Every one of us has a story to tell. Our lives are filled with moments that have shaped and defined us…and have often led us on paths that we might never have even considered.
When we share our stories, we have the opportunity to look at our life, see our accomplishments and remind ourselves of the lessons we have learned. Equally as important, our story gives us the opportunity to help someone else out. We may give hope to someone who is facing a similar challenge in their life. We may inspire someone to dream even bigger than they had ever considered because they can now see that it is possible. And we are able to connect to another human being on a far deeper level which may change both of our lives.
This week I met a woman at my bank. She was helping me with a complex transaction, and we started talking. As we talked, we began opening up more about our lives. When I mentioned that I was an author, she said, “I have an incredible story that I want to write down and share with the world.” She then told me some of the details of her life, which included overcoming a very bad situation, healing from it, and ultimately becoming more empowered because of the strength and resilience she discovered within herself.
I listened to her with an open heart and empathy as she shared her story. As it turned out, our lives had had some interesting parallels, and when she had finished, I shared my parallel experiences. We both had tears in our eyes when we finished talking, and stood up to give each other a hug.
I was impressed by her resilience and ability to continue to move forward in spite of adversity; she was impressed with my courage in creating a new life for myself. She then told me that she is starting a group to help empower women that want to move forward in their careers and invited me to be part of it, by sharing my story, which I happily agreed to.
It seems that too often we are afraid to share our stories. We worry that we will be ridiculed or that the person we tell the story to will not hold it in their hearts. We are nervous about hurting another human being through the telling of our story. We fear that no one will really want to hear it anyway, because we aren’t that interesting and are not worthy of being heard.
And yet, the world needs our stories. We need to hear of others’ accomplishments in the face of a challenge, we need to be inspired, we need to increase our faith in ourselves and in humanity through the sharing of our stories. I challenge you to share your story and listen to others’ stories with an open heart and without judgment when they share theirs. Only through the sharing of stories will we truly understand and connect with each other.