Storytelling is essential to human connection. The way we relate to others, inspire others and build meaningful bonds is through the art of telling a story that relates to those around you. At the heart of every excellent story lies a narrator longing to be heard. It is human nature to crave intimacy and connection with others. At Jackie, we believe that one of the best ways to practice vulnerability is by undertaking the art of storytelling. This is a task worth mastering whether you are a stay at home mom, an entrepreneur, a small business owner or a student. Wherever you are and whatever you do, never stop telling your story in a way that invites others in and lays the foundation for a meaningful and genuine connection.
The Art of Telling A Meaningful Story
Think about your journey. What kind of things have inspired you? What has helped you in times of trial? What would others want to know about you? What do you want to share? How can the lessons that you have learned connect you with others? When you take the time to think about what has impacted you the most and how that can serve to connect you with others, the possibilities are endless. You must first understand and appreciate your own story before you can use it to form deep connections with others. Before you go practicing the art of storytelling, explore your own narrative. Analyze how your story can resonate with others. Being able to tell your story in a way that invites others to share theirs in response is a skill that will never fail to serve you well.
When it comes to relating to others in a meaningful way, use your story to express vulnerability. There is beauty in being open and honest with others about your struggles and hardships. Vulnerability paves the way for meaningful relationships no matter where you go. Author and vulnerability expert Brene Brown put it perfectly; “Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy, the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” Lean into those places of darkness and use them to explore the light as you encourage and support those around you. A large part of being vulnerable is pursuing raw and genuine honesty, a principle that Jackie is founded upon. If you simply can’t get enough of this topic, check out The Art of Being Brutally Honest, here.
Do not under any circumstances forget to flaunt your strengths. It can and should be done in a way that conveys confidence without being egotistical. Although it is important to admit your weaknesses, when you tell your story, do not forget to highlight what it is you are naturally good at. These are not bragging points, rather a dedication to expressing your inner confidence. When you can share with others what helped you succeed and why, you are able to serve as an encouragement who propels others forward and inspires them to reach their goals. If you struggle with identifying your strengths, think about what comes easily for you and reach out to those in your inner circle. Asking others for their perspective and feedback is a great way to get a handle on your natural gifts and talents. Often times, getting outside perspective can provide you with insight that you might have otherwise missed. Welcome feedback and be proud of your strengths. They are absolutely worth celebrating.
Once you have processed your story and named ways that you can use it to relate to others, put it to the test! Don’t shy away from the opportunity to be heard. You never know what kind of encouragement or path altering message you might convey in sharing just a bit about yourself. Storytelling is a tool that can drive your career, your personal life and your outlook on life. When you present your story, you present your voice; something that only you can capture perfectly. Refuse to shy away from your story and dedicate yourself to sharing it with others for good. Sharing your story in a healthy and constructive way will serve only to better your relationships, your career and help you define your goals as you learn from the past and aspire toward the future.