When I began to post my thoughts publicly just six months ago I had to make a good effort to get over how self-conscious I was when it came to talking about my experiences. While I had no readers at the time, I felt incredibly disorientated with my words and paralyzed when it came to storytelling or lack of. Yet at the same time, when I heard the everyday stories of others trudging, navigating, and skipping their way through the world I was completely intrigued by experiences that could have been my own.
The more I learned from the stories of others, the more I learned about myself and how I wanted to avoid pitfalls, take risks and travel through life. It seems to me that despite how great the world appears to be, all our stories are worth telling if only you’re willing to share them. Now when you can be entirely honest, ask yourself: What makes their story better than your experience? The only difference between your experience and their story is that you never had the courage to tell it to make it a story.
Perhaps the single biggest mistake we make is considering ourselves to be individuals that possess independent experiences and isolated thoughts that aren’t relevant to the people in the world around us. Such fallacies demean the value of not only our experiences but also our own abilities to express what we know. Being confident enough to tell stories from your own experiences doesn’t make you self-absorbed but rather, open to sharing with others.
Remember that article you read? How about the incredible story a friend told you about from their adventures abroad? Those stories resonated with you and left its mark in your memory like your own experiences. Fact of the matter is those people reached out and made a connection with you that day using their story and you can do the same.
Maybe you’re still not convinced your experiences are worth “story-status”.
Why not think of it like your social network? Enough people in the same Facebook group or Twitter list make for a community. The connections made through stories are the same. They create not only connections but build communities, create successful initiatives and drive power.
Storytelling is power.
In fact, the power of storytelling is so great that over the course of human history the ability has both produced influential leaders and shunned those going against popular opinion. To stop a story from touching the lives of others is to stop the story from ever being told again.
Not all stories have resonated with you (which are most of them) and this will likely be the case with the stories you end up telling but it doesn’t make your story any less valuable. Just recall the stories that once touched you with their words and how you would be a different person without them.
Return the favour, stop keeping the experiences to yourself and share stories.