When you go to the doctor’s office, you are a patient – that’s your story. Chances are you’re there to have something checked or something fixed. Your doctor probably knows about the other things you’ve had checked or fixed over the years. And all these things become part of your story as a patient. But it’s not your only story. You have other stories, too. Maybe with your friends, your story includes being reliable, dependable or funny. Maybe with your friends’ parents, your story includes good grades or bravery in the face of challenges. Online, maybe your challenges have nothing to do with your story – maybe you’re an expert or a troll or a big-time gamer.
The thing is, you may have many, many stories that you tell about yourself, and you may choose which story to tell based on the situation. Imagine each of these stories like the layers of an onion. Now imagine peeling them all away. What would you be left with? What would be the story at the center of this onion, the one story you tell about who you are?
Here’s the important part: This central story is not just something you tell other people, it is the story you tell yourself. Whether you’re conscious of it or not, this story you tell yourself influences who you are. If your core story is that you are helpless, it may hold you hostage in helplessness. If your core story is one of strength, it can make you strong.
So what is your story? What is the narrative that shapes your life? What do you see when you look past all those other stories for all those other situations? What are the words at the center of what it means to be you?