I woke with a startle. This was one day that I couldn’t afford to be late. A team at work planned to meet to travel together to a large training session for our clients in preparation for a major software release. Just a new college grad in entry level role, I was only attending in a support capacity. But instead of waking early as I had planned, I was jolted awake realizing I had slept straight through my alarm. Rather than delay the group, I called to let them know I’d drive directly to the venue instead of carpooling with them.
Although traffic was extra unbearable that morning, somehow I managed to arrive with several minutes to spare. My relief instantly transformed into panic when the harried event planner greeted me. “Susan, I’m so glad you’re here. The trainers were in a car accident. We need you to run the training.”
That was my first, and rather memorable step into the world of public speaking. I once read that many people rank the fear of public speaking higher than the fear of death. At the same time, over 80% of people say that they want to write a book. Sharing our story either through speaking or writing can sound both intriguing and completely daunting at the same time. We tremble, our voice quivers, and our palms may even get sweaty. Add to that the fear of rejection and it’s easy to understand why it can feel so overwhelming to share our story. Overcoming that fear comes with great benefit.
3 Important reasons to share your story:
It reminds you how far you’ve come.
As a child, my family had a doorway where my parents would periodically mark how tall we were. It felt so good to see the small lines with my name inch up the wall over time. Even the smallest incremental growth showed that I wasn’t where I used to be. Sharing your story does the same. It reminds you that you’re not where you were before and allows you to see how far you’ve come.
It reminds you of answers to prayer.
Sharing our stories keeps answers to prayer that we’ve experienced fresh in our minds. They’re great reminders to keep fresh for when life challenges us again. When we read Exodus, it can feel a bit like the Hebrews forgot answers they had received. God performed several miracles to break them free from slavery. Then, as they fled, He split the Red Sea so that they could walk through on dry ground. Safely on the other side, the complained and even said they’d have been better staying slaves. We need to resist the temptation to forget the answers to prayer we’ve had so that we do not get stuck when new challenges roll into our lives.
It shares hope with others.
Have you ever been inspired by someone’s before and after picture? Seeing someone’s transformation inspires. Sharing our stories does the same. Our words paint a picture with the images of the struggles and challenges we’ve faced and the hurdles we’ve needed to overcome. By sharing, we’re allowing others to “see” our before and after pictures to share hope and inspiration to others for their journey. You may be surprised by how many times you hear “me too” as others respond letting you know that they’ve shared similar struggles. Your story can bring just the hope they need to press on.
It’s your turn.
When we share our stories it may be to an audience of one over a cup of coffee or, it may be to an entire auditorium or arena. It could be structured and formal or completely casual. Additionally, we might share through our written word in a blog or book. How and what you share is individual.
If you want to learn how to write or speak about your story, there are many great conferences each year. A few that I’m looking forward to include:
- http://speakupconference.com/ (June 28-39 – There’s still time to register!)
- http://www.maranathachristianwriters.com/ (Sept 27-29)
I hope you’re encouraged to share your story! Have you ever shared your story? If you have, was it easier than you thought? And, if you haven’t, does this post make your reconsider? I’d love to hear from you!
Enjoy this post as a video on my youtube channel.
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