As many of you know, a couple of months ago I decided to take a leap into the unknown and take my coaching business online. I am successfully growing a soft-skills training and public speaking career here in China, and I wanted to go back to connecting more with people directly. I also wanted to go global, to spread my message far and wide, to create a movement of empowered women, empowering woman creating global opportunities for each and every one of us, as I am experiencing the world at a whole new level now, from a whole new perspective. So, a new pathway for me began.
Now part of my development, to get clear on where I wanted to go with this new venture, was to redefine my story. I have done this a few times in the course of my business development, the first being when I began Business Coaching around 12 years ago.
This was the first time I realised I actually had a story worth sharing. The first time that I began to see for myself that I wasn’t “just” a mother, wife, daughter etc. The first time that I became aware of the fact that the experiences, the ordeals, the ups and downs in my life had a story that could inspire and help others in the big wide world. For me, this was a very defining moment in my life and was a huge influence in taking me down the road of coaching. For the first time in my life I think I believed that I had value.
Since then, while my story hasn’t changed, each time I am contemplating a new path in life or in business, sometimes when I am stuck and not connecting in some way, shape or form, or when things are just not going smoothly, I work through “my story” again. Some times on my own, sometimes with a coach to have them push me that little bit deeper, to help me peel back those onion layers even more. Each time is a little more revealing. Each time there is a little more awareness. Each time I learn something new about myself. Each time I am more inspired to persist in doing what I am doing or take that next big step into the unknown.
Now I’m not here talking about doing a completely spiritual self-cleansing and finding yourself (although I don’t doubt that this has huge value to people). I’m looking at it from a more personal and practical application. Each time I have gone through the process of defining my story has been based on a pure business decision, to get clear on my message, to get clear on my market and to ultimately provide clarity around my “why”. And yes while for business purposes, it has me dig deeper into me personally.
Not being a “fluffy” type of person, delving into my story has had me tap into concepts my completely rational, logical, practical, left-brain had previously rejected. It has me move away from my more logical thinking and comprehend actions, thoughts, and reactions, more at a purely instinctual level, opening my mind, growing my understanding, expanding my experiences and ultimately exposing my vulnerabilities.
Previously laughable suggestions of what I could be, what I could achieve, slowly became believable and doable, and with time, have inevitably become part of my everyday life. My disbelief and doubt were diluted as knowledge of who I was, began to ring true and the value of my life’s experiences and “stuff” became a solid and safe foundation for my future development in my life, my relationships and in my business.
So today when it seems a lot of people are asking me questions such as:
- how do I maintain my momentum and energy in my business,
- how do I define my target market,
- how do you know what to say to people
- how do I know what I want to be when I grow up,
- how do I build confidence to creating the life I deserve?
My answer is the same. Start with you, start with your story. Everything starts with your story. Your story lays the foundation for your journey, it provides the framework for the future you desire and empowers you to maintain momentum to create your success, your results. It cements your purpose in life or business. I’m a firm believer your story is the key to your success.
And right here, we hit a roadblock. When people get told it starts with their story, they balk! Their tummy turns into knots. Excuses immediately come up, no time, no money, I’ve done this before it didn’t really work for me. Come on this is about business. Isn’t there another way?
Maybe it’s the fear of facing ourselves, of accessing and bringing up the past that holds us back. Yes, the journey can entail fear, confusion, sadness, frustration, chaos and so many more emotions as you revisit the choices in your life. Yes, it requires honesty. Yes, it requires opening ourselves up. Yes, it requires vulnerability. It may also require you to make some tough decisions. And those are all the things that make it so worthwhile, that make it so real and make it the beginning of your success!
Because, once you understand your experience, your life experience, your experiences in life that have brought you to where you are now, you can build your messaging around your story, around your business, to have your audience relate to you instantly, there’s a connection in your story. If your goal is to help people change and transform their lives, understanding your change, your transformation at a deeper level will help you connect with them as they search for someone who understands and can help them, really know what they are feeling.
By identifying what makes you unique and dissecting your experiences, creating your authentic story you will benefit in so many ways, to name a few:
- more clearly understand what drives you
- be able to transform your messaging to resonate with others
- have a deeper sense of alignment of who you are
- get a lot clearer on who you are serving and why
- be able to build a business that is totally congruent with you
- be more confident and courageous taking your message out into the world
- more likely look inside yourself for answers, less blaming
- be aware of how the thoughts you have, the decisions you make today ultimately create your reality.
So how to create your authentic story. I have one simple solution – get a coach to help you through the process. Their skill and ability to draw your story out of you will be priceless. And be aware, sometimes our ‘stuff’ is very obvious and sometimes it’s buried so deeply within us, often we have learned to hide it from all but the most aware people so it may take some digging out.
And if this step is just too big initially, then I suggest you just start writing a journal of sorts (hand-written or electronic). Choose one or more of the sentences below and find quiet time to reflect and write what comes up for you. Don’t worry about bringing up material that you may be initially too afraid to explore, simply put it down on paper. Don’t bother with perfection, grammar, spelling or punctuation. Don’t think and write – just write. Let it flow…
- I was just a kid when …
- I tried my best and …
- I remember when …
- In that moment everything changed …
- It was shocking to find out that …
- It was the proudest day of my life …
- It was the hardest thing I’d ever done …
Self-discovery through creating your authentic story is one of the most courageous things you can do in life and you will be amazed at the results not just for your business, especially for yourself.
Your confidence and belief in yourself and your story skyrockets you fall more in love with life. You become more accepting of your past and more open to what you can achieve moving forward. You begin to see the beauty in yourself and in others. Most importantly you begin down the wonderful path of learning to love yourself, value yourself and believe in yourself – warts and all. What an awesome message to take to the world!
Would you like to get clear on your story? Can you see it being of value to you?
If you are ready to invest in your story then chat with me. Book a free 20-minute springboard session with me, to see how I can help you with your story to build your confidence, create change and begin living the life you desire.