The power of controlling your own narrative; becoming the heroine of your own spectacular story.
1. a spoken or written account of connected events; a story.
"She is the heroine of her own extraordinary narrative"
The narrative of our lives is sometimes so subtly influenced that it can get away from us and become something that we don’t recognize or feel good about.
It’s natural that we get caught up in the waves of others’ stories and start riding in the back seat of our own lives. That’s why controlling your own narrative can be so healing and is ever so necessary for the evolving woman.
But how does it happen?
It’s possible that you’ve grown so accustomed to following others that you forgot - or never learned how - to lead yourself.
Maybe your mother taught you that being a woman means self-sacrifice and being of service to others, ever relegating your own needs to the back burner.
Perhaps you have an old boss whose voice still lurks in your head, constantly telling you that you’re not putting in the time or that you don’t have your priorities straight- because for him the business overrides all else.
It’s possible that a church leader made you feel shame or that a teacher made you feel stupid and slow.
All of these people who passed through our lives probably had good intentions and, theoretically, should have made us feel good about ourselves and the narrative we are creating.
And, sometimes it’s in our best interest to step away from those well-intended stories about how life should be done.
I love knowing that I have the power to control my own narrative.
How I move through the world. How I am seen by myself and how I’m seen by my peers, family, friends, and associates. How I show up in the world. How I approach life. How I take care of myself and how I take care of others.
My life story- the events, the characters, the situations, my presence in the world- are all up to me.
The following five active measures will support your journey in creating your own narrative and, as a result, transforming your own self-image and the narrative of your life
Be mindful of what you consume.
Nowadays we are literally drowning in commercials, billboards, and media.
Everywhere we turn there is another image, article, video, or advertising announcement dictating to us how we ought to be thinking, feeling, looking, or doing (you name it ... ).
I don’t know about you, but I sometimes find it all a bit overwhelming- and, also, just not part of a narrative I want in my world.
This is why it is so important to become your very own media police.
Why it’s imperative that you are particular about what you allow through the gates of your mind.
This, of course, doesn’t end with social media; it also includes television, books, magazines, news media, and- though this may surprise you- even your loved ones, friends, and associates.
This may mean that you turn off the news and avoid Facebook for some time. This may even mean that you take a much-needed break from certain people in your life.
As you continue to transform your self-image and grow into the woman you truly are, it’s essential that keep a watchful eye and ear on what you allow in your world.
Once you’ve cut out the toxic media, you’ll be shocked by how quickly your daily mood and overall outlook on life will change for the better.
As the old saying goes, “You are what you eat.” So, give yourself positive, uplifting, and high vibrations to feed on!
Tune in to your inner dialogue and adjust the narrative.
We all have that little voice in our heads. She starts chattering the moment we open our eyes in the morning and she continues all throughout the day until we fall asleep.
But have you ever stopped and actually listened to what she is saying? Have you ever given thought and consideration to the tone and language your inner voice is using?
When we take a step back and take the time to really pay attention to the things we say to ourselves, we may come to find that they are unnecessarily negative and hurtful.
You may even come to find that the voice in your head isn’t really you at all. Remember … other people’s narratives.
Your brain and spirit are always listening and often - without our awareness - those messages creep into our own inner narrative.
Practice becoming more aware of how your inner voice is speaking to you- the questions she asks, and the answers she gives.
Practice changing that narrative to one that is more gentle and loving- emulate one that you’d use with your favorite niece, your daughter, or your best friend.
If you happen to fall back into a negative mental pattern and the inner voice begins to sound judgemental, hurtful, or mean simply take a deep breath, recognize what is happening, and rewind and rework your narrative.
Above all, don’t beat yourself up - simply reset with a gentle correction.
The beautiful thing about our magnificent brains is that they have plasticity- you can literally change your brain and re-create that automatic thinking that has had you down for so long, transforming it into something that has you soaring.
Set distinct boundaries for yourself and others.
Often, when we’re caught up in the flurry of life, we forget to set clear boundaries for ourselves and others.
It happens to the best of us. We don’t want to disappoint others and we don’t want to disappoint ourselves, so we sometimes end up blurring boundaries that were (or should be) set to maintain our peace and serenity.
Elegant women understand the beauty of boundaries- they are clear with themselves and others about what they are willing to do and not do, who and what they will allow into their lives, and what situations they are willing to be in.
Elegant women know that a red-velvet rope policy is one that will help them evolve.
Because you have outlined transparent boundaries, the best of the best can make its way towards you, thereby giving you full control over the narrative of your life.
Become an active participant in your life’s narrative.
Of course, no one chooses to be heartbroken, discouraged, or troubled, but it happens occasionally. Life is hard sometimes. Tough situations arise. And, how we respond to life’s difficulties makes a world of difference in how we feel about them and overcome them.
When we start looking at ourselves as the voluntary heroine in our story, and not the victim, we change how we see ourselves and the world around us.
Obstacles can become opportunities. Problems turn into possibilities.
Elegant women take responsibility for their part in every situation; they own their attitude and they actively look at solutions rather than bemoaning setbacks and wallowing in self-pity.
Elegant women learn from their mistakes and grow as a result of them.
Elegant women understand that life is not happening to them but rather for them- all they have to do is take the reigns.
I am a volunteer in life - never a victim ... How I choose to see the world and my circumstances, the attitude I take, the actions I engage in; all these things set the stage for a life’s narrative that will have me looking back when I’m 90 and saying, “Here’s to you, Beauty! You’ve done well.”
Articulate your goals in the present tense.
Controlling your own narrative also means that you get to dream, and dream big!
So state your goals in some way. Whether that means you verbalize them to a friend, write them down in your journal, or share them with a group or sisterhood such as you’d find in the School of Self-Image.
Whatever your dreams, dream them in the present tense. Present tense language is incredibly effective and suggested by many successful people.
When we use present tense language, suddenly the narrative is much more real! It jumpstarts the natural mode of manifestation, which means we literally start to write our own histories. How exciting is that?!
Here’s a self-reflection exercise that you can try, which will support you in controlling your own life’s narrative.
Let me know how it works out for you because I love hearing your stories and your successes.
- Start with meditation. Just sit and breathe, paying close attention to your inhales and exhales.
- Next, add some gentle movement to the body with some neck rolls, shoulder rolls, and some easy spinal twists. Really settle into yourself and set your intention.
- Then, get out your journal and express gratitude. Give thanks for the things that are already in your life.
- And finally, write down one big, spectacular goal- the bigger the better, but also it should be achievable- and, specific.
- Be sure to use present tense language. So, for example, instead of, “I want to own a big house with a backyard for my children,” you’ll write, “I’m so grateful for my big house with a backyard for my children.” Instead of, “I will get that dream job,” write, “I'm so grateful that I'm doing what I love for a living!”
- Finally, look at some small, daily habits or actionable items that you can put into place to start making that big dream come true.
If you loved this exercise and want to dive deeper, you'll want to attend my Dream Atelier Workshop, which is available to members of the School of Self-Image.
Taking the reins isn’t always easy, but it’s absolutely essential to transforming your self-image and, as a result, transforming your life.
By boldly stepping up and becoming the captain of your ship, you can steer it in a direction that will bring you more happiness and fulfillment.
The Self-Image Manifesto
You’re Invited To Live An Extraordinary Life!
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