You Have 300 Opportunities to Tell Your Story; Start with this One

I talk about storytelling all the time. It's part of my DNA to both tell my own story and ask others about their story. 

Sometimes I'm met with resistance to the question: "What's your story?"

Often, people don't think their story is worthy of telling. 

But they are wrong, it is absolutely valuable and worth telling. Particularly to me, a collector of stories, a good listener and someone who might be able to provide some helpful feedback.

I don't convince them with these facts. Or try to persuade them with a lollipop or a cup of coffee. I simply ask:

"How many times in your life will you get to tell your story?"

This question changes everything. For whatever reason, the number is usually around 300... about one story per day over a year. 

So I start again, remind them that this is the first day of that year. Number one of their 300. It works; they start to dig in, asking "Where should I start?"

"The beginning. Where were you born."

What a gift to share and embrace that ONE story. And for every single day for the rest of the year, they should go on and tell their story to someone else. And let that person tell them their story. They too are at one of 300. Go!

One of our greatest poets, Maya Angelou, says: "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." Man, this speaks to me in my own experience.

When I first started opening up about my own story and the challenges I've faced in my life, the value was in the telling. In the moment of each story, an opportunity to think about a past experience, and frame it in the context of today and what it taught me. Over time I have come to realize that all of my experiences, however painful, made me the man I am today. Always learning, always growing.

I have also learning that writing, as is my first love, is different from telling a story in person. Yet both provide tremendous value! Try it all and let me know what works best.

So here we go: re-frame the way you think about that question: "What's your story?" to see it as one in a finite number of opportunities to get it out -- set things straight -- forgive (yourself) -- be free.

Your 300 starts with this one. I'm listening.

David AllComment