We're always telling a story. You, me, my husband and I when we're together. All of us. The story we tell defines us to the world. It helps everyone else make sense and categorize us, mentally placing us within their realm of understanding. While I hate the categorizing and perhaps you do too, the upside is that we can make conscious choices to craft the story that we want people to tell about us.
You’re likely already doing this. You make the choice to not scream at your twins in public because you don’t want people to throw you dirty looks but if the twins were behaving at home the way they are at Babies R Us, you might make a different choice. Or at work? You want your new boss to think of you as a competent problem-solver so you make the choice to not ask for help with your first project even though you’re unclear on expectations. Or what about making the choice to avoid following through on a conversation with your partner about household tasks or childcare responsibilities, deciding it’s easier if you tackle it yourself?
Making choices yes, but making them well, consciously? No.
Conscious choices, making decisions deliberately and with intention, involves actively taking two things into consideration: what the choice says about you and how the choice serves you. For example, what do the choices above tell the world? And are those choices serving the decision-maker?
It never serves us, even in the short-term, to make choices that tell a different story than the truth, that you don’t ask for help when you need it, for example. Choices like these tell the story of a different person than who you actually are. There are already so many factors in the world (think: body image, relationship expectations and gender performance) that challenge your authentic self and in doing so, take a toll on your confidence. Don’t add fuel to the fire by making choices that minimize you. You must make choices that show the world who you really are so when you are faced with something that feels inauthentic, you are more confident challenging it.
Make conscious choices that tell the world your story... the one you want them to hear. Not choices made by default or fear but choices that speak volumes to the kind of person you are, serving you in the moment and down the road. The story of who you really are is the one we need to hear. And you’re the only one who can tell it.