Overcoming The Clown

When our Stories of Self No Longer Serve Us

I couldn’t understand how the adults would assume that just because I liked to make people laugh and be silly in the schoolyard, that I couldn’t be serious when the situation warranted it?

There was nothing I took more seriously than crossing the road, and so I was surprised to learn that by being silly in contexts where it was appropriate and harmless, that people would assume that I lacked the ability to turn it off and sincerely focus on a task. Even as a ten year old I innately knew that people are multidimensional and behave in different ways in different contexts.

Photo by Nareeta Martin on Unsplash

It’s important to remember that we are not our stories, they are just the lenses through which we view ourselves or others. They influence us greatly, yes, but they do not make up the totality of our identity.

“This work makes it clear that when we are operating from a problematic story, it is the narrative rather than ourselves that is the problem.”

Alternative stories are often just sitting in the background, ready for us to shine a light upon and pull to the forefront of our relationship with ourselves. The story of myself as The Clown, somewhat tamed from my early years although never fully suppressed, need not be the singular defining story of my life. I still love making people laugh. I still love being silly. But I choose to recognise that clowning about is only one part of my story. My other stories of self include that of the playful mother, the spoken word artist, the nature lover, the trail runner, the avid skier, the fearless dancer, the dry cynic, and the ever-curious questioner.

Storytelling | Narrative | Systems Change | Spoken Word | Currently writing a book on storytelling, narrative & systems change | www.alinasiegfried.com/book

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