By Jenna Stone
What’s your story?
We all have a story (and often, several versions).
These stories range from the “Who am I?” story we tell a first date, the latest drama we relay to an old friend, the career history we share during an important interview, the water cooler gossip we whisper to our coworkers and to the origins story we tell our therapist or anyone who is willing to listen.
As self-assigned casting agents in our story—we are often quick to assign everyone (including ourselves) a role as either hero, villain or extra.
The problem with our own personal narratives is that we believe the story without exception.
-Have you ever been deeply disappointed by someone you had cast as your hero?
-Have you ever been surprised by someone you had cast as a villain when they suddenly demonstrated heroic character?
-Have you ever looked at someone you once cast as merely “background” but then suddenly they stepped into the spotlight and it was if you were seeing them for the first time?
So what if—just as an experiment—we changed our personal narrative this week?
What if we take our heroes off of the pedestals (that we are so quick to confine them to) and started to notice everything about them, flaws and all? What if we look at our villains and find just one thing that is good about them or even create an origins story that helps us forgive at least some of their injustices?
What if we take a risk on a couple of “extras” that were once cast as “background” in our lives and we give them a shot at a speaking role in our personal narrative? More importantly, what if begin this week by changing the story we believe about ourselves?
Most of us are quick to categorize ourselves with the “Hi, my name is (Your Name Here) and I:
a. am an alcoholic
b. am a wife and/or mom who is stretched way too thin
c. am an overworked dad and husband
d. am a high school dropout
e. am a former drug addict
f. am a survivor of _____________.
g. am suffering from (illness, disorder, or disease).
h. am a victim of abuse
i. was bullied my entire life.
j. am (religion or political affiliation)
k. am (your lifestyle choice)
l. am (your occupation).
m. am (hobby or fitness choice).
n. am (other)
So what if we woke up each day this week without believing our own story?
What if this week, just for kicks, we:
– choose to believe that we are capable of anything?
– refuse to be put in a box?
– cut ourselves some slack?
– buy into the concept that we have an infinite nature that cannot be defined or labeled?
– allow ourselves to be just be without judgment, disappointment or shame?
“What if?” opens doors.
What if you walked through this door for a change?
I am. I hope you’ll join me.
Jenna Stone’s story begins at her birth. Yawn, right? Because “ordinary” people are born every single day, but Jenna Stone is no ordinary person. Jenna Stone’s mother, a direct descendent of Pocohontas, gave birth to Jenna on International Ninja Day (cue epic into music). Jenna Stone is a warrior. This is her birthright. Ms. Stone is also a a former high school teacher, a Fulbright Scholar, a published author and digital artist, a motivational speaker, and a cohost of the radio show “You’ve Got Moxie.” Her greatest accomplishment to date was leading an award winning march in Washington DC to rally for the sacrasm mark to be accepted as a proper form of punctuation. Jenna Stone is currently offering “What Color Is Your Voice ©” CreateShops to assist individuals and groups of all sizes to create visual journals, vision boards and offers writing and social media courses online. She also offers consultations for individuals who would like to improve their writing and social media/marketing skills in a one-on-one environment. You can connect with her on her website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, or you may email her directly.
Editor: Dana Gornall