‘What is Your Story?’ by Terry Sidford and published in Great Health Guide (August 2017). Everyone has their own stories. Some were blessed to experience a fantastic childhood whilst others weren’t so lucky. Unfortunately, for some who experienced a challenging past, their perception of life may remain negative and perhaps continue a downward spiral. In this article, certified life coach Terry Sidford gives her advice on how to change negative memories to positive ones by helping you make peace with your negative experiences.
Read other Impact articles on Great Health Guide, a hub of expert-inspired resources empowering busy women to embody health beyond image … purpose beyond measure.
IMPACT: What is Your Story?
written by Terry Sidford
As long as language has existed people have told stories. Stories help make sense of the world and even life itself, conveying an understanding of daily events or things learned from others or ourselves.
I believe stories can be very powerful, inspiring others to share and feel united in ways never expected. In my book, One Hundred Hearts, I gathered 100 surveys on the subject of courage from 100 women. I was astounded by readers’ responses, noting how they felt less alone and perhaps shared their own stories for the first time.
However, I also believe we do not need to be defined by our stories; they are just stories. In my personal experience, by changing my feelings in my story it ultimately changed my life and the people in it.
As a child, I thought I could fix anything but my mother’s drinking, my parents’ divorce and their bitter feelings towards each other I could not change. I thought I had a deep-seeded flaw. So, I went to school pretending to be happy. I figured that if I pretended well enough, no one would see my extreme sadness. I was sure no one would understand and I believed that I was the ONLY one experiencing this.
I began using my childhood story as an excuse to not show up fully and be seen. I used it to back up why I never finished college, why my body wasn’t perfect, why I let relationships define me and why I didn’t see myself as pretty. The list goes on. Although safe in my cocoon, people saw the crack of vulnerability leaking through.
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Look to your right…
Everything changed on the day I visited a wise lady who was recommended to me by a close friend. As she explained that my perception did not need to be my reality, I felt a paradigm shift. She noted the people in my past never wanted to hurt me and they were hurting worse than I was. They needed my unconditional love and understanding. I knew from the depths of my soul that she was right.
I was looking at my life story as a victim and thought that I had no choice but to live with this feeling my entire life. I finally had the opportunity to show my pain and the complete truth of who I am rather than hide my pain and pretend. This shift pointed me to my own strength and essence of who I am.
Now I am being seen and heard for who I am and not for my old story. I now tell people how lucky I am for my past, because it made me who I am today. It lets the people in my life be seen and heard for who they were and not defined by my old story.
I realized that we all have real stories, but by making peace with our past, we are free to be present in this moment and create our own story going forward.
Here are some tips on creating your own story with some simple questions.
• If you were the filmmaker of your life, what would the title be?
• If you were the writer of your life, what is the name of your book?
• What chapter are you living in now?
• What is the next chapter going to be?
Author of this article:
Terry Sidford has been a certified life coach in the United States for the past 15 years and has assisted scores of people in achieving their dreams. More information is available from Terry’s website
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