Step 3: What’s Your Story?
Reflecting on your back story is an important step in the self-discovery process. It’s also my most favorite. It’s so easy to overlook the value within our stories. And that value isn’t confined to the high points of our story. There is great value in our lowest points too.
In my book, The Gift of Knowing You (2021), here’s what I share about my own backstory:
To benefit and learn from our backstory and understand where we are now, we need to be mindful of where we’ve been. This is something I know about all too well, because once I allowed my backstory to overshadow my joy.
“It took a long time to come to terms with the diseased relationship I shared with my father. Thoughts about my earliest years used to make me angry, always bringing tears to my eyes. It is at those moments I would open my journal, confront the upset, and write about what I was feeling. Journaling enabled me to work through my unresolved pain. I journaled away the bad stuff, prayed for better tomorrows, and promised myself that my fractured childhood would be the gateway to a functional adulthood.”
Every chapter of your story has value
Think about your story; the entire series of events that brought you to where you are today. One by one, reflect on the defining moments in your life, both the good and bad experiences. Ease in and take the who, what, when, where, and why approach. You can use the “Appreciating Your Layers” worksheet in my free Discovery Starter Guide. Challenge yourself to dig deeper and focus on how the experience changed you or altered the trajectory of your life.
As you unravel your story, notice your reactions. Does it illicit a warm and fuzzy feeling or does your body tense up? Does it bring a smile to your face or tears to your eyes? Your gut reactions are important and telling. Allow yourself to feel it and document your thoughts.
Questioning, self-reflection, and self-discovery are key to connecting with who we are. Discovering and living with purpose is our ticket to living authentically and inspiring others to do the same. Knowing what matters to us and what we stand for, and being aware of life’s tiniest moments, both good and bad, is the foundation on which we can create our best lives.—The Gift of Knowing You, 2021
I hope you found the initial steps of your self-discovery inviting and informative. I welcome your thoughts and comments on your discovery beginnings.