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Storytelling isn’t always just for the listener.

I read this article today (link below) that Oprah wrote about the healing power of sharing your story. It occurred to me that as a storytelling speaker, I’m always talking about story as a tool to influence others. Today I am reminded that story is also a tool to heal ourselves.

I have felt firsthand the healing power of sharing my story – of being vulnerable – of admitting my weaknesses and my pains as well as my victories – in front of a group of strangers. There is just something about sharing it that makes me feel heard – makes me feel validated – makes me feel like someone cares. It’s my opportunity to get it out instead of holding it in.

Do you have story that needs to be shared? Just for you?

Maybe there’s some healing you need to do. And telling your story to the world is just part of the process. If so, here is some encouragement from someone who has spent her whole life studying the power of story.

  1. Don’t question your right to share your story. It’s important. It matters. It doesn’t have to be “good enough” to share. Don’t believe the lie that says someone else had it worse, so you just need to suck it up. This isn’t for them. It’s for you. Share it anyway.
  2. Find the gift in it before you tell it. A friend of mine (Jeffrey Van Dyke with Tribal Marketing) said to never tell a story until you are through bleeding from it. We might not be on the other side of our story, but we can find a way to find some good in where we stand right now. Even the idea of hope is enough.
  3. Before you write it, give it a framework. We tend to ramble when we share our stories if they aren’t planned out in advance. Make sure you have a clear outline. (My Story Formula book is PERFECT if you need a workbook to help you with structure.)
  4. Practice telling it before you share it with the world. It will take some time to get used to telling that story before you’re ready to launch it on a bigger platform. Practice your story in a safe environment. Perhaps even get some feedback. (My Story Mastery Studio is the perfect place to pop into my studio and get help if you’re stuck in a certain area of the story. Each month I have open studio hours for struggling storytellers.)
  5. Surround yourself with people going through the same journey. It’s always nice when you have others trying to share their story too. You can help each other along the way. If you don’t have a warm safe place to nurture your story and watch it grow, please join us at Story Camp. It’s a magical time to learn, process, and share stories. We’d love to help you find the magic in your story.

When I stand on the stage in front of thousands of people and share the story of who I am and the struggles in my life, I feel like I am giving the pain away. I feel free. Not because they got to hear my story, but because I got to tell it.

Kelly Swanson

How Oprah Learned the Power of Story

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