Personal Narration

Use Your Own Story To Spur Growth = ‘Meaning Making’

By toggling the way we address the self—first person or third—we flip a switch in the cerebral cortex, the center of thought, and another in the amygdala, the seat of fear, moving closer to or further from our sense of self and all its emotional intensity. Gaining psychological distance enables self-control, allowing us to think clearly, perform competently. … Released from negative thoughts, we gain perspective, focus deeply, plan for the future.”Psychologist Ethan Kross’s 

Along with accessing clarity of our strengths and successes, and authenticity about our struggles, addressing ourselves in third-person also allows us to see the gifts and lessons embedded in our journeys – the indispensable assets we have to share with others.

If you struggle to shape the fullness of your narrative in first-person, try writing or speaking your story in third-person. From there, translate into first-person. Allow yourself to feel and release the pains, while savoring the moments of strength and resilience. This emotion is a gift, because it is what allows you to relate to, understand and empathize with others facing similar challenges, support their growth and guide your personal healing in the process.

What are the key components of a powerful personal narrative?

  • Be real, but empathetic about your struggles – Understand the importance of empathy and compassion in enabling you to relate to others and them to you. A client of mine phrased this beautifully when she said, “My audiences love me because of my struggles, not my successes.” What hits in the heart for you will for others, especially when you frame that narrative in universal human values.
  • Be a cheerleader for your feats and successes – Too often we over- or under-rate our experiences. There is a difference between being unique and being special. Ask friends, clients or colleagues how they see your journey. Watch for commonalities in describing your abilities and strengths. Look for descriptions of the unique lessons that you have to share.
  • Be focused on your audience, always – There is a true sense of transformation that rushes forth when we make the audience the focal point of our personal story. We can transcend our experiences by sharing the valuable knowledge, wisdom or insight gained to help ease the way and provide clarity for others facing similar experiences. Joscelyn Duffy

https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/experts/joscelyn-duffy

Advertisements

I am a food lover, and cooking is therapeutic for me; it relaxes me and transports me to a quieter universe away from the noisy, busy modern world. I am a Counseling Mental Health & Wellness graduate student, wife, and stepmother. I love connecting with people from different cultural backgrounds through food, fashion, wisdom, and lifestyle in general. To be continued because I am still in the process of discovering who I am as I continue this journey called life. I promise to keep you all posted in the meantime.

0 comments on “Use Your Own Story To Spur Growth = ‘Meaning Making’

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: