Life is indeed a strange and beautiful experience. Unless we think it should follow a particular script - Tom Asacker
Sociologist Anthony Giddens suggests that self-identity is not something we are given....it must be created and sustained in the activities of the individual. Self-identity is the self as understood by the individual in terms of his or her biography. Self-identity is therefore reliant upon the capacity to keep a particular narrative going.
We can only become the person we want to become by acting out in the world a story we are able to tell. Raising conscious awareness of the stories we tell ourselves is at the heart of narrative coaching. Narrative coaching helps people be present to all of their experience, embrace their whole self and their whole stories, and be more accountable for, and constructive with, their narrative patterns. "How does the story I am telling serve me?" is a key question to explore. If we want to be fully alive at work, we need to tell stories that serve us.
Of course biography isn't "truth" - it's our own personal fiction - our minds taking threads of personal history and tying them together with knots of (made-up) memories. So, we bring meaning to our life through the stories we tell to ourselves and to others. However our need to create a narrative around our actions and experiences often stops us from living fully and audaciously because often we're following a script (authored by our parents mostly).
No life is free from pain but suffering occurs in response to our thoughts: “poor me”; “why me?”; “this always happens to me”; “I am so stupid”; “if only I / he / she / they wouldn’t……”. It is our attachment to our story that causes suffering.
So, there is an inherent paradox about the stories we tell: they provide us with a coherent sense of self-identity, but our stories can keep us down. Which is absolutely fine of course, if down is where you want to stay. Down is known, down is secure.
If however, you'd like to consider what would happen if security was not the point of your existence, let’s have a conversation to see if I can help.
Beyond personal branding: your personal manifesto
Beyond the CV: finding the threads that tie your story together
Beyond burn out: designing your vital life
Beyond you: connecting to your legacy
Can I help you re-connect to your genius?
What people say
“It’s not overstating things to say that I found the whole thing utterly transformational - it’s very hard to put words around that but it felt like on almost a cellular level I reconnected with who I am. I spent 20 minutes sitting in silence on the beach on Monday morning which is not what I do - I am always spinning so many plates that I rule out anything nurturing as something I don’t have time for but I felt a profound (all these words I never use and which sound so cliched!) kind of urgency to be more truly me and to take the time to nurture that.”
“Thank you again for the workshop, it is a phenomenal concept/course and you are amazing for having had the vision and commitment to create it! It is inspiring to see someone doing what they love and doing it so well.”
“Thank you for the richness, breadth and quality of the preparation, delivery and learning. You've found a wonderful outlet for B's talents as a speaker - how precious to see him a new light.”