Sharing our stories is how we create that sense of connection with other human beings. Recently, I signed up for an online storytelling course to become a better presenter, and I encouraged my team to join me. Of the eight team members who signed up, only three of us made it past the first week. We decided to keep pushing through to the end together.
“Sharing our stories is how we create that sense of connection with other human beings”
Our first assignment was to map out our life journeys using an element other than time. Dionne mapped her life by the people that have had the most impact on her. I learnt that her mother was a teacher, and her father a firefighter, and that she was always told to find her passion and pursue it.
Camille charted her life through the different roles she played at different points in time. I’ve known Camille for twelve years, but I learnt something very interesting about her through this exercise. She deliberately chose to prioritize finding a love relationship very early in her life, deprioritizing travel and career to focus on love. It’s core to who she is: a nurturer. Through her story I noticed that I had done the reverse – I wanted to see the world and living a big life very early, and waited until a decade after Camille to prioritize love. Sometimes I wonder if I did the right thing, but in the end, I believe that as long as we do the best we can in any given moment, we’re making the right choice.
“As long as we do the best we can in any given moment, we’re making the right choice”
I chose to describe my life using the places that have had the biggest impact on me: Kingston, Chicago, Spain, Boston, Dubai, New York, London, and back to Jamaica. In telling my story, I discovered how many times I walked away from the fast-paced, high-achievement path in order to rest, find balance, and return to my whole self. I’ve been walking that tightrope between success and self-care for quite a while.
We all have something to learn from each other, and it is only by sharing our stories publicly that we can unearth nuggets of truth in our lives. In fact, we’re more likely to accelerate our growth by learning about the successes and missteps of others, and deciding whether or not to make similar choices.
“It is only by sharing our stories publicly that we can unearth nuggets of truth in our lives”
I’ve decided to be unafraid to share my stories of success and failure with you. I hope that doing so inspires you to make decisions in your life that reflect your authentic self. If you’re interested, subscribe to my mailing list for stories about my journey, starting with my top five tools for understanding you.