Re-write your origin story, be a creator. (From my upcoming book)
(This is a chapter from my upcoming book)
Over my years of mentoring high-performing people with depression, I’ve come to realize that even though you may have the best environment to grow up and thrive, you can still find fault with something. Seeking perfection only leads to disappointment.
I met a young man named Jake, who has 2 relatively well-to-do parents. He did well in school, did well in sports, and went to a prestigious university overseas. Returning to Singapore, he found a well-paying job, and to most people, he would be considered successful. However, he suffered from depression.
Many counselors did not know what to do as the standard template did not apply to him. He could not blame it on his upbringing, he did not fail — he was simply unhappy.
When I met him, he felt like a very arrogant fellow. He was cold and was trying to push away anything that tried to open up to him. Like many others with depression, he did not want to engage and just wanted to be alone. He did not have many friends and was focused on his studies and now on his work. He felt busy all the time and did not feel that he had any time for himself. When he did nothing, he felt guilty.
After the first meeting, I sat with him to help him with his introspection and shared with him how I wrote my narrative and I walked him through a task of what he should do when he is ready.
1. Rewrite the origin story
Memory can often make you focus on some specific trauma that you have and not look at the whole picture. And your life can be based on a few specific events, and unknowingly, and then your story starts to form around these specific events.
a) To rewrite the origin story, you need to think back to your childhood. Start from as young as you can remember and let memories flow for a couple of minutes. Try to remember vivid details and you can. Try to make it tangible and continue to explore further, not stopping on specific memories.
b) Write down the story, focusing on events, relationships, and experiences. Note down who you met, what you learned, and when did something significant happen that shifted your beliefs or created your…