Stories are not just for kids. They make you come alive, give your marketing an edge, and steer you towards the squinzies that make your business human. Stories show that your business has soul…if you learn to set them free.
It sounds easy. But I wasn’t always able to set my stories free.
The Mirage of Perfection
You see, I was painfully shy as a child. I had big ears and freckles. I’d keep thoughts to myself. And never expose the realness brewing in my brain. I stopped fully interacting with others out of fear of being misunderstood. This made it worse because I became even more misunderstood (it wasn’t only because I had bangs that were cut too short…although that may have been part of the problem).
I grew up, got a “real” job and did great work. I did what you’re “supposed to do.” Yet I couldn’t figure out why I didn’t feel free.
I was clinging to the perfect ending. I was hoping to glide through life with a comfortable, steady job, and by silencing my voice. I was pretending that everything would work out in the end.
How perfectly boring.
The stories that I told were too perfectly packaged. I was silencing who I was, at the expense of making others feel comfortable. I was strangling the qualities that made me unique.
I was editing my story while living it. Because I was too focused on the perfect ending. Perfect became purgatory. And I wanted a refund of my own life.
I soon realized that it’s not about the end of my story. It’s about being bold in the moments that you can never get back. [click to tweet!] It’s about connecting to the fire in your belly so you can connect to the world.
I no longer needed a refund. I needed a reboot. So, I relocated back to the Jersey shore. And rebooted my life.
freedom comes in waves
I started to write as a way to become fearless, and show that I have a voice. I wanted to plant my tree so that I could live, breathe, share, and connect. I wanted to be me without clinging to convention. I wanted to be free.
Stories Curate the Process of Change
I tell you this because my story was comfortably stored in a perfect box. But perfect stories fall flat when they’re not sincere.
Stories help curate the process of change. They don’t need to be sappy. But they should be real. When you craft stories that people actually want to read, it infuses your business with meaning. And when your stories connect you to the people that matter, that’s when the magic begins.
The media platforms of today allow you to have a voice. They allow you to provide depth and context. They allow you to put meaning behind what you do. This makes you human – and yes, quite often this means that you become vulnerable.
But when you’re vulnerable, you’re free to live your story this very moment. You’re free to become unbound to the shackles of convention. Free to speak your mind. Free to be more understood. And free to make more of an impact in the world.
When you tell better stories you shape your message in a relevant way. You give yourself the power to share your story with meaning. And you become free.
Do you share stories? Do you find that they set you free? Please comment below.