Isha Knill - Business Coaching
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Something you need to know about Stories

Isha Knill - Saturday, February 11, 2017

A while ago I attended a social media workshop and during the presentation the facilitator discussed the importance of sharing your story, saying it was essential.

I admit to putting up my hand and challenging this as like I said to the facilitator I have such a long story, it would probably take a year of blogging and I feel like there are so many more important things to share.  However it’s more than this, and it is probably why I have avoided social media for such a long time.  I know people want to hear your story but the thing is….I’m not my story, my story is something that has happened to me.  My story is a sequence of events, consequences, circumstances that have helped free me to be me, they do not in any way define who I am.

The thing about always telling your story is that you can get trapped in your story and start to believing you are your story.  So what do I mean by this?

Say, for example, Person X builds a successful business, whether they are aware of it or not they start to shape an identity around being a successful business owner which is fine, until circumstances beyond their control create market changes that cause their business to suffer. 

Their story ‘I’m a successful business person” begins to change, now what do they do?  Their whole world comes under threat because if “I’m not a successful business person, then who am I?  I’ve built a life around being this successful business persona, what will people think when they to learn that I have failed?”

It’s our stories that cause our pain and suffering. 

If we didn’t live according to our story and instead just saw life as something that was happening to us but it did not define ‘who we are’ then when our life begins to change, we would move with the change instead of seeing the change as something to avoid/bad or begin to beat ourselves up for getting it ‘wrong’.

The other problem with always telling your story is other people’s perception of your story. 

For example, I have had a pretty tough life.  I didn’t want to migrate to Australia but due to political circumstances beyond my control my husband and I made the decision to leave our homeland for good.  Has this journey been easy?  No way!   Have I struggled?  Absolutely, but when I tell people the full extent of what I have gone through they often look at me like I am weird because they just can’t comprehend what it is like to have gone through what I have gone through and still be ‘normal’ (well I like to think I’m normal J).

The irony is that once I have shared this journey it becomes clear that on some level people feel sorry for me and make a fuss about the dreadful things that have happened to me which almost anchors me to being that way, it’s like an expectation is created that I must be helped because I’ve had a hard life which just makes me a victim and holds me to the story of what happened instead of seeing the survivor who has gone through challenges and instead of letting these challenges define her, has reached the other side.  

So how do we ensure that we don’t become trapped by our stories?  We have to learn that there is a division between you and life.  You are you and life is life, life is something that happens to you it does not have to become 'who you are'.  You do not have to become a victim of the story.   

Our success in life depends entirely upon our ability to master this concept and stay connected to 'who we are' and not who we think society wishes us to be because of the story we have lived or are living.

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