Saturday, 16 July 2016


Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s talk “The danger of a single story” is hands down one of my favourite Ted talks ever. If you’ve ever come across it you’ll know that she speaks about the negative effects of a single story. How words and misinformed narratives can lead to poor representations; a disconnection between the way something is portrayed and it’s truth. Particularly how this has affected Africa, its people and the way it’s often portrayed in the western world. 

“That is how you create a single story, show a people as only one thing, over and over again, and that is what they become” 

- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

This concept of a single story got me thinking about how this can easily be applied on a personal level i.e. how we can unintentionally go about creating single stories for ourselves. Simply put, how our thoughts and the words we speak onto ourselves such as “I’m not good enough” “I’m not talented enough” or “I’m not pretty enough” if reinforced enough times can become the stories we learn to accept of ourselves. We can reduce ourselves to this singular narrative in which we simply aren’t
worthy enough for greatness or success and that our current situation, however challenging it may be is the only situation we’re destined to ever experience. 

I recently found myself doing this and realised that I could no longer keep reinforcing this single story. In other words, I had to change the narrative. One thing that’s become so clear as I've gotten older is that our thoughts become our circumstances.  What you speak onto yourself is what you become. If you believe that you aren't capable then that is the reality you will ultimately create for yourself.  Believing that we can “Change the narrative” gives us the control to redirect our lives in a more positive way. 

 Changing the narrative means that we might need to need to do a life review from time to time, to assess our current state and the decisions and thoughts that may have taken us off course. The fact that we are constantly creating ourselves and our stories means that we are responsible for the way our stories pan out. This also reminds us that our stories are changeable, that current situations are not final destinations. It can be easy to focus on what we’re lacking, however I recently came across a great quote in my current read; the Compound effect which goes “Make up in hard work for wherever you might be disadvantaged.” 

While there will always be things that we simply cannot control, its important to remained focus on the things that we can. If you find that your current situation is no longer honouring the kind of person you want to be ask yourself, how can I change the narrative? 

Love & Light 

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