Are you reliving the story of your past? The story of being the victim of your circumstances?
I was until a few days ago.
The other day, I asked a handful of people to give me feedback regarding the description of a program I was putting together to help others rewrite their story.
Twenty iterations later, I still couldn’t come up with a description that felt “right”.
I went back to what I knew.
I went back to the story that got me here.
The story of my abusive childhood.
The story of living at the Russian orphanage.
The story of my alcoholic mother.
As I wrote the last words, I felt a shift.
I was taken back to a memory from five years ago.
The time when I was sitting around the dinner table, writing the story that later became the backbone for Overcoming Odds.
The other day, I shared that same story with a handful of people.
Their feedback changed the way I saw myself.
Many shared how my story left them thinking that I still identified with what happened to me.
It was hard to accept their remarks.
Part of me wanted to fight back.
Then, I realized the reason why I identified so strongly with their feedback.
Their remarks threatened my identity.
Thousands of personal development hours later, I realized there’s still work to be done.
There is no endpoint to growth.
I realized that the story that got me here, may not be the story that gets me to the next point.
The story that I still identify with on some level.
The story of my victimhood.
1. The retelling of my past hardships and identifying with them. Simultaneously, reliving some of the past trauma on a deeper level. Changing this part of my story and identity required a deeper understanding that I am not what happened to me. I am not my thoughts, I am their observer.
2. Using the story of my past to identify with others. The shared pain and trauma. In doing this, I realized the disservice I was doing to my growth, as well as the growth of others. You never know who's watching. You never know how your story may impact somebody else’s story.
A friend of mine once said, “We teach others what we need to learn ourselves.”
As I begin this new journey of helping others rewrite their story, I will be starting a journey of my own.
The rewriting of my story and how I identify with it.
Asking myself the tough questions, “Am I content with the story I am creating? If not, why not? What is holding me back?”
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
I am eager to take this first step into the unknown.
Oleg is the Founder & Executive Director of Overcoming Odds Podcast & Experiences. He started Overcoming Odds to help others overcome their own odds, to provide a safe space for others to share their stories, and in doing so, to find inner-power to move forward in a positive way. Through storytelling and shared experiences, Overcoming Odds restores a sense of community and belonging, provides a safe place to develop one’s individual voice and connects individuals through unique life circumstances.