What Is Story Shaping?

Once, during a particular season of struggle, I was talking with a friend about myself, and a lightbulb went on: I was telling a story of struggle. I had heard this story before.

Often when I have reflected on my life and my work, my focus has been on the hard parts of the journey. But now I was ready to change my perspective – and my story.

Scripture tells us “let your gentleness be evident to all.” So I was thinking that we should include ourselves in that “all” and find a gentler way to tell the stories of our lives and times.

A lot of complaining comes from within, you know? I have discovered, however, that it is possible to shift the focus away from concern and complaint and toward a more hopeful and grateful point of view.

But it does take some practice and attention.

I call it story shaping.

I’m Minnie Lamberth, and I’m a writer in Montgomery, Alabama.

Over the last 30 years, I have listened to hundreds of stories. Usually these were the stories businesses were trying to tell – because my work has been in the marketing field. But I’ve also listened to countless individuals trying to present their views on life itself.

When there’s trouble, and there usually is, I’ll often hear a fussiness rise up. Or fear. It’s my instinct to say words that convey: it’s OK, you’re OK, everything is OK.

That’s the kind of thing many of us rush to say to our family and friends. But what about to ourselves?

Story shaping is about changing your perspective on the stories you tell about yourself – and the beliefs that underlie those stories.

Born from my own journey of story shaping, I’ve created some resources to help you do the same, starting with The Magnificent Journey, a free weekly e-newsletter delivering purposeful perspective to your inbox. To join me in this journey, enter your email address in the subscription box on this page, and watch for your weekly email from [email protected].

— Minnie Lamberth