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Part 2: Telling your Story – What’s Holding You Back?

Updated: Feb 16

In the first part of this two-part mini-series, we talked about what it means to share your story with the world, and how you stand to benefit from speaking out.

Here is the second part of that article.

Why We Never Get Heard

When it comes to telling your story, often times, the stories we don’t get to tell are stories we choose not to tell. You know, those stories we withhold from others (and ourselves)?These stories are almost always not pretty. Otherwise we would have told them.

One of the obstacles that holds us back is thinking our stories are not interesting enough. In fact, this is one of the biggest obstacles. We think our story is not interesting or important enough to share with the world.

But nothing could be further from the truth!

You already have a wealth of experiences worth sharing. And while there could be similarities here and there, the path you have walked is unique to you and only you. That alone makes it interesting, whether you think it is interesting or not.

And you know what? Sometimes, the simplest stories are the ones that pack the biggest punch.

A lot of us also fall into the pitfall of ‘no one will care about my stories’. And sometimes, we have a reason to think so based on past experiences.

Maybe you have made attempts in the past to share your story and had little success in capturing people’s attention. This is particularly true in this age when everyone seems to be suffering from ADD (attention deficit disorder).

But that should not shun you out for good. Could you perhaps have been telling it to the wrong audience? Is it in the manner in which you told it – maybe it was condescending in tone or you were guilty of playing the victim card?

Whichever the case, you can learn from such experiences and tweak your approach.

Because one thing that is for sure is this: there is always someone who is ready to listen to your story. Could be a few, but there is always someone who could do with some listening. You don’t have to tell it on the grandest of world stages.

Fear of rejection is another reason that holds a lot of people back. We are human, and that comes with the territory. We fear being judged. We fear being deemed inadequate by others. We fear being shamed or ostracised by our peers.

So instead, a lot of us decide to play it safe by keeping schtum. After all, there is few things that can go wrong by not speaking up, right?

What we forget is that this is a fear that will always stand in our way and the only thing to rid us of it is to confront it head on. It’s easier said than done, of course, and it does take work to overcome. But if the will is there, you will always be the winner.

Speaking of judging, that will always be there. What you need to realise is that humans will always judge, whether you choose to tell your story or not.It is part and parcel of our DNA, and a necessary one at that for our own survival.

That said, you need to understand that at the highest level, telling your story is not about you. You may be a character in it, but the essence of it all is the meaning other people derive from it – the insights, the lessons, and the wisdom they will derive from it and apply in their own lives.

Luckily, we live at a time when we don’t get hanged for voicing our opinions.

You also probably consider yourself a private person and think your stories are no one’s business until you decide otherwise – which is totally fine.When speaking to people, you thus feel like you have given away access to a sacred part of you and someone might now hold power over you.

This particularly goes for those experiences you are very identified with.

It’s understandable. You can choose not to tell these parts of the stories to the world.

Alternatively, you can consider yourself a catalyst for change and make the conscious decision to emerge from your privacy closet and have a go at it.

This, of course, will take courage.

Doesn’t have to be Big

As we alluded to in Part 1 of this mini-series, there are many ways you can choose to share your story.

The thing is, it doesn’t have to be big. It doesn’t have to be a book or dedicated vlog where you frequently share updates of your life with the world. Sure, if you can, by all means – go for it!

But feel free to share your story however way it feels right and useful – could be even with a few friends or family members. Could be with a total stranger you met at the park. Or a patient at the hospital who could use some encouraging words. This is all up to you.

The takeaway here is that no matter how you share it, your story matters.

You don’t need to be a celebrity to do it. But by speaking out, you stand a chance to make a lasting impact in someone’s life – doesn’t have to be someone you know; might be a random stranger whom you’ll probably never even see again.

What is your life story?

Where have you been and what at have you been through? What have you endured and what has made you tougher? What lessons have you learned from your experiences and what has inspired you to make a positive change for others?


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