The Stories we tell ourselves

By Jade Sirisompan


Personal narratives are the stories we tell ourselves and others about who we are and what has happened to us. They shape our beliefs, emotions, and behavior, and are shaped by our experiences, cultural and social background, and relationships.


These narratives can be both positive and negative, and can influence our self-esteem, relationships, and mental health. For example, someone who has a positive narrative about themselves as a capable and deserving individual is likely to approach life challenges with more confidence and resilience. On the other hand, someone with a negative narrative about themselves as helpless or unworthy may struggle with feelings of low self-esteem and experience difficulties in relationships and personal achievements.


The development of personal psychological narratives is a dynamic process that changes over time as a person experiences new events and has new insights. It is possible for individuals to revise their narratives and change negative ones into more positive, empowering ones through therapy, self-reflection, and personal growth experiences.

In summary, personal narratives play a significant role in shaping our perception of ourselves and the world around us, and have the potential to either limit or enhance our well-being and personal growth.

The stories we tell ourselves

Here are some steps you can take to positively change your personal narrative:

  • Awareness: The first step in changing your personal narrative is to become aware of it. Take some time to reflect on the stories you tell yourself and others about yourself and your experiences. Identify the underlying beliefs and emotions that these narratives evoke.
  • Challenge negative beliefs: Look for evidence that contradicts your negative beliefs and consider alternative perspectives. Ask yourself if these beliefs are really true or if they are just an incomplete or distorted view of reality.
  • Reframe negative experiences: Try to reframe negative experiences in a more positive light. Focus on what you learned from the experience, what strengths you developed, and how it has helped you grow.
  • Seek out positive experiences: Seek out new positive experiences and focus on the positive aspects of your life. This can help shift your attention away from negative narratives and build a more positive one.
  • Surround yourself with positive people: Surround yourself with people who support and encourage you, and who help you to see the positive in yourself and in your experiences.
  • Practice gratitude: Practicing gratitude can help you focus on the positive aspects of your life and develop a more positive outlook.
  • Seek therapy: If you are struggling with negative narratives and they are affecting your mental health and well-being, consider seeking the help of a therapist. A therapist can work with you to identify and challenge negative beliefs, reframe negative experiences, and develop a more positive narrative.
Remember, changing your personal narrative is a process and it takes time, effort, and self-reflection. But with persistence and dedication, it is possible to develop a more positive and empowering narrative that can enhance your well-being and personal growth.