Storyjacking™ is a technique that can be used in several ways, but at its core it is the recognition that stories are important. We hear stories of success and stories of failure. We tell ourselves stories about ourselves and about others; some stories are painful, while other stories lift our spirits. In each story we are playing out different parts and depending on the part we are playing, it makes all the difference in how we move forward in our lives.
Stories are epically important to how we view and interact in the world around us. We define ourselves, our abilities and even our goals by the stories we believe and share. These stories become part of our personal view of our world. Organizations also create goals, missions, visions and values, and those become intertwined with the story they tell and believe. Stories attract us to our friends, our lovers, our community of people and clients. Stories fill out our memories and impact our feelings and adjust how we think about everything. Every now and again when we notice something isn’t working or isn’t feeling right, we need to notice the story that we have assigned to the situation. If our story isn’t serving us, negatively impacts our families, our communities, or our organizations, we might just have to find a way to “StoryJack” the story, transforming it, and creating a new story that we resonate with so that we can “Jack Into” a better version or experience the story – and our life – in a new way.
How StoryJacking works –
1: We “StoryJack” a story when we change it. Maybe there is a story we’ve heard or a story we tell ourselves and we want to rewrite the story, changing the message into something that works better for us. Maybe we have a story about not being good enough, or smart enough; these would be good stories to StoryJack. It can happen with a story we’ve been told, like a fairytale, where we change the story into something more meaningful, maybe the princess kicks butt and saves the prince for a change. Really, we StoryJack all the time. Anytime you create a vision of a future that is different than the moment you find yourself in, you are working on StoryJacking. The people who successfully StoryJack their lives go to the next step in the process of Jacking Into the story.
2: We can “Jack Into” a story that resonates with us. We feel the connection to our new story and “Jack,” that emotion into our own story. We have all had that experience when we hear something that creates a powerful and positive emotion or excites us. We want to see and feel ourselves in the story. We have a resonance that occurs and it deepens our understanding of ourselves or the world around us. It’s in these moments that the story and you connect. “Jacking Into” a new story can be exciting and even scary. It may be moving from the story of being a student to becoming a fully fledged adult. Maybe it’s shifting from being an employee to becoming an entrepreneur. In business, it may be shaking up the story of the dysfunctional team and creating the new story of the Team that Rocks It! In intimate relationships, it might be the move from being “unloveable” to seeing ourselves as “loveable.” These story shifts are epic. To do this well, we have to really create a story that matters to us. These shifts can be so big that it is important to create a rich and full bodied story, to create an excitement that propels you into your next story. We won’t commit to stories that feel lukewarm to us. No one wants the cold oatmeal story! We want the exciting, passionate, and empowering story. We may want our story to be a force for good, even a force for change. We may want to share our gifts with our families, with our communities, with the world. But, no change happens without a strong desire and StoryJacking is about how we create and manage the desire to change we want to have.
StoryJacking is rewriting the stories that aren’t serving us and creating a more powerful connection to the stories that do serve us. Then we can “Jack Into” them. Then the power of our new narrative can be felt – and shared.
I will be writing more about the process in the coming weeks. It all begins with once upon a time…