‘They write their own stories’

If you’re in England, and you’ve seen a television lately, you’ll know that the English football team have re-written history by progressing through the World Cup via a penalty shootout.

Much of the nation is gripped. And I am personally blown away by how their manager is showing up. I’m noticing words like honesty, integrity, and generosity coming up in relation to him. I believe, he has done some serious self-reflection and is showing that leadership can come in many different forms. Quiet, solid, grounded, respectful, emotionally engaged leadership can create incredible results.

One of the key things Gareth Southgate, the England manager said this week was:

“We’re trying to write our own history, and I’ve talked to the players about that. They write their own stories. We don’t have to be bowed by the pressure of the past.”

We are all more than capable of writing our own stories. I’ve shared that concept numerous times on this blog, but I believe it’s one of the most powerful things we have available to us. We are the authors, the painters, the producers of our own lives, we can decide what happens and what doesn’t, we can decide our perspective on a situation.

In many of our workshops we share an ‘old story/new story’ process where attendees are invited to speak their current story about an area of their life, and then move away from it into a ‘new’ story. For example, an attendee might begin with ‘my job is boring and frustrating and I can’t get on with those around me and it’s driving me to lose sleep and over eat.’ We then invite attendees to lose that story – let it become the old story, and we invite them to make up a new reality, such as ‘I am looking for my next interesting role, I have loads of experience and I’m soon to find a place to bring all of my skills, I pay attention to what I eat and I can sleep when I want to.’ The new story might feel fake to begin with, but we fake it till we make it, and so when we own the new story, it inevitably becomes our reality.

Who knows what’s to come with the England team, for me it’s been such a powerful display of leadership, team playing, respect, belief and commitment. And an example to us all about how influential we are over our journeys through life.

This is powerful stuff. And we are considering running a short workshop in London just on stories. If you would like to express your interest in such a session please do so here.

Sending love to you as always,

Hannah and the Bird team

Photo by Tanja Heffner on Unsplash

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