When sharing your story isn’t about you

I took myself out of my comfort zone yesterday & attended an event of which I didn’t really know what I was expecting. Life-changing advice? “Don’t think so much, life is short, do what you gotta do?” I hear that on a regular basis – a few hours in a room with a bunch of strangers sharing their experiences wasn’t going to turn my world upside down, right?

So why do I feel so disappointed?

Superficiality and shallowness. A public display of ignorance. Naively believing that your story is worth sharing simply because you choose to tell it. Is there any way the concept of ‘sharing’ can overcome these demons? Can life lessons and experiences be discussed without the narrator breaking into spasms of “ohhh my god it was amazzziiing!!”

It all comes down to this: how well can you tell a story for your audience? The initial experience may have been about you, but that’s about it. From then on, it’s about how you package it.

The words and mediums you choose. The attention to detail. The crafty pauses, the tone of your voice and the conviction with which you share, not distance yourself from your audience.

But most importantly – who are you telling your story to and why? How can you inspire this bunch to walk by your side, or feel that heated glow of the campfire?

I badly want to walk away from events like this focussed on the power of what was shared, not on who shared it. An experience or story is told by one, but it’s true significance lies in how often it reappears in minds and lives of those who hear it.