Re-Writing Your Self-Narrative


I recently went down a google rabbit hole for the term “self-help” and grazed through the pages of results to see what came up. 

It’s been a phrase on my mind in the last 2 months as I’m really pushing myself in a new direction in my life to try and positively albeit aggressively attack my own self-narrative

You might be wondering what I mean by self-narrative? Mostly I mean this idea of being the ‘you’ that you’ve always told yourself you are. 

We all have an idea of ourselves in the back of our mind. That idea comes with a look, a feel, an array of tendencies, habits, and personality traits that we continually utilize to reinforce our own idea of ourselves in our mind’s eye. 

My self-narrative has shifted over time and lately I’ve been looking in the mirror trying to really figure out just who it is that I want to be, but also who I want to be perceived as.
 
There have been a variety of inflexion points in my life that have led me down this path of self-reflection but the primary motivator for me is my relationship with my wife, and my relationship with my daughter. 

Beyond my own "selfish" interest to be a better human being, I want to be a better person so that I can emulate the sort of life that I want to teach my daughter to live. 

At some point over the last couple of months it started to click to me that I can’t try and be a great teacher to my daughter if I’m not willing to submit to my own checklist of do’s and do not’s in life. 

Simply put, practice what you preach when at all possible.
Re-Writing Your Self Narrative
So this brings me on a crash course with my own self-narrative. Who is the ‘me’ that I’ve convinced myself I am over the last 27 years of my life? 

Is that me, the healthiest, happiest, warmest, and kindest version of me? Has that me shifted into a darker, colder, more cynical and sarcastic version of me that feels alienated from who I thought I used to be? 

It can honestly be difficult to know at times as we as humans, tend to highlight our highlights and downplay our deficiencies.

“I’m not drinking too much, I’ve just been stressed out from work lately and this Maker’s takes the edge off.”
“I’m not being impatient with my wife, she is just being defensive about her family.”
“I’m not on my phone too much, my daughter is just being too needy.”

But when I take a hard look at my own behavior, it starts to become more evident that the 'me' that I’m allowing myself to be at times, isn’t cutting it for my family. 

So down the road of self-help we go, touring through a barrage of “do this, not that”, and “10 steps to a better you” until we come to a point where we don’t know when we are up or when we are down. 

It can all be confusing, challenging, frustrating to the point of indifference, and in the end make you want to call it a night, give up the ghost, and go back to your “old ways”.

But it can also be an extremely positive and gratifying position to be in, to recognize that you aren’t living your best life, and start taking small steps to correct course. 

I’m not anywhere close to my final destination as a human being, and that, if anything, excites me because the ceiling of possibility is far above my current altitude in this life. 

While that may be discouraging to some, I challenge you to shift your perspective (because I truly believe that your perception becomes your reality), and celebrate that you have so far to travel, before you arrive where you are aiming to be. 

That means there are more epiphanies to be had, more wisdom to obtain through the experience provided by time, and greater foundation to be laid in your life.

Look in the mirror and celebrate that you have so far to fly! You’ve taken the time to start reading this blog and that means that you must be looking around at your own situation, like me, and want to start making moves to better yourself. 

That is such a vital first step to self-betterment that it can’t be overstated just how awesome it is that you too have found yourself at this crossroads, looking to re-write your personal self-narrative.

Now back to my google search of “self-help.” I came across this article on GQ, titled “Why Self-Help Might Actually Be Making You Less Happy.” I was intrigued as the wanna-be journalist in me immediately looked at this title as a sort of click-baity headline to flip the idea of self-help on its proverbial head.

“CLICK”

While the idea of the article seemed pretty self-evident from reading the title, I honestly disagreed with much of the premise of the article. It discussed that our western culture is too obsessed with self-optimization and that by constantly pursuing it, people will never feel truly happy as they will never feel like they are their best self. 

This same foundation of reasoning is exactly why I love the chase of improving me!! There is always something else that I can work on. I’ll never be fully realized as the “best version of me” which means this is a life long journey of self-discovery and growth. That excites me beyond no end.

The writer did make a great point that we should all strive to “imitate someone like Nelson Mandela”… Serious side note guys... what is the barrier of entry to be a writer for GQ? 

I’ve at least have to agree to that (OBVIOUSLY). We should always look for people around us, in the world, in our fields of interest or study, that are better than we are, and try to emulate their movements in life in order to better ourselves. 

But at the same time, every single journey in life on Earth is intimately personal and tailored to the individual. So while on its face it does sound like a good idea, it isn’t the only pathway to realizing your best self, as the struggles that Nelson Mandela faced in his life, shaped who he became and ultimately led to him being the great human that he was. 

Our own struggles and pursuits in life will do the same.

At the end of the day, if you find yourself on likelyfiction, then you either know your own weaknesses in life, or you are actively working to identify them. 

I’m doing exactly the same. 

Every single day I’m spending some time contemplating on where I’m currently at, and where I’m trying to go. 

Pursuing self-help, self-optimization, self-realization of the best you, is at its heart a pure and a very fruitful task. 

Don’t let the naysayers or those who are happy in their own trenches in life, get you distracted from the journey you are on. Keep your spirits up and know that you are making the best decision of your life by working to re-write that self-narrative.

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Want to keep reading more from likelyfiction? Check out my blog post on John Mayer's song "Wheel" where I discuss how we all have "Right To Fly".
 


Click here to read the GQ Article Mentioned in this post

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