If stories are so important, why doesn’t everyone tell stories all the time, everywhere? Well, there are actually misconceptions about story. People might think, “People don’t want to hear about what happened to me.” I actually thought that. I was in an accident many, many years ago and I never told that story to anyone. Because I thought, “Who wants to hear about a girl who got hit by a cement truck?” But then once I started telling that story, it was transformational. So many lessons that came out of that story for me and the lessons that I learned and the struggles that I overcame have actually helped other people as soon as I started telling that story, and it continues to do so.
Another misconception that people think is, “This is too vulnerable. I don’t want to share this. I’m not ready to share this.” There is a fine line with vulnerability, because in some cases the stories that happen to us need their space and there are places for those stories. Certain things need to get worked out in therapy first, before you hit the stage with a particular story. But once you’re ready, even if it’s emotional for you, it can help someone else heal. Your stories can be a gift to someone. They can really have an effect on their life if you are willing to share what happened to you.
Another misconception that people have is stories do not belong in a business setting. I can tell you first hand they absolutely do. Imagine a business meeting where you’re sitting around the table and people are reporting and different people are speaking. There are turns and someone is talking about a bunch of facts and figures and statistics. Then you have the floor and you tell a very personal story. You tell about something that matters to you deeply. Guess whose talk is going to be remembered? It’s yours.
I want to encourage you to get out there and tell your stories in all the settings you can. The more reps that you have on your stories, the better storyteller that you will become. Get out there and share your stories.