How Has 2020 Changed Your Story?
By Linda Olson
How has 2020 changed my story?
Let me take you way back to when my story started.
I was only 14 years of age. My Dad came to my bedroom door and said, “You’ve got to get up. We have to keep going.” It was the last thing I wanted to do. The day before was the worst day of my life. My precious 2-year-old brother was killed in a tractor accident. I was the one driving the tractor. How do you go from facing your darkest moment to living the life you were meant to live? Where do you even start?
The first step for me was simply getting out of bed. Then, it was putting one foot in front of the other. Something we all have to do after a major crisis.
Getting out of bed meant facing fear behind every corner; the fear of facing my family whose lives I had also crushed, the fear of facing our small community of 500 people where news spread quickly, the fear of facing reactions of friends going back to high school.
There was something deep within that gave me the courage to go forward; it didn’t matter how small the step was. My parents had modeled for me the need to persevere through hard times, and this was the biggest test of all, for me and my family. Somehow, we each took baby steps and kept going.
Years later, I was finally able to forgive myself and let go of the guilt and shame that I had repressed.
In 2020, the challenges that occurred triggered guilt and shame. I recognized it immediately and refused to go back to where I had been for so many years. As I reflected on my story and reviewed 2020, I realized that 2020 allowed me to see my strength and courage in a bigger way than ever before. I was no longer walking in weakness but in strength. I knew I had received healing many years ago and I now choose to walk in courage and strength.
What are the benefits of sharing our story?
There are many benefits of sharing our story but it often comes down to three main benefits.
First, story is the number one way we connect with people. When told well, a story will grab our attention and draw us into what the speaker or person is saying.
Second, story is the number one way to influence or impact someone. We can share many facts and figures but nothing will make the impact like a great story or testimonial.
Third, story is the number one way someone experiences you. The more vulnerable we are, the more someone will experience us, especially when our story impacts them. Our vulnerability often gives our listeners permission to be vulnerable as well. When that level of connection happens we are experiencing one another with a deep level of trust. Sometimes that happens with someone we have just met.
During this time of world crisis, we don’t have to look far to see or know of someone in need. As we reach out in kindness we not only brighten up someone else’s story but that experience of giving often brightens our story as well.
Why is this the best time to evaluate our story?
2020 is a year we will always remember. Things will never be the same. However, it is important to evaluate and see how our story has changed. How have you handled the crisis that occurred for you in 2020? Are you reacting or responding to things around you? If you are reacting to the many changes you need to make during this time, it is likely you are reacting to smaller crises in your life as well. If you are responding to the changes and doing your best to pivot, make the necessary adjustments, and offer a helping hand wherever you can, it is likely what you do when you encounter other crises in your life.
When we evaluate our story and make the necessary changes, it is less likely we will carry the baggage into our next year.
How can we strengthen our story?
This is also an opportune time to strengthen our story. We can do that through several simple ways that will make all the difference. One way is to focus on an attitude of gratitude. I woke up this morning grateful that I am alive, I am healthy, and I am safe.
Secondly, we can strengthen our story through courage. We are all being affected by this crisis one way or another. When we remember who we are, we can function from a place of strength rather than weakness and reach out to those who are deeply hurting.
Thirdly, we can strengthen our story through clarity. Clarity comes out of crises, as it is through the crises that we often stop to evaluate our life and changes we need to make. Clarity will position us to give from a generous heart, show us the next step, and allow us to step forward in confidence, connecting with those that need our help.
If I wanted to learn more about creating my story, what do you suggest?
There are two things I suggest to help you get started:
My book, Your Story Matters, Own Your Story and Tell It With Clarity, Confidence & Impact will give you a great foundation of story. You can find it on Amazon.com at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084S1NZHC/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_7l96Fb0TA8PDE
Beginning February 1st, I will be offering a 5-day Challenge called Create A Transformational Story. Each day, I will give you a key to help you get started. The keys will include: The Key that Unlocks the door to finding more stories than you can count, The Key to Finding a powerful story, The Key to Simplifying your Story, The Key that reveals, Your Story is the Solution and The Key to Transforming Lives Through Story. It’s FREE, It’s Fun, It’s Rewarding. If you would like to sign up, just go to http://wealththroughstories.com/create/
Picasso said, “The meaning of life is to find your gift. (that’s your story). The purpose of life is to give it away.”
Remember, Your Story Matters.
Linda Olson is a TEDx Speaker, multiple Bestselling Author, and Founder of Wealth Through Stories. Her mission is “To Impact A Million People A Year Through Story”.