What is your story in four words or less? I posed this same questions to the women in my Midlife Reinvention Facebook Group the other day. Take a minute to think and write down your story. What do you think about the words? How do you feel when you read them?
Here are some of the words the women in the group wrote: “Confused, new chapter, the year of ME, stuck, all over the place, bored, purposeless, it’s finally my time, mother, divorced, grandmother, teacher, the year of ME, stressed, in a rut, lucky in love, time to breathe, and she came, she conquered.”
Now ask yourself another question: “What words do I want in my four word story? Before you answer, take a minute to reflect back on your original story. Are there any words you want to keep? What words do you want to change? Now go ahead and write down what you want your four word story to say? How do you feel when you read these words? How would you feel if these words were your story?
Here are some of words the women in my Midlife Reinvention Facebook Group wrote they wanted in their stories:
“Empowered, meaningful, inspiring, purposeful, motivated, blessed, calm, freedom, control, action, enjoying life, love, peace, the year of ME, lucky in love, moving forward, legacy, adventure, travel, making a difference and she came, she conquered.”
I was struck by one woman’s post in particular.
Cindy (Not real name) Recently diagnosed with breast cancer
Barbara Wasserman Cindy, How can we support you? You and Julia Louise Dreyfus are on the same journey. What do you want your four word story to be next year at this time?
Cindy Cancer free, healthy and happy
Barbara Wasserman Cindy, I’m putting a reminder on my October 2, 2018 calendar to check in on that powerful story. One more question, what do you want your story to be while you are going through treatment?
Cindy Good question!
Cindy Strong, fighting, kicking ass!
Barbara Wasserman What would you need to THINK to live that story?
Cindy I can do this. I have overcome big things before. I am strong, I am a fighter.
Barbara Wasserman You go girl. Now that’s a powerful story!!
Barbara Wasserman Hey Cindy, What is one thing that you can do today that embodies strong, fighting, kicking ass?
Cindy I can create a strong, fighting, kicking ass mantra that I repeat over and over
Barbara Wasserman Cindy, You’ve Got This!!
Cindy and I went through the same process that you just did. She wrote her four word story (recently diagnosed with breast cancer), she thought about how it made her feel and then she wrote the story that she was longing for (healthy, happy and cancer free). But we did not stop there. The story Cindy wanted required a JOURNEY STORY (strong, fighting, kicking ass) to get her from where she is today to where she wants to be.
So what about you, What is your Journey Story? What do you need to be in order to get you from where you are today to where you want to go?
Once you create YOUR Journey Story, ask yourself the same very important question I asked Cindy: What do you need to think in order to live your Journey Story? You may be asking yourself why this is such an important question. My answer is this-without understanding the mindset needed to accomplish our Journey Story, we fall victim to what I like to call Journey Stealers. Journey Stealers are thoughts that keep us from accessing our Journey Story. Journey Stealers tell us that we are too busy, too tired, too old, that our new story is silly, requires too much work or is not important. If we let our Journey Stealers take over, we get stuck in our old story, proving that we are in fact too busy, old or tired. By changing the way we think, we disempower our Journey Stealers. For instance, Cindy fended off her Journey Stealer by reminding herself of times in her life when she felt strong, kicked ass and overcame big hurdles. This gave her the energy and belief she needed to embody her Journey Story.
Are you ready to set yourself up to move from your current story to the story that you want? If so, enter your email below to download my 6 Steps to Creating Your Just Right Midlife Story Worksheet.
For those of you who would like to make more connections with other midlife women, I invite you to join my Midlife Reinvention Facebook Group. You will gain access to training and resources from me and connect to almost 300 like-minded midlife women who inspire and support one another as they navigate and create their most fulfilling next acts.