You’re a storyteller.

You may not feel like it or think about it, but that’s because it’s so ingrained into who you are, into your very DNA, that you don’t have to be conscious of it.

Like your eyes, you see things through the stories you tell, which is exactly why they can remain invisible to you.

But it’s dangerous for your story to be invisible to you.

Because then, not only can’t you use its power in your favour, but you’re also susceptible to those who understand it and wish to use it in their favour — and possibly against yours.

This story is your story-view, and you’re its storyteller.

What is a story-view?

It’s the collection of stories that represent how you see yourself and the world, and how you respond to people and events.

And that collection may be all bound up in a single worldview or identity, or it may contain disparate and even contradicting stories.

As you can see from that definition, your story-view shapes you. And again, this is so whether you realise it or not.

But what are these “stories” I keep talking about?

I don’t mean “once upon a time” stories — even though they’re welcome to the party. Here’s a simple definition, as an equation, of what I mean by a story:

Information + Explanation = Story

It’s that simple.

Consider the difference between, “The king died,” and, “The king died of grief.” One is just an event. Only when you add an explanation does it become a story.

Information can be anything from sensory data, experience and news, to ideas, beliefs and values. Connect any two or more and you’re telling yourself a story. And the more pieces of information you connect, the bigger your story — and the more you act on it, the harder it’ll be for you to let go of it.

All of this has many implications I won’t go into now, but a key one is…

The power of your story

Are you ready for this? Here goes:

Your increasing knowledge of yourself as a storyteller is critical to your personal growth.

And that’s a knowledge that needs to exist on at least 3 levels:

  • You have a story-view
  • All the stories within it are yours to tell
  • Anyone of them is also yours to tell differently

Now, because you’re human, you may forget any of these three at any point in time — and pretty much everyone does — that’s totally okay. (Except being human isn’t good enough for you.)

The real danger is when there’s any one or more of these levels that you don’t know, or that you forget for too long. And if you are feeling trapped, or you’re stuck in feelings of overwhelm, despair, hopelessness and frustration, you have an underlying story problem. And don’t get me wrong: that doesn’t mean your other problems aren’t real. (I’m not into that whole “it’s all an illusion” deal, fear not.) I’m saying, in addition to your real problems, you have a story problem.

And that story problem will very likely make dealing with the real problems much more difficult — if not impossible.

Your storytelling can be one of your most powerful weapons — or one of your most persistent weaknesses.

But knowing and owning your story-view goes beyond personal power. There’s one more level at which you can know it, and that is this:

Your story-view is yours to share

And by share, I don’t just mean share while you leave, but even after you’re gone, you can leave it behind, a legacy.

What will you do with your story?

If you need help telling — or retelling — your story, book a session with me, let’s talk about it.

Published by Doc Ayomide

I’m a medical doctor with specialty training in psychiatry, and I love thinking and writing about what it means to be human.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Scroll down to content