It’s possible to change yourself, your story without losing integrity. I used to think this was not so. I’d look at people and organisations that would keep up with the times and trends and think they were just a bunch of fakes, impostors, hacks just copying what was going on around them.
I now know this is not the case. It’s not to say that chasing the shiny new thing without having core principles equates to having no integrity.
So how to move with the times without losing yourself? How to change your story for the better without losing who you are?
Start with the Why as Simon Sinek would say.
Once you know what your non-negotiables in life are, and are certain of the change you’d like to see in the world, changing or improving your story to embrace personal growth, changing relationships, technological advances, power shifts in the world and other disruptions becomes easier.
I changed my personal story. As some of you know, I write microbiographies to reflecgt the whole of the invididual, personally, professionally and with warts, battle scars and all, all within 2000 characters to fit a LinkedIn summary (here’s mine).
The story I told myself, for way too long (I am 38!) was that my father’s negative attitude and dissatisfaction for his work, frustrations at not realising a career as a TV producer (which he left behind to work for the U.S. Government to provide a better life for his family) held me back in pursuing my craft as a story teller.
The truth of the matter is he did the best he could.
The person who held me back is no one but MYSELF.
It was time to mend my story. I did so on LinkedIn.
I cannot deny that it was my father’s love of good story, him taking he time to read me the short stories of O. Henry, Oscar Wilde and introducing me to Agatha Christie, which sparked the fire in me to tell stories.
Today, I honour my dad.
I started Skype calling him and seeing the happiness on his face as he watches my daughter Lucy crawl around, and clap her hands to music (he reckons she’s got musical talent) is joy that I would not have experienced if I never updated my personal story.
As for my core values they are:
- Find the positive spark in others (I certainly hadn’t with dad)
- Put people first (ironically I hadn’t really talked to dad in years! How’s that for putting people first?)
- Create opportunities for social inclusion
I’m not going to be tough on myself and say I’m a terrible daughter. I’m an improving person and I do my best overcoing my own blocks. This is not an exercise in beating yourself up.
My challenge to you is to examine the relationships in your life, be it with people, food, substances, work, etc… and ask yourself, am I telling the best possible story to myself to be in line with my core values?