7 Lies You May Believe About Your Story
1. My story is not interesting enough.
Some people have been through some crazy stuff. Sometimes I can hardly imagine how they are still standing. In comparison, I think my life has been a cakewalk. Almost… boring.
If you’re like me, it’s easy to wonder, why would anyone be interested in your story?
It can seem like everyone is living one great adventurous life! Social media and movies make it so easy to believe. But if we are honest, the fact is, most of us live a pretty mundane life. Not that interesting. Not that adventurous. Just simple. Maybe a bit boring at times… I’ll admit it if you do.
What we all really crave and what really makes sharing our story so important, is our need for connection!
Sharing our stories isn’t about how thrilling or traumatic they are. It’s about connecting with others because that’s our deepest longing as humans.
Uri Hasson a professor at Princeton University has done studies that show how the brains of storytellers and the listeners couple. Meaning their brain’s activities match each other’s. Stories have the ability to connect us to one another in powerful ways.
Stories have the ability to connect us to one another in powerful ways.
When we hear someone’s story our world grows. We can explore new situations and experiences and get a fresh perspective on life. Our understanding of people develops because we see through their eyes.We become more empathetic. And who doesn’t need that? Me for sure.
Each time I listen to a woman share her story, I am fascinated at the diverse journeys we are all on. I learn something new every time. And I always feel like I got to know her at a deeper level.
2. I can’t share my story because it’s not done yet.
Most people are in the middle of something. That just means that they have started already but are not done yet. This can be hard because often that middle part can take a long time.
Think about middles. The middle of high school – grade 11, I just wanted to finish grade 12 and graduate. The middle of your marriage. You’ve been together for a while now. How do you keep the spark alive? The middle of pregnancy. Your belly is big. You just want that baby out…at least I did.
It’s just the time when you have been there for a while, but you’re not quite at the end yet. It’s the time when patience is running low. You are anticipating the finish.
What do people need most in the middle? A pep talk! Keep going! You will get there! Don’t stop!!! I believe in you.
That’s why your, “middle of the story” is so important for others to hear. People need to feel like they are not alone in their “middle”. What have you experienced so far? What have you learned? How did you handle it? What advice did someone give you?
Life isn’t just about where you are going. It’s about how you got there.
3. I am not a good enough speaker or writer to share my story.
Sometimes the platform is the main concern for people who are thinking about sharing their story. We have become a culture so enthralled with platforms and fame. We think our small lives are irrelevant.
That’s just a big fat lie.
There are many great ways to share your story. At the coffee shop with a friend. In the grocery store. Or at the soccer practice with the other soccer mom. Painting. Poetry. Drama. Blogs. These are just a few ideas of how you can share your story even if you never publish or speak on a stage.
But… here is the kicker…You CAN if you WANT TO. All you have to do is learn.
If you are inclined to public speaking or writing there are many ways you can become a better speaker or writer.
Five years ago I was wanting to become a better speaker. My husband had often mentioned his own experience as a young person with Toastmasters, so I joined and it made a huge impact on my ability and confidence.
You can also get a personal speaking coach like Kathryn MacKenzie. She is also a personal friend of mine.
If you are not quite sure what or how you want to write, I suggest starting with a blog and over time you can compile your material into a book. Here is a great article by Micheal Hyatt on developing a blog.
4. I’m too busy and overwhelmed to think about my story
Yes. This it’s true. It seems these days that’s the story we all tell ourselves. But, does it have to be true? Can we change it?
It’s important to recognize seasons in our lives. Some seasons of life are busier than others.
But we can also get into the habit of adding things to our lives without really deciding if we need those things.
Busy can also be a way of ignoring other things like emotions or pain. Being busy can become so much a part of our lives that we forget what really matters to us.
Is busy running your life?
I read part of a good book called, “Spiritual Whitespace”…I was too busy to finish. LOL
What I did read gave me a new perspective on my time. Like beautiful paintings, I could actual create a picture of my life that had whitespace around it. Room to breathe.
The problem is that sometimes we attach our identity to what we do. We feel approval from others with our busyness. So, the more we do, the better we think we are. Our identity is not in what we do or how well we do it. Our identity is found in Christ. You are loved just the way you are, right now!
5. I’ve made too many mistakes to share my story.
Sometimes, we don’t want to face the past because of the pain or shame we feel. It’s really hard to face it, to feel it.
Ignoring the pain of our past can be our way of self-protecting. But the fact is, ignoring it doesn’t make it go away. It just means we pass it on to someone else. Our husband, our kids, our co-workers. It will leak. It will get out. Maybe through anger, blame, or just plain disengagement.
The only way to really make sense of our past is to take the time to explore our experiences and face them head on without shame. Without the voice that says; “I am not enough”.
In an amazing TED Talk, Brene Brown talks about one of the greatest keys to this whole process – vulnerability.
When I was in Bible School in 2000, I met a guy and very soon we found ourselves pregnant! It was the greatest shame of my life. After doing everything we could to run from it, keep it a secret or escape it, we were presented with an “opportunity”.
It was an opportunity that killed us and freed us all at the same time. We wanted to avoid dealing with our pain but the Dean of the school presented the opportunity to confront it head on by being vulnerable and sharing what had happened with the whole school! God gave us the courage to do it and… we live to tell about it!
We are so grateful to that decision. Just in case you are wondering…we got married, had our son and another baby girl shortly after. Now they are 16 and 14 years old and we are stronger than ever.
6. People have heard similar stories so mine doesn’t need to be told.
The fact is everyone has a completely unique story even if some of the circumstances are similar to someone else’s. You grew up in a different environment with different people in your life. You have a unique personality and perspective on things. Your gifts and abilities and how you create is different from anyone else in the whole world.
There are no two people who are exactly the same. How you share your story will be unique to you because you have a unique take on the process that you went through.
Maybe you don’t know what your unique style is yet. I encourage you to take some time to think about this.
I have done both and they are great ways to discover more about your unique style and personality.
In her book, “How The World Sees You”, Sally Hogshead outlines different personality Archetypes and helps you see where you might fit. Try her free test.
You are fascinating already. You are created unique, one of a kind. You were are a light that was created to shine and not be hidden. (Matthew 5:15)
7. I’m not healed enough to share my story.
It’s important to find healing. I am not talking about the “self-help” kind. That has some merit. What I’m talking about is the deeper, soul healing that can only come from the One who created you in the first place. Jesus.
Healing has been a huge part of my own journey. I’ve been to counselling, prayer counseling (which is mostly hearing God through prayer) and life coaches. And not just once either…but maybe I am a difficult case, lol.
Overcoming trauma, pain and even what seems like little issues can be a process.
Healing is the path to living a wholehearted life.
The problem is the little word, “enough”. Sometimes we need to take focused time for healing. But we can’t settle in there for too long. Otherwise we become a “victim” in our minds, always needing to “get better”…never good enough.
In her book, “The Broken Way”, Ann Voskamp (a personal hero of mine) says:
“I don’t know the way to put all these broken pieces back into place. Maybe that’s the point. Maybe this broken way is making something new.”
I encourage you to spend time to invest in your own personal healing journey. Often as Christians, we spend a lot of time focused on our Spirit to the neglect of our soul. “Soul Keeping” is a great book that teaches us how to take care of our whole being.
“Who Switched off My Brain”, is another great book by Dr. Carolyn Leaf. She shows us how to rewire negative patterns and habits in our brain. I’ve used this book and it has made a huge impact on my life.
Every woman has a story that another woman needs to hear. That means YOU. Don’t let lies keep you from owning your story and living on purpose! Your story has a message in it that someone is waiting to hear. Now go ahead and take a bold step towards sharing your story. Let me know what it is, I’d love to hear from you.