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Your Personal Highlight Reel

by Beth on March 15th, 2021

Our need to make sense of the world causes our brains to create a narrative that explains our experiences. The resulting story shapes our personal identity or what we believe about ourselves – what kind of person we are, what we are capable of. These beliefs influence the goals we set and the outcomes we achieve.

The good news is that you are the author of your own story, which means you can edit your narrative in a way that results in a more positive self-concept. You can shift your guiding story to one that empowers you to pursue desired goals.

One way to do this is to make your success experiences more salient, so they are more likely to become part of your story. In his book, Exceptional, Dan Cable suggests that we all need a personal highlight reel. You’ve seen the sports clips of professional athletes that replay their best performances. LeBron James dunking the ball again and again. Serena Williams hitting killer shots on the court dozens of times in a row. This helps build a story of their excellence.

In the same way, reflecting on moments when you were at your best can help you reframe your own story to reflect a more positive version of yourself. Here’s how to create your personal highlight reel:

  1. Take some time to think back over your life and remember experiences that made you proud. You can start with high school and college. What were some of your biggest achievements? How about your career? Your personal life? Write down all of the memories you can recall of times when you were your best self.
  2. Keep your list handy so you can add to it and reread it. Any time you do something that you feel good about, add it to your highlight reel. And while you have it out, reread it in order to keep your highlights top of mind. On days when the story you’re telling yourself isn’t so positive, pull out your highlight reel and read it again.

Unfortunately, bad is stronger than good. We remember times when we failed more easily than we remember our successes. That’s why creating and reviewing your personal highlight reel is so important. It reinforces your story as someone who is capable of achieving great things. And that will set you up for your next success.

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