame our story that determines whether we let it define the rest of our life or refine us into something better.
Reframing allows you to choose to be a survivor instead of a victim. Reframing our stories helps us relize we aren’t victims at all but strong, resilient people shaped by experiences.
It’s not the facts of our life that determine our hope for the future. It’s what we tell ourselves about our stories that determines our hope for the future. Some people with painful stories see themselves as victims and feel that the hand life dealt them was bad. Other people with painful stories choose to find inspiration from their story to make a difference in the life of someone else.
Howard Schultz said, “The reservoir of all my life experiences shaped me as a person and a leader.” Reframing our stories into something positive creates the very foundation of leadership – leading oneself. It’s the ability to influence ourselves that helps us overcome adversity in life and be resilient. If we can’t lead ourselves, we won’t be successful at trying to lead or influence anyone else either.
It’s not whether you were “born a leader” or not that determines your success in life. It’s the ability to reframe your story. Because if you don’t reframe your story, you will let it define the rest of your life.
If you can frame it, you can reframe it. Find meaning and purpose from your past to create the future you want.
It’s your story. How you tell it is up to you.