The Stories We Tell Ourselves

Stories We Tell Ourselves

The past few days I’ve blogged about discovering who you are and I’ve encouraged you to take a look at how satisfied you are with your life.

Today I want to talk about stories and how all three topics fit together. 

I love storytelling.  I am our family storyteller, in fact I like it so much that I owned a scrapbook store for about 14 years and made a career out of helping people share their family stories. See above photo. I am an expert at stories.

Each of us has a narrative that runs through our life. We have stories that we tell about why and how we are where we are.

Have you ever stopped to consider your stories?  Are you the heroine, victim or villain?

It’s important to know, because we become the stories that we tell.  If your story is one of overcoming obstacles, trying hard things, pushing yourself to be better and always believing that you will triumph against all odds in the end that’s probably how your story will go.

If the story you are telling yourself is that others always had it better or easier or that you could succeed if only other people weren’t stopping you, you will always see yourself at the mercy of things that are outside yourself.

Imagine your story, what if you were able to write the narrative with the end you want in mind and then become the happy ending you’ve always wanted?

I am an expert at stories. I am an identity and purpose coach for Christian empty nesters. If you want to re-write, change or edit your story, if you want your personal narrative to be the story of the heroine who overcomes life’s obstacles and returns home with the kinds of experiences that have molded her into the amazing person that she dreamed of being. I can help.

Right now I am offering a special bite sized program to get a taste of what coaching can do for you. I have 4 spots left. The price will increase after these 4 spots are gone.  Don’t miss the chance to discover if coaching can change your story from a horror story, one that evokes feelings of fear or dread to an epic tale of adventures and triumphs for the heroine.

Life Satisfaction Wheel – What’s Your Score?

Life Satisfaction Wheel
In my previous post I asked if you know who you are in this season of your life. Now I want to ask you if you know what you want in your future.   I have clients who are struggling with mental exhaustion – they feel drained, scared and paralyzed. Their life has changed. Their kids have left home, they don’t have the same schedule and connections that they used to. They tell me that they have spent so many years taking care of others needs and wants that they don’t even know what they want anymore.  

Some of them numb their feelings with distractions or food, anything to avoid feeling useless.  At the end of the day, they still feel useless because they were numbing instead of doing.  

In my coaching practice, I use a Life Satisfaction Wheel to help my clients know where they are, and start thinking about where they want to be.  The Life Satisfaction Wheel has 12 life priorities that cover almost every aspect of life.  You give yourself a number from 0-10 based on how satisfied you are with that part of your life.  

I was shocked when I filled out the Life Satisfaction Wheel and I didn’t give myself any “10’s”, I love my life but I couldn’t give any part of it a “10”?  

Using a Life Satisfaction Wheel really helps take stock of where we are.  Keep in mind, it’s not the Wheel that helps us change – it’s the questions that we answer after we fill out the wheel.  

Here is a link to a PDF of the same Life Satisfaction Wheel that I use with my clients.  As you look at each category, ask yourself, on a scale of 0-10, how satisfied are you with that part of your life.  In order to get a 10, your life doesn’t have to be perfect, but you should be happy where you are with that aspect of your life.  A 10 simply means that you are where you want to be in that part of your life right now. No changes are necessary.  

In my case, after I asked myself why I had given myself the scores that I did, I realized that I had at least 4 – “10’s”. It was the magic of asking myself the right questions.   

Here are some questions to ask yourself after filling out the Life Satisfaction Wheel:  
o Why did I give myself this score in this category?
o What would a 10 look like?What am I willing to do to get a 10?
o How would I prioritize each category?
o What are my top 5 priorities?  

If you find this Life Satisfaction Wheel helpful, you might also enjoy working with me to really discover who you are, what you want in your life, and how to get it.    Your new identity awaits in my “Kids Are Gone – Now What?” $99 coaching program. This simple program helps you rediscover who you are, what you want and how to get it.   This program is a great introduction to some of the benefits of life coaching and bringing greater clarity and purpose to your life.

Who Am I?

Who Am I?

I am still discovering who I am. When my kids were at home my roles were well  defined. I was a wife, mom and business owner. I took care of my family – I taught them, loved them, cleaned up after them and I went to work and took care of employees, customers, budgets, inventory and sales. Everything seemed so neat and tidy.

Then my kids left home, got married, had families and I closed my business during the economic downturn. All of the sudden my identity changed. I was still a mom, but I didn’t have much to do with the day to day lives of my kids, my house stayed pretty clean, there are only two of us home and we are pretty self-sufficient. I didn’t have employees to direct, manufacturers to talk to, sales to track or inventory to manage. So, who am I now? It’s been a journey to re-discover myself as an individual.

I also know who I am NOT. For instance, I know that I am NOT a quitter. That is a relief because I am trying to lose the pounds that I put on during the quarantine – and I know that I can do it because I am NOT a quitter.

I do know that I am visible, I have a voice, I have something valuable to offer. These are pieces of my identity that I am practicing. As I am practicing, I am discovering the visible Jennifer with a voice who has something valuable to offer. I am re-discovering myself as an adult with no kids at home. 

I like the woman that I have become. She’s pretty amazing!

I like knowing who I am.

It’s never too late to get to know yourself.

If you are having an identity crisis. If you want to know who you are now.  If you want to rediscover how amazing you are, you are the perfect person for my “Kids Are Gone – Now What?” $99 coaching program. This bite sized program helps you rediscover who you are and what you want in your life.

This is the perfect time to discover how amazing you really are!  

A change of plans…

A change of plans...

My JennieB Coaching email normally goes out on Monday nights. It usually takes me between 30-60 minutes to write an email, and I typically do it early in the afternoon on Mondays.  Yesterday was an exception.  I had a topic planned out however it just didn’t seem quite right in the midst of national upheaval over race, demonstrations, death and destruction. I felt like I had to say something.  So as I watched my Facebook feed, I made notes.

My Facebook feed is pretty tightly curated. I have hidden or unfriended people who’s messages are not uplifting.  But, my feed was full and it seemed like everyone had their own take on what I should do because I am a white person who has white privilege. The more I read, the more confused I became. Advice was contradictory and comments were swift and passionate.  It seemed like everyone was pointing a finger and calling everyone else racist. 

I was afraid and uneasy. I didn’t want to make a mistake with the tone or message of my email. I didn’t want people to point their finger at me and tell me that I was doing it all wrong. I felt anxious sitting at my computer. If I say something, to some it’s going to be wrong. If I don’t say something, to others I am wrong. 

I don’t like being wrong.

I felt anxious, I felt fearful, I felt defensive, I felt confused. I had a LOT of feelings.

It’s OK to have a lot of feelings. It was even OK for me to step away from my computer after struggling for hours about what to write about in my email. 

This morning brought clarity, although I still might get it wrong. People might not like what I have to say. They might disagree – even loudly and passionately. That’s OK. I don’t know exactly what to do, but I can do one thing, and then I can do another and then I can do more, each right step building on the previous step.  

I am listening. I am trying to understand. I bought a book – and then another. I started reading “Me and White Supremacy“, a book recommended by a friend who is mixed race. I am doing the exercises and I am learning. The exercises are hard to do. They help me understand that there are things about race that I haven’t had the eyes to see or ears to hear. 

I still feel anxious, fearful, defensive and confused. I think that’s part of the lessons I am learning. I keep wanting to make great plans and goals for how I am going to change. How I will be different because of what is happening in our country right now, but I have been through this many times over the years. I want this time to be different, and instead of promises and goals, I am going to do one thing and learn from it and then choose another thing and learn from that. I want to open my eyes and see, and hear with my ears and feel with my heart. That’s my message this week.

May we each examine our thoughts and feelings on these topics, and wherever we are, consciously act with greater compassion from a place of understanding.