At the end of the day, your story is all you have. You might go from job to job, or from relationship to relationship, but your story is always with you. Your story is always growing and evolving with you, and your ability to tell it is essential if you want to empower people, inspire people and relate to people. This is the topic of today’s Momentum Monday, the power of your story.
Everybody loves a great storyteller. Think back in your life, whether it was your dad, grandfather or maybe great-great grandma – whoever it was, there was likely a great storyteller in your family line. People gather around these storytellers because the way they tell their story draws people in.
About 13 years ago, I was doing a presentation in our company office. After the presentation, one of my senior partners pulled me into his office and asked why I never talked about the health challenges I faced growing up. At this point, people only saw me as a 23-year-old, making $100,000 in my first year of business. I was unstoppable and unrelatable. He helped me realize that, although I had never wanted anyone to see that side of me, my lifelong battle with Crohn’s disease is relatable and inspiring. I understood that until I could tell that part of my story, I’d never truly be a successful entrepreneur.
Since then, whenever someone asks me how I am or what I’m up to, I try to share a compelling part of my story. I challenge you to do the same. Use those opportunities to share about your recent health journey, your new growing business or something in your life that’s exciting. Whether it’s a new book or an area of personal development – share it. When you share your story with someone, it allows them to hold you accountable. I know being transparent and vulnerable with your story can be uncomfortable and challenging but you have to push through it to grow and to help others grow.
5 Reasons People Don’t Tell Their Story
They don’t want sympathy.
The number one reason people don’t tell their story is that they don’t want sympathy from others. No matter what you’ve gone through, you don’t need to tell it in a way where you’re trying to get sympathy. Your job is to make people empathize with you. You don’t need to give all the nitty-gritty details, you can tell your story with a positive message and not always position yourself as the victim.
With my story, I could say, I got into business at 23 years old, I had a great first three years, my business was growing, and I was making more money than I ever imagined, but life happened. In January of 2009, my surgeon told me that my rectum, colon and part of my small intestine needed to be removed. I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it. It was one of the most difficult years of my life, but it could have been worse. I’m so grateful I got through it and, even at rock bottom, I learned so much about myself. Without that period of time I wouldn’t be the man that I am today.
You can always tie in a positive message. You don’t have to tell your story in a way that makes you sound like a victim or like you’re trying to gain sympathy.
They haven’t been through ‘enough’.
We’ve all been through enough, haven’t we? What more do you want to go through? Life can be painful and hard— I think you’ve already been through enough to have an impactful story.
But, let’s just assume for a second your whole life’s been easy and you’ve never had to work for anything. You can make that part of your story. You can say, my whole life things always came easy to me until one day I woke up and I was tired of being average. I’d been operating inside of my comfort zone for years and I decided to embark on a new journey. I decided to get uncomfortable. I decided to change some things about who I was.
If you feel like you haven’t been through enough, make that part of your story. Your story starts with you getting uncomfortable, which is powerful and compelling.
They are waiting until they are successful.So many people say, I’ll tell my story when I become successful.
All successful people will tell you – it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. Why not inspire people along the way? You should always be talking about where you’re going. The best stories are like the best movies, they should end with where you’re headed. As you go along your journey, there’s a bunch of people who would love to follow your journey and would love to follow your progress.
What does success even mean? Are you waiting on a certain net worth? Are you waiting for all your problems to go away?
Start inspiring others now.
Start telling your story now.
Just like the best movies, there will be ups and downs, but you get to control the script. You get to decide how this thing ends.
They don’t think that people will relate to them.People often believe their story isn’t relatable. Of course, others can relate to you. They can relate to being scared, having setbacks in life, being sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Part of my story that’s most relatable is, I was tired of making $11.00 an hour, being passed up for promotions and fighting for $0.25 raises. I was tired of being made to feel the way I felt. When you tell that part of your story, you become vulnerable. When you’re vulnerable it shows sincerity.
You have to realize 100% of your story is relatable to different people.
It’s not easy for me to tell the part of my story where in 2009 I had my rectum and colon taken out. Those are not fun things people want to talk about, but that’s the part of my story that became the most relatable. The more vulnerable and real I was and the less I did it for sympathy the more I was able to relate with others.
They don’t practice telling their story.The final reason people don’t tell their story is, they just don’t practice it.
You are your story. Your story is you.
Your story is the trailer of your life and you’re the director. If you can’t tell your story, how is the world ever going to hear it? If you don’t want anybody else to hear your story, that’s the same as saying you don’t really want to help people or inspire people. If that’s how you feel, my messages aren’t for you. I’m all about helping and empowering people. That’s what I live for. If more of us could have that mentality, we could really start to make the world a better place.
None of us are perfect but, if we all practiced telling our story it would help more people move off the starting block. More people would start to move towards greatness.
Master your story. Always be rewriting, updating, typing it out and then reading it. If you get good at telling your story, you’re going to want to tell it more. Your ability to tell your story will make you attractive in business.