Editing Stories We Tell Ourselves About Ourselves: For Impact and Growth 

By Sharon Krohn, MCCStory telling has become all the rage.  Is there value in storytelling for Leaders?

In our Coaching Conversations I often explore with my leaders the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves to consider how these stories can impact the future.

To discover these stories, we can explore our history with a look-back at the highlights of our lives; where we have been, what we have experienced and what stories we have told ourselves about ourselves throughout that journey.   

Review your history.

Chart your life by organizing your life into three broad ranges: Birth through 13 (childhood); 14 through age 25 (extended adolescence); and 26 through present (adulthood). In each period, identify your most important moments of watershed experiences in which you experienced personal accomplishment, a sense of triumph, liberation, purpose, a “rightness” about your life. 

Ask yourself:

  • In which episodes did you experience personal pain, a sense of failure, shame, humiliation, suffering, fear? 
  • What are the WOW moments in your life, what were the low points?  
  • What are your learnings and take-aways from these experiences? 
  • How have these experiences influenced how you saw yourself then and how you see yourself today? How you see the world and others today? 

Now reflect on how do our repeated assessments and the stores we tell ourselves about ourselves constrain us or support us?

How do those assessments play now, in your current stage of your life? Do they support and align with the person you are becoming? 

As we chart our history — without judgment – we discover the stories we have developed about ourselves.  On reflection we must recognize the power of these stories to inform who we are today, and how we show up and leaders and in life. 

Pause and ask yourself: Is this working for me? 

As you reflect on the stories of your life pick one or two themes emerge for you and ask yourself how this impacts you in your professional career? Where does that work for you?  Where does it not?

By increasing your personal awareness and noticing the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves we can make a decision as to whether those stories are working for us.  If they are not, we can work to replace them with new, more effective stories that benefit us and positively impact our future.

Shape your story as a leader: schedule a consultation with Sharon.