Powerful stories can inspire and educate, launch movements and change lives. The power of a story(narrative) can be used to help and transform others.
Discovering your story is useful and results in you inspiring others. Once you discover what your story (narrative) is, you become very clear on your motivation and passion and what drives you – what makes your heart sing? Your narrative becomes the gift that shaped your life and allows you to move forward in a positive way. It opens up opportunities for you and in telling your story you allow others to visualise and understand.
Storytelling is not something we do but rather who we are. It is important to discover what the old and new narratives are and how these can help in understanding our patterns of behaviour and moving us forward. What is the golden thread that runs through each story? The essence of who we are?
Telling my story has allowed me to explain myself better to others and to myself. It has allowed me to coach from a more authentic perspective. If self is a story, then we are all storytellers. Every relationship needs to be built on trust – telling a personal story immediately builds trust and a connection. From early on stories have been shared – around fires, family dinner tables, boardroom tables, books, movies, in fact everyone prefers to hear a story that allows them to feel and share in the experience.
Plato once said, “Come then, and let us pass a leisure hour in storytelling, and our story shall be the education of our heroes.” Plato meant that the stories themselves create, inspire, and guide others to play the hero in their own life narrative.
It has been said that the only journey is the one within – “a becoming aware of one’s true potential, character, motives, passions, values…..”
Dissected this means peeling off the layers and gaining a true understanding of yourself from a cognitive, emotional, relational, spiritual and somatic perspective. It requires and means digging deep into your life experiences, childhood memories, experiences and memories that have shaped the person you have become. It requires honesty and guts to honestly reflect on who and what you are. It means understanding what makes you get up in the morning and what drives you in this world. It means taking the good with the bad, joy and fear, excitement and confusion and fusing these emotions, thoughts and behaviours to truly understand what your purpose is.
Once you have discovered and understood what your own patterns of behaviour are and how they have shown up in various aspects of your life it will allow you to help others discover their patterns. To communicate is to put aside your own structures of interpretation and be open to others in a non-judgemental way. It is to allow one another to reach into themselves and find their gift so that they in turn can bring about change and understanding in their own lives.
In understanding my own story I have yet again found myself peeling off the layers in my own life. What makes me tick, what makes me react, who inspires me and for what reasons? Who am I and what is my story? What do I want to project and how do I show up?
It has also highlighted that our personal experiences – the stories we have lived through – make us who we are today. Presenting our story is powerful and allows us to make a deeply meaningful connection with our listeners. Your potential is not rooted in your backstory, its formed by how you interpret your backstory.
Using this concept of storytelling in my coaching has and will allow me to develop a deeper understanding of the power of “the narrative”. Not only my own narrative but the narrative of my clients. How this can shut down opportunities or how it can open up opportunities.
Storytelling is a very easy concept to understand as we can all relate to them and we all enjoy a good story. From childhood our parents read stories to us or made them up along the way and completely enthralled us with them. Stories have the ability to clarify issues and put them into perspective. We are able to visualise a story and connect with them. Therefore, understanding your own story(narrative) can clarify who you are, what your patterns of behaviour are and how you would like to project that to yourself and others.
Currently, I am helping others find their voice or their narrative so that they too can share their passion with others. I would like to encourage and help others see the value that they have. How discovering their story can help them move forward in a positive way. How finding their patterns of behaviour can lead to self- affirmation and negate the need to look for validation from others.
Everyone has a purpose and a meaning – many have never stopped long enough to observe themselves and actually discover this. Most are chasing the end result without actually even understanding the journey and what it means to live your truth. Everyone has a story to tell and they need to realise how they too can change the lives of others by sharing it.
This is what I would like my contribution to be and it is to all the many people I meet and the many people I coach.
“When I discover Who I am, I’ll be Free” – Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man