How To See Your Story As The Treasure Of Your Brand
“I now see how owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.” Brené Brown
If I polled 100 people and asked them how willing they would be to share their life story openly and publicly I would confidently bet (and I am not someone who likes to gamble) that 97% of the people I polled would say they are not comfortable with the idea of sharing their story with the world.
The thought of being vulnerable and sharing ourselves in a real, raw way can immediately lead to sweaty palms and feeling like you were just stripped down naked in front of a room of people. Women especially can feel an overwhelming sense of fear around judgment, comparison and lack of self worth.
You may feel embarrassed to share your truth out loud or you may carry around a limiting belief that your story isn’t "powerful enough". If you have allowed yourself to be too fearful to share your story, know that you are not alone. I too have been there, selling myself every B.S. excuse imaginable that got me a whole lot of no where.
So what do I mean when I say "see your story as the treasure of your brand"? In a nutshell I am saying that you are completely 100% unique as is your story.
You would never find a hidden treasure exactly like another one. Each one would have its own one of kind container and that moment when you open it up to see what's inside, the contents would be a completely different blend of unusual items and valuable objects. Each treasure would be a different discovery each and every time. Your story is the same way. No one has your unique mix of experiences, skill sets, lessons, gifts and talents. No one can reveal the treasure of your story the way you can.
Your story is the most powerful marketing tool you have. Stories fascinate, inspire and deliver hope. I strongly believe that when we share our story, the world is never quite the same and when we take the time to listen to someone else share their story, it allows us to truly see people. Like a window being opened up to reveal their soul.
Your story can transform someone's life and open up space for them find the courage to share their own unique story. Authenticity allows us to connect on a much deeper, empathetic level.
Seeing your story as the treasure of your brand starts with letting go of your limiting beliefs and giving your story the validation it deserves.
To help you take action with this process start by opening yourself up to journaling. Writing your thoughts and emotions down can help you take that first step to sharing your story in a safe space.
Here are some writing prompts to help you kick this creative process off and discover the treasures hidden in #TheStoryOfYou:
• What are some of your most important child hood memories?
• What parts of your past are you holding on to and why?
• What valuable lessons have you learned from your life experiences?
• How has this molded and shaped you into the person you are today?
• If you had the chance to speak to a room of 100 people, what message would you feel convicted to share in hopes of helping to empower them in their own journey?
Once you allow yourself to dig deeper into the life experiences that have made you who you are, you can start making decisions about the parts of your story you will share and parts of your story you will keep for yourself.
For example, some women are fiercely passionate about sharing their stories of healing after a divorce. They are convicted to share this part of their life to let others know they are not alone. While others, like me who have been through a divorce, do not feel this is the direction of their calling even though it is part of their story. Only you know which parts of your story you are meant to share based on who you feel led to serve.
Your story gives you a unique insight. Someone may have heard a dozen other people talk about struggling with confidence issues, for example but they have never heard your perspective and the way you communicate a message around self confidence issues. It could be their defining "ah ha" moment. This is why it’s so crucial for you to share your story and share it in a way that only you can.
Your story is the key that can unlock someone else's prison.
Have you ever been sitting in church or at an event and heard your pastor or guest speaker share a piece of their story and it felt like they were speaking directly to you because it aligned so closely with your life and personal struggles? Or you meet a friend for coffee and she shares with you that she is going through a personal hardship and you can completely sympathize with her because you have "been there done that"? Your ability to relate to her allows you to offer her priceless compassion and wisdom. The story creates an instant bond of trust like nothing else can.
Stories transform and inspire the lives of others every single day. Stories are where human connections are made and relationships are born. Your story is why people will do business with you. Yes, it requires being vulnerable. Yes, it requires letting go of the fear of what other people may think but the treasure that is shared and discovered in the process is invaluable.
Owning and sharing my story has been a life changing journey of self awakening and personal growth. When was the last time you shared your story or opened a safe space to allow someone to share theirs? I encourage you to embrace the positive impact storytelling can make on not only your life but in the lives of others. Make sharing your story a routine practice, especially if you aspire to grow a meaningful life and business.
Your story matters beautiful creative. Fearlessly share it with the world!
Are you ready to share your story to grow an authentic business and personal brand and know that some loving guidance and support would be invaluable? Join us inside The Creative Gristmill. We would be honored to have you xo
April Williams is a Creative Momista and Soulpreneur of 2 boys + whimsical wavemaker + creative expressive + Texas country girl + branding junkie who loves green mint tea + horses + fuzzy socks + surrounding herself with high achieving amazing women + peppermint anything + the color red + cozy coffee shops. She is a branding strategist for creative women entrepreneurs and founder of Creative Brandista™ .