Your personal power lies in your story.
This is because your story is the foundation of your personal identity. To release fully your personal power and unravel your identity, own your story!
Perhaps, then, the question is: Who are you? This is about identity! You are not your height or weight or skin color. You are not your gender, level of education or nationality. You are no your past, present or future plans. If these external attributes are stripped way, what remains? In other words, what is your life about?
As you can already tell, this article has many questions that would require you to reflect. Therefore, I suggest that you read it slowly, and think about the questions. I believe you can do that, and thank you!
“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” ― Philip Pullman
Your current identity is simply a story!
Your personal identity is a story. It spans your past, present, and your future. So, what’s the story of who you truly are? Most people I coach feel pre-defined, especially by the past. For some reason, a lot of people focus on what they can not change: tribe, family, temperament, hair color, body size etc.
They also define their identity according to their job, social relationships, social status etc. Even those that define their identity in terms of future aspirations, the view is influenced strongly by negative past references. There’s nothing wrong with all these as long s this question can be answered: Which of these attributes are at the core and which are supplementary?
“We’re all stories, in the end.” ― Steven Moffat
Most people are afraid to own their story!
Let’s speak about you briefly (we will do it gently!) On a scale of one to 10, to what extent would you say have owned your story? Do you own your personal power or have you surrendered it to your story? Let’s consider another question. If you could examine your past, present, and future separately s distinct pieces, which would you say influences you the most?
On another account, between your win and loses, your successes and failures, which do you speak freely about? Between what you think of yourself and what other people think of you, which influences your self perception the most? Yes, those are many questions!
Before we take a break, here’s one final one: How would your life change if you took complete charge of your story, owned it, and retold it with personal power? Yes, let’s take the break, no more immediate question, except this one: What impression does #OwnYourStory give you? I hope it’s a positive one, because it is the path to personal power!
“If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.” ― Virginia Woolf
What’s the value of ‘owning’?
If you are like most people, you don’t speak confidently of your successes for fear of sounding arrogant. On the other hand, you don’t speak of your failures, for fear of embarrassment. Isn’t this intriguing?
When you can’t talk freely of either you wins or loses, what can you talk about freely then? Answer: the average stuff, the boring lifeless humdrum such as the weather, traffic jam, and cost of milk.
Who are you and I afraid of? I used to think it’s society. Who’s society if not you and I? So, are we afraid of each other? You bet. In fact you are afraid of you, I am afraid of me. That’s why you and I even have difficulties owning up to ourselves the mistakes and messes.
I know this may not be true to you, however it is for most people, and it used to be true for me. I do not want to be presumptuous! So for most people, the personal story is sometimes self-censored for various reasons.
We don’t have the guts to tell openly stories about ourselves. We want secrecy about our inner secrets but we entertain (often false) rumors and gossip about other people’s. We self-sensor our stories, but we want to know everything about the other person!
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About the author
Dr Job Mogire is a Research Scholar at Harvard University and the CEO of House of Mastery. He trains individuals, groups and corporates on public speaking, personal mastery, emotional intelligence, and neurolinguistic programming (NLP). He is the author of several books, including Bold Grasp and Better Public Speaking. info[at]hseofmastery.com www.facebook.com/jsmogire