Considering the profound effect of the messages from Bo Eason and Dr. Mcayla Sarno, I felt it was important to share my observations and help you make sense of what it means to have “a story.”
In case you’re short on time… Here’s the cliff notes of How to Tell Your Story:
1. You have more than one story.
2. Your “deepest, darkest moment” story probably has something to do with your purpose or what you’re doing and how you’re doing it.
3. Not every situation calls for you to share the story of your deepest, darkest moment.
4. Most negative beliefs stem from childhood experiences or an unprocessed traumatic event – and that might be one story.
5. Once you conquer those negative beliefs you may very well feel compelled to share that story to help others.
6. Your “story” doesn’t belong in every speech/video/conference call, but stories in general help us to connect!
7. We all connect on a deeper level when we learn to be better storytellers.
8. If you don’t feel like you have a story or any stories… I guarantee it’s there! It might just be too uncomfortable for your brain to go there, but everyone has a story. Go to a safe place to figure it out… like therapy.
EVERYONE has a story, and you have more than one story! Learn to be a better storyteller! In order to do that, you have to do some work connecting with who you are and yes, it may be scary and uncomfortable for some. The good news is this…the more that thought scares you, the more powerful your story!
Here’s MY big ah-ha moment after Smart Success…
The difference between those people we connect with and those who make us feel a little stiff, on-guard and uncomfortable is that those people who make us feel a little uncomfortable are actually pretty uncomfortable with letting people get to know them. We can feel that. I’m sorry. You’re not hiding it very well.
These folks haven’t themselves yet connected with who they are and what they’ve overcome. People who are guarded are doing so not because they don’t trust you. People are guarded because they don’t trust themselves. They fear that they will let a detail or a piece slip out that will tip you off that they are not really what they seem.
People who have spent a lifetime trying to run from, escape, avoid and deny their past or a painful experience often have become so good at it, they truly believe it when they say, “I’m over it. It was nothing. It didn’t affect me.”
But then, why can’t you talk about it.
But then… why is your mind so busy making certain none of those pieces slip out?
Why? Because you still haven’t “processed it.” Until we process that childhood event which instilled a negative belief in us, our ability to rationalize it is often at about the maturity level of a child.
My suggestion to you is this… don’t work on telling a story that you haven’t yet uncovered. Don’t spend thousands of dollars and expect that someone is going to give you a shot of confidence that suddenly gives you the power to finally tell your story. You will have to find the courage it takes to connect with yourself.
You will have far greater impact with your story in video or on the stage after you have worked through it yourself. There’s a difference between “telling” someone about what happened to you and sharing the connection of your past. Storytelling is powerful only when it teaches us something. If we are just reciting our past and carefully making certain not to show emotion or connect or feel any part of it, then we are not storytellers. That’s a narrator.
To have power, our stories must move people to believe it is possible for them! Our story should help others understand that they too can overcome. Everyone has a sad time or a darkest day. Those moments don’t inspire, lift or motivate others unless we can articulate how we were able to overcome to be who we are today. You need to be able to connect the dots yourself first and that often takes some outside help. Again, the smartest people I know, the best speakers, the most motivational leaders all proudly share that they were intelligent enough to seek out the help of an expert or a therapist.
Sometimes we are so close to our own lives that we just, “don’t see the big deal” or understand how so many things we do today are connected to our past.
Everything’s better with a story! Experts like my friend Bo Eason will help you become a better storyteller. He is not going to uncover your story. He cannot help you process your negative beliefs. That’s your job. He will help you become a captivating teacher, a predator, a living breathing re-enactment. You learn to connect with your audience. He helps you tell every story with power.
So Many Story Options
You have more than one story, but identifying the story that put a fire in your belly is something special. Understanding your purpose and why you have been called to help others and the reason why you love a certain part of your job…and why you do it differently… that part surely relates to your toughest challenge.
There’s always an opportunity to connect with people through story. Get better at it! To get really good at it you’re going to have to get really good at being the real you. To get really comfortable with the real you, you may need to enlist the help of an expert, a therapist, an EMDR specialist to help you safely work through those negative beliefs that may be holding you back or holding you prisoner.
Imagine what it would feel like to stand boldly on the stage and tell your story without fear of judgment. Imagine what it would feel like to connect with strangers and feel 100% confident that they would adore you. It’s possible.
Not every video and over opportunity merits sharing your big life defining story, but understanding yours will help you connect your purpose to your past.
Understanding your past and what it is you’ve been called to do will help you connect the dots! When you connect your dots, people connect to you!
You have more than one story. Don’t forget the story of how you met and remember the story about how you finally decided that you needed to make a change in your life. Take people back to that moment when you almost gave up… and don’t forget to explain what it was like to climb out of debt. These are stories. When you learn to connect them to your beliefs and understand how you were able to do what you did, they become experiences that change people lives. They live them with you, and crawl out of the bunker with you!
People will want to hear the story of how you survived that car crash, having twins, dealing with a mentally disturbed parent, digging yourself out of debt, recovering from alcoholism, surviving the death of a child and so many other things you might just take for granted.
You have more than one story. It wouldn’t make sense for you to always tell the same story.
However, your deepest, darkest, toughest time probably has a lot to do with what fuels you, what give you your passion. In other words… the CPA who feels the need to protect their clients may have had an experience in early childhood that made them feel like they needed to shelter people. The trial attorney may now realize they have chosen a profession in which their voice has power; the power to convict, the power to win because as a child they were told their opinion didn’t matter.
So what is it about your past and your experiences that influences the way you live your life and your approach to business and the world?
Your story is what draws people to you before they even know what it is. There’s something about you… When people know your story and how you survived, changed, or took action, they develop a deeper feeling of trust, admiration and appreciation for you. Despite the fact that our “story” sometimes makes us feel shame, embarrassment, pity, fear or judgment, it also allows people to connect to us.
Action Steps for How to Tell Your Story
#1: Consider seeing a therapist to help you connect the dots of your past.
#2: Learn how your past fuels your fire today.
#3: Be proud of that story.
#4: Become a better storyteller.