The foundation of identity and personal values reside within the stories we tell. Dan McAdams, a professor of psychology sums it up well, “Life stories do not simply reflect personality. They are personality, or more accurately, they are important parts of personality… traits, goals, and values.” Storytelling is how we learn — about the world, but more importantly, about ourselves. There is significance in how we arrange the details of lives, and power in knowing that we can always change it as we grow.
Storytelling is the act of building a narrative to make meaning. It’s a way of making sense of the moments that have mattered most in our life, and arranging them into highlights, lowlights, and points of growth. In turn, it can also reveal places we’ve yet to discover. It is an extension of self reflection and expression that places details and observations about oneself into a medium of expression (anything from a short story to poem to song to video).
As we consider our own story, it’s important to remember we have the power to change this narrative. Storytelling is a skill not strictly reserved for fiction writers and movie makers — we all do it every day. We can improve our ability to stop telling ourselves (and others) a particular story, and replace it with something new to help us grow in a way we want.