The Power of the Stories We Tell About Ourselves

Written by Jennifer Komis, MAMFT, MDIV

Every night before my niece falls asleep, she makes one request: “Tell me a story.” Of course, I proceed to weave together tales of strong little girls who can fly, save the world, and do anything they put their minds to because that’s exactly who I hope she becomes.

My niece’s request reminds me that stories are the dominant language of our lives. We use them to make sense of our world and ourselves. And how we talk about ourselves in this world really matters.

Consider this: Do you see yourself as the hero of your own story?

The survivor? The overcomer? Or, in your story, do you write yourself as the disappointment, the “not enough,” the unworthy? Can you imagine how your view of yourself and what you are capable of might change if you dared to write a story in which you ARE worthy and lovable, just as you are, no matter what?

Perhaps it’s time to ask this question: Are you telling your own story, or someone else’s?

Is the story you’re telling made from a memory, institution, or belief? Are you stuck in a story you are desperate to get out of? Are you sitting, pencil poised, nervous, staring at a blank chapter, and unsure what to write? Do you feel that quiet little voice of excitement saying, “You can be anything, you know that, right?”

Whatever story you find yourself living today, just know, this is YOUR story. You can always add a new chapter, change the plot, or continue it the way it is. You can mourn your tragedies in one chapter and celebrate your triumphs in another. If nothing else, life is always changing. How lovely it could be to explore the dynamic possibilities always around you. Won’t you join me?