Some of you might be wondering what personal narrative has to do with wellbeing + career and tonight we’re going to help connect the dots by sharing…
What we mean by “personal narrative” and WHY it is essential for your work + wellbeing?
WHAT positive narratives can do for your mental health, wellbeing, and your career?
HOW to start crafting your personal narratives for success?
WHAT WE MEAN BY PERSONAL NARRATIVE AND WHY IT MATTERS
Most of us know that storytelling is a skill and that, when done right, it can be a powerful tool for your work and career. What we don’t always think about though is the positive effect it also has on the storyteller - YOU. When we share positive stories, we feel good. In the same way that sharing sad stories can evoke different emotions that influence how we feel and act.
So the stories we tell ourselves are just as important - if not more important - as the stories we share with others. Recognising the power of words and practicing to use positive language in our stories is essential for sustaining a positive mindset and becoming your most authentic, energised and creative self.
When we can master positive self-talk and craft success narratives, we’re able to be more confident, courageous and effective in life + work.
When our internal and external stories are aligned, we empower ourselves to be successful. But when we perceive misalignment in what we tell ourselves and others, it’s a sign that something is “off” and we need to work on re-alignment.
So there are two sides or aspects of your personal narrative: the narrative you recite to yourself, and the one you voice to the world.
YOUR INTERNAL NARRATIVE
Your internal narrative comes down to how you talk to yourself. The conversations you have with yourself can be destructive or constructive and this impacts your thoughts, your emotions and your actions. It influences how you feel about yourself, how you value yourself, and how you respond to situations in your life, and how you.
Positive self-talk is supportive and affirming. Here’s an example of two contrasting inner statements that would lead to very different attitudes and actions…
I’m going to speak up in today’s meeting because I have something important to contribute
I don’t want to speak up in today’s meeting because I might say the wrong thing.
Negative self-talk is destructive and self-defeating. Here’s an example:
What I’m wearing makes me look fat. Actually, I am really fat. Look at my love handles / muffin top. No wonder I can’t get a date. Why can’t I lose weight. It’s hopeless.
We all have negative self-talk tendencies sometimes, but when negative self-talk spirals out of control (and it is a negative spiral), it becomes rumination - dwelling on negative thoughts over and over again.
Thinking through a problem is good but overthinking only kills your wellbeing by perpetuating self-doubt, anxiety, more limiting-beliefs or even depression.
[Personal Story] Words + Language matter.
Working on eliminating certain words from my vocabulary…
Try / Trying … Should / Have to (change to “Get to”) … Always / Never … Just … Sorry … But (change to “And”).
Here are 3 steps you can work on this week to boost your wellbeing with positive self-talk and new narratives for success:
Step 1: Bring more awareness to your thoughts
Spend the next few days listening closely to your inner dialogues - notice the words you use. Are you supportive of yourself or are you critical and negative? Would you use the same words and language to someone you loved / cared about? Write down any common themes or frequent negative thoughts notice.
Step 2: Reflect on how you feel
Go through all the thoughts you’ve listed and ask yourself…
- Am I overreacting? Is it really that big of a deal? How important is it in the long run?
- Am I working with facts or making assumptions? How truthful or accurate is this thought?
- Am I labeling myself too harshly? Am I using positive words to refer to or describe myself?
- Am I looking at things too black and white? E.g. Seeing a situation as either good or bad rather than recognising the gray?
Step 3: Change your narrative
“I mucked that up” vs “I can do better with more preparation or training or experience”
“It’s impossible to do in just one week” vs “There’s a lot to get done and I’ll take it one step at a time… someone may be able to help”.
“Positive thinking doesn’t work for me” vs “Positive thinking is a game changer, and I’m finding a way to make it work for me”.
YOUR EXTERNAL NARRATIVE
As we’ve said, your internal narrative directly impacts your external narrative. When you bring positivity and encouragement to that conversation, you bring that energy and intention to how you tell others your own story.
This is also about the Law of Attraction. What you think and believe is what you manifest and bring into your reality. No matter where you are right now, your story should speak to your aspirations, your vision, and the things you’re currently working on.
Many people shy away from telling ‘future’ stories because we think we have to be there already. But the only way to achieve our dreams is by pulling them into the present. Believing in your vision and actively working toward achieving it is what enables us to thrive, to feel good about our lives and professional work, and to be successful in our efforts.
Ofcourse, one of the most important life areas where having a positive external narrative is essential is when it comes to your career. Whether you’re looking to level up in your current industry / field or to make a career switch, your story and narrative should speak to who you are, what you’re working towards, and the impact your work enables you to make.
If that’s something you want to work on, then you need to get your hands on our free Storytelling eBook at bit.ly/tcsstory
Inside the eBook, you’ll be guided through the steps to crafting your narrative in a way that will bring more confidence, clarity and success to your career. It will help you to maximise the first impression you make and the impact of your story.
It will help you develop four short stories you can have prepared in your back pocket:
1. Who I Am Story - conveys who you are, what you stand for, how to advocate yourself
2. Journey Story - connects the dots of your past, present and future career journey
3. Turning Point Story - explains an important turning point or “aha” moment that has triggered you to focus on growing in your career or making a bigger change
4. Vision Story - tells the future of your career in a way that inspires and wins the support of your listener
You won’t always have the chance to tell your entire story to everyone you meet, but there will always be opportunities to share short narratives that explain where you are now and where you are headed - and the more you tell your story, the more you invite people to support your journey.
As a quick recap - today we talked about the importance of bringing more awareness and positivity to your internal and external narratives to boost your wellbeing and career success!
We’ve also shared three simple steps you can work through this week to ensure your internal dialogue and self-talk is positive, supportive and enabling you to thrive in life + work
AND we’ll post the link to our free Storytelling eBook (bit.ly/tcsstory) that will help you craft success narratives for your career!
As always, we’d love to hear your reflections from this week and your thoughts on the eBook once you’ve downloaded and worked through it… or just hit us up to tell us what you think about today’s topic and how it applies to your life / work!