The Power of Narratives

The Power of Narratives

Personal NarrativesA narrative is a story of an account of various connected events in our life that is shared verbally or written.

Our lives are composed of many stories, overlapping stories, stories of joy, stories of pain, stories of love, stories of challenges, stories of successes, stories of failures and stories of contradictions too!

Stories are powerful in as much as they can enhance or destroy one’s life.

  • Whose story is it?
  • Who tells the story?
  • How does it get told?
  • Where does it get told?

In the TED Talk by Chimamanda Adichie, “The danger of a single story” the idea of ‘stereotypes’ is discussed as being incomplete, because each of us has many stories about our lives not just a single story.

I agree with the ideas shared by Chimamanda Adichie about the danger of the single story we have of people and places, and when we have only a single story about them, then this is what they become.

However, her talk got me to reflect on another aspect of the single story i.e. the one we as individuals, narrate about ourselves and is reflected in the way we live our lives.

The life I live is created by the story I tell” (Abraham Hicks)

The above quote suggests that I am the author of my story, which is an account of my life, the meaning I draw from my experiences and how this is reflected in the way I live.

The notion of being ‘the author’ of my story gives me the licence to edit my story with the view to bring meaning and purpose to my life. Doesn’t it?

  • Why then do we experience moments of low self-worth, or question our ability to focus and achieve what we believe in?
  • What aspect about our ‘past’ experiences within the narrative limit us rather than propel us to move ahead?
  • How does our narrative play itself out in our interactions and communications with others?
  • How do we contribute to the stereotypes that others create about us?
  • What is the single story we have of ourselves, which is what we become in the eyes of others.



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