Updated: Apr 21, 2022
It’s a magical time of the year, there’s no doubt about it. And all this talk about gifts and giving has made me think about the gifts we give to others – and ourselves – when we share our story.
So I hope you’ll enjoying listening in today to the 3 gifts storytellers give us – and the long-lasting impact of sharing our journey with others.
Over the years as a storyteller, I’ve discovered is that there are at least 3 gifts that storytellers offer the world.
The first gift storytellers offer the world is the gift of connection.
The truth is stories are the bridges that connect us to each other. When we hear a story, scientific research shows that our brain waves actually start to synchronize with those of the storyteller.
Not only do stories connect our brains, but they also shows us we’re not alone. When someone shares a story that we can relate to, our reaction is often, “Hey, me too!”
And that reaction of seeing ourselves in someone else’s story creates empathy and understanding as well as an undeniable connection to another human being.
In many cases, as listeners or readers, we can hold up a story and actually see a reflection of our own face.
Because in the end, we’re all human. And while our experiences may be different, inside we’re pretty much the same.
The second gift storytellers give us is related to the first – it’s the gift of community.
So often, we walk through life believing we are the only person who has ever experienced a particular emotion or setback or defeat – when in fact, there are thousands if not millions of others who are walking a similar journey. When we share our story, we draw others to us, and that often results in the creation of a common bond or community.
A third gift storytellers give us is the gift of a more diverse and inclusive worldview.
Imagine if all our stories were the same. How incredibly boring would that be? Instead, we have all followed different paths and experienced different moments during our lifetimes. We have encountered different humans and had different reactions to a wide range of events. By sharing these stories with others, we contribute to the richness of the story fabric in our own communities and around the world.
When we intentionally seek out a variety of stories and recognize that one person’s story does not represent an entire culture’s story, then we can better appreciate the individuality and uniqueness of the humans who surround us every day.
As we wrap up today, I want to give you a challenge. If you’ve been holding back on sharing your story with the world, then I hope you’ll reconsider. Because there are so many gifts that lie inside your story. And often we look at our story and we see a chaotic collection of experiences and random lessons that we’re not quite sure will come together to mean anything significant.
But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth the effort.
So whether you tackle your story on your own or you reach out to a story coach for help, I hope you’ll recognize the value inside your own story, and the potential it has to create a real impact in the world.
And the beautiful thing is that sharing our story often doesn’t cost a thing. So why not share the gift of your own story with someone else this holiday season. Because when you do, you may just find that the simple act of giving is the greatest gift of all.