Never underestimate the power of your own story.
It’s no surprise that I believe in stories. I believe they matter. Your story matters.
I truly believe we can use our stories for good — to have a positive impact on the world, help others, and make our own unique, meaningful contribution.
And since you’re here, I’m willing to bet you agree with me on that.
But why do stories matter so much? Well, here are a few reasons. This isn’t a comprehensive list, it’s just a few things that I’ve learned to be true.
1. Stories are human.
We all tell them. And we all want — and need — to hear them. Stories are a way for us to make sense of the world. They’re a way for us to carry our history and our humanness. A way for us to connect. And a way for us to grow and see things with fresh eyes.
2. Everyone has a story to tell. And everyone wants to be seen and heard.
Stories are a way for us to show people who we really are. It’s at the heart of being human. By sharing your story, you could be giving someone else a way to recognize themselves, or an invitation to share their own. Also, listening is a very good thing.
3. If you don’t tell your story, someone else might.
If you don’t tell your story, it’s possible that we will simply never get to hear it. The world will really never know you, the history will slide away, you’ll never fully make the change you want to make. But perhaps even worse, if you don’t tell us, someone else might try to speak on your behalf, and miss the full story. If you don’t tell us who you are, someone else might, and get it wrong. If you don’t tell us what you stand for, someone else might, and miss the point. If you don’t put into words what happened, someone else might tell it very differently. There is power in speaking for yourself.
4. Stories are powerful. We need to use them for good.
If you have change you want to make, if you want to have a positive impact on the world around you, you’re going to need to tell some darn good stories. That’s how change happens in the world: through better, more honest storytelling. That’s something the world can always use more of.
5. Stories are editable.
How you write your story is up to you. Just because it broke your heart doesn’t mean it’s a tragedy. You can make your story what you want it to be.
6. You can use your stories to help others.
What do you want to do with your story? Make a positive impact: Make a contribution to the world that is uniquely yours? Inspire? Educate? Lead, and maybe even leave a legacy? These are things your stories can help you do. (And it’s why I dedicate myself to helping people tell their stories.)
So there you have it. Never forget how much your story matters.