We were sitting around the campfire when the story turned to ‘how we met our partners’.
I didn’t know any of the women super well and most were a few wines down, so took to telling their stories in the gregarious fashion of the slightly tipsy. And oh what tales they had.
- A tale of first glimpsing her future partner across a crowded room and feeling her heart leap, just as it would when they met again years later
- A tales of a dashing man pursuing his one true love across oceans and islands and continents
- A tale of a film-worthy breakup at the airport departure gates, one partner walking away as the other wept at the glass
- A tale of unrequited love ultimately made good
It felt like they had Oscar-worthy true love stories, all.
And then they turned to me.
‘Um, we met at university?’
Of course, there is more to our story than this. Much more.
I could have told of getting to know each other on a 4-day canoe trip down the Whanganui river with six girls and one guy. Or how he came to my aid that weekend up at Matauri Bay with the Uni Dive Club, when my buoyancy control device failed while diving the wreck of the Rainbow Warrior. I rocketed up from 27 metres straight to the surface, totally out of control and risking decompression sickness.
These are stories I had comfortably told many times before.
But in that moment, none of that came to mind. I felt uncomfortable. I also felt a sense of self-protection, like I didn’t want to put our story up for comparison and review.
So in that moment I felt like we had no story. Or at least, not one that I wanted to share, right then and there.
Does this happen to you in business?
You’re asked to share your story, and you just draw a blank? Fumble around, throw a few sentences together, and realise it just doesn’t sound that coherent let alone impressive?
I’ve lost count of the number of times clients have said
‘Story? What story? I don’t really have a story.’
We get stuck on this idea that our story has to be BIG to be worthy of being told. We have to have overcome massive adversity, gone from near-bankruptcy to 7-figures, launched an idea that went viral and took over the world.
I’m calling you out on that.
A story doesn’t have to be jaw-dropping to make an impact.
Big stories can be incredibly inspiring, but there can be an element of unattainability about them too.
They seem surreal, like a film script. Unrelatable.
They can cause the reader to think:
‘Well that doesn’t apply to me.
That will never happen.
It’s easy for her because of XYZ.’
Sometimes it’s the tiniest point of connection that can make an impact
A shared feeling.
A familiar moment at the kitchen table.
An everyday struggle.
If you’ve lived a decade or more on this earth, or started your own business, then trust me you have a story. You just need to find a way to tell it.
Finding the truth in your story can be one of the most empowering things you will do as a leader and in business.
It will help you with speaking gigs, with your about page, with introducing yourself on social media, with just feeling damn worthy enough to show up and occupy your space.
If you need help shaping yours, this is what I do.
Click here to make an appointment and let’s chat.