Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Importance Of Sharing Your Story

"One of the major obstacles for women who want to break through the glass ceiling is the lack of opportunity to gain wisdom and understanding from those who have already done it"
Share your story.

I tweeted this the other day and the source from where I received the inspiration for this quote has escaped me; however it still rings true. Many times we as women fail to share our story to prevent feeling embarrassed or appearing vulnerable. What we fail to realize is that our story may be just what someone needs to hear in order to be encouraged.

This topic area has been one that I have struggled with for many years. Many people are unaware of the challenges that I have faced throughout my life, and that I continue to go through because I have kept those stories locked away. As I have matured, I have begun to unlock the hidden stories of my life and share them with those around me and what I have found is that it is my life stories that have given strength to others in my life.

Another reason why this topic area has been a large reflection piece for me is because I have constantly been thinking about my personal and professional brand. My stories and the sum of my experiences have a major impact on my brand. I cannot have a clear image of my brand and present that to the world, if I do not have a clear idea of who I am and what my life story is.

I challenge you all to begin writing your story. Remember that it is your story that makes you unique; it is your story that makes you who you are. Your story is fluid and will constantly change. Your story will resonate with individuals because it is genuine and authentic to you. Oftentimes we fear sharing our story because we do not feel it will be accepted. “Why would someone want to hear about little ol’ me?”, but what you must understand is that your story is authentic to you…and authenticity resonates with people.

The Beginning Stages:

So how do you begin to write your story?

Start by writing down the most important lessons that you have learned throughout your life and the experiences that taught you those life lessons.

How do you begin to develop the courage to share your story?

Start with the people around you. Allow someone close to you to read your most important life lessons and ask them to tell you what they learned from them. This will help you to continue to develop your story. Eventually you will begin sharing with more and more people and you will see the reward that comes from being an inspiration.

Feel free to follow me on twitter @BDeniseCole

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