Using The Power Of Your Story To Strengthen Your Personal Brand
“I now see how owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.” ~Brené Brown
A common limiting belief and killer of creativity is to sell ourselves short, that we do not have anything special to offer.
"What do I have to say that others have not already heard?"
"That idea has been done to death."
This way of thinking is not only a huge disservice to our own uniqueness but also to the people who need to hear our one of a kind perspective.
When I started my own social media management agency, I knew that I wanted to help creative women in business better understand who they are. How to use their stories, gifts and talents to stand out in the world while serving others. In my research I ran across those who were also teaching personal branding and those doubts started to creep in "There are already people talking about and teaching these strategies. Maybe I need to think of something else".
I was allowing my inner critic to sell me on the belief that I had nothing new or interesting to say. My fear went even deeper as I worried about whether others could really relate to me. I knew that sharing my story would require vulnerability, opening myself up to judgement and rejection. I was tempted to give into that, to dismiss that my voice could have an impact.
Thank goodness my faith is bigger than my fears because deep down I truly believe that I can make a difference especially when I am willing to submit to God and allow Him to take my hot messes and turn them into a powerful message for others.
What I began to understand in my own journey and breakthroughs is that what we are all really seeking is authenticity. That spark that comes when our passions and talents collide AND we let go of our need to "what if" everything to death freeing ourselves to allow others to truly see us.
Your experiences matter so much more than you could ever know and sharing your story can give others the space and permission to do the same.
While it is true that there is whole lot of similar content out there, no one has been where you have been nor can they convey it the same way you would. Even the most "done-to-death" idea is waiting for you to breathe new life into it with YOUR authentic originality and exceptional combination of style, life experiences and lessons learned.
There is a whole world out there full of people who have never seen or heard things the way you have. There may be plenty of people talking about green juice but no one is going to talk about it the way you will. People need to hear YOUR creative version of green juice.
Let me just be forthcoming here, yes people will judge you. Yes, people will have their opinions about what you are doing and how you are doing it. Yes, we want to be accepted, to receive a positive response but there is nothing more gratifying than releasing your creative work to world in order to help the people who need you. If you allow your inner critic to convince you its impossible, you have no chance of experiencing what making a difference in someone's life feels like, to see the positive impact you were divinely created to make.
Here are some tips to help you get started in sharing your story:
1. Let go of the limiting belief that you don't have one. Your life up to this very moment that you are reading this blog post has been full of memorable lessons and experiences. You have mastered new skill sets and have God given talents so stop lying to yourself that you don't have anything of value to offer.
2. Buy a journal and start writing your most inner thoughts, dreams and desires. Travel back in time and write down the things in your life that have mattered greatly to you over the years. Write out the lessons that you have learned and what you gained from them. Journal about the good and bad experiences that you have had over the years that you would not trade for the world because it has led you to where you are now. How can these experiences help others?
3. Once you have spent time journaling, decide which parts of your story you will keep for you and which parts you will share with others. Some parts of your story you may not be ready to share now but writing it out has led you closer to that place.
4. Start sharing your story with others. You may only feel comfortable sharing with one person right now. When you see how powerful your story will be to another person, you will grow confident in sharing with larger numbers of people. Maybe in a bible study group that leads to sharing as a speaker to a larger crowd and online through social media and your own blog post. Its important to remember that sharing our stories is not to complain or whine, its to share from a place to teach, uplift and inspire. The pieces of your story that you share should have a beginning, a middle and an end (the moral of the story). You want to inspire your reader to see that if you can make it through a tough relationship, a business failure or a hard day with the kids they can too.
Putting yourself and your ideas out there can feel overwhelming and scary but the pros far out weighs the cons. #YourStoryMatters. Its time to share your love and light with the world. People are waiting to be moved and inspired in a way that only YOU can deliver.
Are you working to share your story but struggling to put all the pieces together? Grab my FREE 32-Page 10 Day Brand Plan and let's dive deeper together over the next 10 days to put a solid strategy into place for your brand and business xo
April Williams is a Creative Momista and Soulpreneur of 2 boys + whimsical wavemaker + creative expressive + Texas country girl + branding junkie who loves green mint tea + horses + fuzzy socks + surrounding herself with high achieving amazing women + peppermint anything + the color red + cozy coffee shops. She is a branding strategist for creative women entrepreneurs and founder of Creative Brandista™ .