How Do I Find My Story?
Last week we talked about how people have difficulty creating a story out of their life experiences. They feel they have to tell it like a newsreader with all the exact facts, in the exact right order. If you didn’t see that blog you can find it here. But what about if you can’t even find your story?
As a specialist Story Coach, I find that one of the things my clients usually have the most problem with when crafting their keynote speech – is their story and how to find it. Let’s not even talk about how they actually get up on stage and tell it. That’s a subject for another day. But finding the story in the first place is where some of my clients have the most blocks.
And here’s why.
It’s Your Life – Not A Story.
Think about it – when you live your life, it is just your life right? It’s not a story. And you are not a story coach, right? And you often don’t see the pattern of how things happen or even realise the significance of some events, until much much later – if ever. Because it is your life, and you are just living it. Does that make sense?
Let me give you an example.
Your Hidden Story
You are 6 years old, and you are in a sweet shop. Your Mum or Dad has given you some money and you are allowed to choose some sweets and pay for them. You feel so proud and grown-up. You take your time looking at all the delicious goodies on offer, and you try and work out what will be the best use of your money.
Should you take one big thing or several little ones? You decide. You go to the shop-keeper and show him what you have and give him your money. He looks at his hand slightly puzzled and says, “It’s not enough”.
You don’t know what to do next – this is the first time you have ever bought anything right? You look at your Dad, he is chatting to your Mum and hasn’t noticed, and for what seems the longest time you just stand there.
Eventually, the shopkeeper speaks to your Dad, who laughs, and then everything is sorted. You have to put something back. Your parents are kind, but you are mortified and hated the experience. You felt stupid and small, and confused and hurt and humiliated. Your Dad laughed at you. Your Dad thinks you are stupid. You are never going to that shop again.
Your parents have NO IDEA that you feel like that. You put on a brave face, you even giggle when they tell your Nan like you think it’s funny too. And you bury it away in the recesses of your mind because it’s painful right? And slowly over time, you forget the incident, but not the feelings. The feelings associated with money.
The Unconscious Mind’s Story Becomes Your Reality
You hear the messages – (the love of) money is the root of all evil – people always forget it’s the love of money, not money itself which is the root of all evil, according to the Bible. You hear that “money doesn’t grow on trees” (well, I’m sorry but paper money actually DOES grow on trees). You are told that love is the most important thing and as long as you have that, money doesn’t matter at all.
And you are glad to hear all those messages because it backs up what you know about money (painful) and means you don’t actually have to deal with it because it’s OK not to have any money.
Into your adult life, you find that you are not very good with money. It seems to come to you, but go away again just as fast and you are always – just about getting by. There is never a surplus of money and if there is you spend it – because there is always something that needs doing to the house or for the kids or a debt to be paid back.
Your Story Is Controlling You
And you honestly have NO IDEA why you are ‘bad’ with money. And you don’t know how to change it.
This is the story of one of my clients. When she had cleared this block about money, she realised this was a pivotal point in her story. Now her investments do well (yes, she has money to invest nowadays), her debts are paid off. She is able to help family members when needed.
And – this is critical – she is able to service her clients better because she is not so desperate for money that she attracts the wrong ones (those that want something for nothing and can kind of sense that you will undervalue yourself in your desperation for income).
Finding Your Story with Your Story Coach
Now the point of telling you this story – is that this is a story she could never have uncovered on her own. She didn’t know it was there. It was just her life that she had lived, and she had no idea of the impact on this seemingly small and insignificant event. We had to do a lot of work to uncover this.
Sometimes people’s stories are easier to uncover, the pattern becomes obvious quite quickly. Well, it does to me anyway, of course when it is YOUR life, it is hard to see things objectively and notice the connections.
That’s why I recommend working with a specialised story coach to get to the real story. Because once you get that – not only do you have a story worth telling, one that will resonate with many in your audience, you also begin to make sense of the story of your life. And as a result, your life changes, and you change the lives of others.
There are plenty of public speaking coaches out there, but not many specialised story coaches.
If you want to find out where we could work together and whether you can talk part in the next Sensational Speaker Positioning program, just connect with me on social media and message me, or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org. As a first step why not go and join our free Facebook Group How To Speak With….