Rewriting your story

“Once you start recognizing the truth of your story, finish the story. It happened but you're still here, you're still capable, powerful, you're not your circumstance. It happened and you made it through. You're still fully equipped with every single tool you need to fulfill your purpose.”― Steve Maraboli

Rewriting your story isn’t as complicated as it may sound. When we rewrite our story we do not undo what was done. We do not forget the bad and only focus on the good. Rewriting your story can be as simple as addressing a fear with visualization techniques. Or it can be as complicated as finding the empowering pieces of our story throughout years of struggle, abuse, and suffering. This process is one anyone can do. It has many layers of understanding that can be applied to your life.

In order to fully understand the concept of a life story we first have to know what it is exactly. Our life story is a collection of memories that are put together to make what is called a life script. A life script is the movie that plays in your head when you talk about your life. It is the frame work you have to work with when living your life. You are actively living and writing your script as you live your life. Just like any story your life script has a beginning, a set of important circumstances (rising actions), a climax, falling actions, and an ending. However, this ending is really a new beginning if you choose to make it that.

Now, let’s dive deeper into these sections of your life script. I will talk about all except the ending. The ending is more of a starting point for a new story than anything.

Life script: The story we tell ourselves and others about our life, experiences, and ourselves. This is constantly being written as we live our lives. We write it in a way that either serves or harms us. Choose how you frame your life wisely. You can frame it in a way where you see yourself as the villain or the hero. How you tell the story to yourself is the first thing to recognize when you want to change it. Are you the hero or the villain? Are you a victim or a victor? You have the power to change how you view yourself in your story.

Beginning: This is our origin story. Just like any story with a hero or a villain there is always an origin story explaining how the hero/villain became the way they are. This is the foundation for your life. Our origin can hold a lot of power. If you believe your origins were negative you may live a negative life. You may feel destined to be the way you are because of where you came from. Every great origin story has obstacles the hero has to overcome from their history to become who they are meant to be.

Rising actions: These can be broken into two categories; repeated scenes and important scenes. Your repeated scenes are exactly what they sound like. Continually experiencing the same or very similar situations time and time again. Important scenes are a little more influential because they are semi-climactic moments that lead to great moments of change, triumph or defeat.

Climax: Just like any story the climax is the part of the story that has the greatest challenge and reward. There can be multiple climaxes in a life story. Each can lead to new and exciting lessons, powerful hardships, and/or more understanding and grace. This is the part where you can typically learn the most about yourself and who you want to be.

Falling actions: These are what occur to help resolve the conflicts possible in the climax. The falling actions hold the lessons and the tools for success within our stories. They are the actions and lessons needed to overcome the climax.

“When you understand, that what you're telling is just a story. It isn't happening anymore. When you realize the story you're telling is just words, when you can just crumble up and throw your past in the trashcan, then we'll figure out who you're going to be.”― Chuck Palahniuk,

Now, that we understand each section of a life script we can begin to rewrite our story. What does that mean exactly?

First, we have to identify the life script we play in our head when we think about our life. When we identify this script we also have to look at the thoughts and beliefs what are associated with your story. For example, you could hold a belief about yourself that you are no good or are a failure. After you identify that belief you can start to look at your story and find the place where that may have manifested. In order to identify your life script you will need to identify all of the sections as well; your origin, rising actions, climax and falling actions. All of these pieces, including your thoughts and beliefs about yourself, are a part of this script.

Second, we have to change the thoughts and beliefs associated with the story. To me, changing your thoughts and beliefs is the most powerful part. If you can change these parts of yourself and story you can change anything. What does that look like though? It looks like self-honesty; it is looking at how you tell your story and how that affects your life. You can read more about self-honesty and how your beliefs can affect your life here, .

Next, we can begin to reframe the events of our life to draw strength from them rather than let them defeat us. We can start to look into the events that helped shape you and choose how they did so. We can take a moment of struggle and turn it into a victory. You can take abuse and turn it into a lesson of what you don’t want to be. We have the power to take these circumstances and turn them into lessons for growth, or anchors to stay stuck. That is your choice and responsibility. Included with this is identifying the falling actions(solutions) to the climax and the challenges presented in them. The falling actions hold powerful lessons on how to embrace the hardships of our life or what to do to avoid similar situations in the future.

Finally, after reframing our story we can begin to reimagine what we believe we can accomplish. You can start looking at your life as a set of obstacles you were destined to overcome and embrace the obstacles ahead the same way. Here, we start visualizing the future you want, make goals on how you will accomplish it, and slowly check those goals off as you actively write your new story. This is where we take full control of the outcomes we desire. Our old story holds little influence at this point because it has less impact on what you believe you can do. At this point we become the director of our story, instead of letting our story direct us.

To summarize the steps quickly they go as follows; identify story, identify thoughts and beliefs, reframe, and finally actively direct. Each of these steps are equally important and powerful. With each step completed we can gain more confidence in our ability to write the life we want and give less power to the life we thought we were destined to live.

Rewriting your story is not an easy task for some. Especially if you have lived a life that has been marred with struggle, pain, and defeat. However, the action of doing it can lead you to great freedom, success, and power. Freedom from the burdens of our own limiting beliefs formed from our life. Success over the outcomes we desire for the future. And the power to overcome everything we have faced and use it as a catalyst for our growth.

"Everyone is necessarily the hero of his own life story."-John Barth

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