As she worked on her life story, Carol realized when and why she decided that she was doomed to repeat her mother’s unhappy life. Looking at the past from an adult’s point of view set Carol free to create a different ending to her story, although this did not happen overnight.
As Carol learned, pretense is a hard habit to break. Again and again she found herself trying to be who she thought she was supposed to be, and then being too exhausted to figure out what she wanted to do. When she finally accepted she was a quiet, contemplative person who needed solitude to be productive, Carol ended her relationship and went back to school to get a graduate degree in psychology. Today she uses her insight to help women overcome the internal barriers that hold them back from success.
“I could not have gotten where I am without the struggle I went through,” Carol said when she called to let me know how life and work were going. “Nor could I bear with clients when they get frustrated with the slowness of change. I know eventually they’ll see that today is not yesterday, and that opportunities abound. Then just as I did, they’ll feel as though they woke up from a bad dream.”
An added bonus to Carol’s career success is the man she met at a psychology conference. “We have the same values and temperament, we like time alone, and time together. Most importantly, we both like our work.”
Carol’s experience with money, work and relationships improved when she realized she had rejected herself to fit in with the group, the first group being her family. Now she is in the work that capitalizes on her talents and strengths, which gives her a distinct advantage in the marketplace. While other counselors are trying to survive, her practice is thriving.
“It took a long time for me to listen to my inner voice, and to stop paying attention to what highly extroverted people do and say. That was because I felt guilty about not doing enough, when in reality I was doing too much, and none of it as well as when I focus.”
Like Carol, you can rewrite your life story so that it reflects the desires of your authentic self, the person you are apart from family and cultural conditioning.
Next: Tips to rewrite your story with success