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February 15, 2024 4 mins

Retell a painful story to highlight your best traits

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
Welcome to Before Breakfast, a production of iHeartRadio. Good Morning.
This is Laura. Welcome to the Before Breakfast podcast. Today's
tip is that you can reshape a memory, particularly if

(00:22):
you have had a negative experience in the past that
continues to bother you to some degree. You might be
able to highlight a particular part of that memory that
shows something you like about yourself. That can make a
negative memory a little less bad. I am sure we
have all had experiences in our lives that haven't gone

(00:43):
exactly how we wanted. If we're not careful, these can
scar pretty deeply. For instance, I know someone who had
a rough start to college and wound up needing to
withdraw with failing grades. Yikes, right, This person was smart
enough to go to college and had family members who
were incredibly proud of them for doing so, and then

(01:06):
that happened. The first story that comes to mind is failure.
But after some dark months, this person decided to try
again with lots of studying and organizational help, and she
wound up doing okay. With some work, she was able
to reshape the original memory. There is a difference between

(01:29):
failing at something specific and being a failure. She was
able to rewrite the memory as being willing to try
hard things, and that when something didn't work out, she
was tough enough to learn from her mistakes that reshaped
the memory into something more positive. Perhaps you have something

(01:52):
similar in your life. I probably don't have to nudge
you to call up the unpleasant memory. Maybe you already
think about it way more than you intend to, So
the next time you are doing so, see if you
can reshape it a little bit. Think about what you
like most about yourself. What traits make you proud when

(02:18):
you've been at your best? What were you doing now?
Think about this unpleasant memory. Were there any moments in
this event or moments afterwards that could have featured these
traits you like about yourself? Yes, the business went bankrupt,
but you were a really good mentoring boss with your

(02:40):
employees while it lasted. Yes, you shouldn't have lost your temper,
and you are now dealing with the fallout from that.
But that also stems from being intensely loyal to the
people in your life and not wanting to see them
be unhappy, and of itself is not a bad thing,

(03:02):
even if there were ramifications that weren't great. Anyway, we
have all had low moments in life, and it's good
to learn from these when we can. I am not
in favor of letting ourselves completely off the hook when
we have made big messes. But when all we are
learning is that we are failures or that we are
terrible people, that is not going to be particularly helpful.

(03:28):
Better to see if there is some good trait to
hook on and then reshape the memory With that in mind,
it becomes part of life story rather than something we
can't get past. In the meantime, this is Laura. Thanks

(03:50):
for listening, and here's to making the most of our time.
Thanks for listening to Before Breakfast. If you've got questions, ideas,
or feedback, you can reach me at Laura at Laura
vandercam dot com. Before Breakfast is a production of iHeartMedia.

(04:19):
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Laura Vanderkam

Laura Vanderkam

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