There are great reasons to share the story of your life with others. If you share your story correctly, it can catalyze healing and inspire the listener and you. Learn how to do it and how it can help your growth.
The story of your life is important. You may not realize the obstacles you have overcome until you take the time to write your narrative. Sharing makes us vulnerable. Our vulnerability builds courage for ourselves and others. If you craft the narrative of events correctly, you can discuss sensitive issues in an inspirational way.
Sharing Your Life Story with Others
There are five reasons to share the things that helped you overcome obstacles. But before we jump into the five great reasons for sharing about yourself, let’s look at how to craft a compelling story with a positive purpose. Ideally, we want to share so that others can learn and be inspired. We are not doing this to get sympathy.
First, start with specific goals or points for your discussion. The narrative of the story you tell should reveal the obstacles you have overcome and the lessons you have learned. Are you trying to make a point, or are you trying to help someone through a similar situation?
Make sure you can complete your talk or discussion in the time allotted. The most common reason for failing to meet the talk’s goals is underestimating the time it will take. Make sure you have time for questions.
Stay on track. Don’t go down a rabbit trail. The second reason a talk doesn’t meet its goals is getting off track. If you get questions off-topic, have a strategy to handle them. People may ask questions to get you off-topic if you are working one-on-one. If you are talking in front of a group, have a parking lot to answer those questions at the end if you have time. Or chat with them afterward.
Know your audience. Share the right level of detail and feeling targeted for your audience. We need to tailor this narrative to suit our listeners or audience. For example, if we talk to a close friend, we may share more details than in front of a group.
Five Great Reasons to Share Your Life Story
Here’s a quick summary of these guiding principles or reasons. (1)
1) Sharing your story as a Survivor and Thriver. You show people with similar life events how you moved from victim to survivor. If you can do it, provide an example for others to follow. Telling your story from a survivor’s perspective is a powerful healer and motivator. Even better if you can show how you learned how to thrive.
3) Sharing your story from your current perspective is a healthy tactic. It helps you distance yourself from past trauma. And it also reminds you of your victories.
4) Sharing builds trust. Your life story can create a community that helps others understand you better, building mutual trust. Trust is a necessary ingredient for any relationship. The more you are trusted, the more likely people are to accept you and what you say.
Sharing Your Life Story with Others Makes a Difference
Now for the details of these five reasons:
1) Sharing as a Survivor And Thriver
It is easy to get stuck in a victim mentality when you suffer emotional trauma. It takes hard inner work to deal with the memories. Sometimes there are lifelong physical scars and disabilities. The more significant the trauma’s impact, the more it will move from living as a victim to a survivor. Many people need professional help to make this transition.
The step from survivor to thriving is another shift in attitude and action. You can learn to thrive in any environment with the proper knowledge and skills. However, it does require research and work. If you’ve made it this far, explain how you found out what works.
Sharing your life story with others is a powerful and practical way to show empathy for the struggles of others. People can relate to the obstacles. It helps inspire and show others healing is possible. What’s important is to share in a way that is non-judgmental, non-blaming, and non-victimizing. These are the positive traits of the “Survivor.”
Telling others the strategies and tactics you’ve tried helps them see what lies ahead. Be honest about which ones worked and which ones did not. It is all right to talk about your feelings. But be careful not to get caught up in reliving the negative aspects from the victim’s perspective.
See if you can frame your story from the perspective of a survivor. Focus on how you overcame the obstacles. Highlight the lessons you gained from your life experience. Telling your life events from this vantage point will facilitate others to open up their hearts and minds to learn from your experiences. It’s one of the five great reasons for sharing your life story with others.
2) Identify Lessons of Wisdom
There are often several benchmark lessons on the path from victim to survivor. Sometimes it’s about thriving where you are or learning to let go. Here are some examples.
- First, avoid comparison.
- Second, learn to overcome decision paralysis.
- Third, grasp the healing aspect of sharing.
- And fourth, learn how to observe your thoughts without judgment.
Whatever the lessons, others can benefit from your Eureka moments. And it doesn’t hurt you to keep these lessons at the forefront. Another one of the primary reasons for sharing your life events is for your self-reflection.
3) Sharing Your Life Story with Others For Perspective
Talking about trauma can be a way of creating distance. You are not ignoring the incident or situation; you are putting it in perspective. You are now a survivor and perhaps someone who thrives.
It’s crucial not to fall back into past events’ negative emotions. Keep your mind in the present, and frame your discussion from a healthy mindset perspective. Don’t allow skepticism to become cynicism. When you do it correctly, you align with the spiritual law of ebb and flow. You demonstrate how you transition through each stage, gaining strength and freedom.
4) Sharing Builds Trust
When you share your life story’s details, it helps build trust and community. Vulnerability is the key. They can sense if you speak from the perspective of someone thriving and surviving.
People will trust those who show they have walked the same path and emerge as a victor. Be aware that vulnerable people may also attract those who are unhealthy. Make sure you share your story but don’t involve yourself as a counselor. If someone needs personal attention, let them know you will refer them to someone who can provide that level of advice.
5) A Courage Builder
Sharing the details of your life story takes courage and makes you vulnerable. However, doing it will increase your self-confidence and self-compassion. Courage is a muscle. That means the more it is used, the stronger it becomes. However, you’ll need courage and persistence to resist fear. When others see you do this, it helps them find the courage to move from victim to survivor.
So, sharing is a courage builder that will help you face other challenges. As it opens your heart, you may find it draws you to act. Positive activism is born out of an open heart. But the heart does not work alone. Your awareness will also expand, which is why you feel obligated to act.
Sharing is only half of the exchange. Once you share, you need to listen to others’ life stories. If you only lift yourself, your task is only half done. It is the last of the five great reasons for sharing, but not the least.
Use Active Listening Skills
One of the principal reasons to share your life story is to give others the courage to share. Communicating in a non-judgmental way opens the doors for others to share where they are on their journey. Active listening is imperative. Again, listen but do not counsel.
- Give the person your full, undivided attention.
- Refrain from advising.
- Show your concern with non-verbal cues (head nodding, open posture, leaning forward).
- Paraphrasing is good, but don’t overuse it.
- Brief affirmations or agreements like, I see, I know, sure. However, be careful with the term “I understand.” Only use it if you have a similar life story experience.
- When appropriate, it’s okay to ask questions to clarify.
Don’t judge them if they get hung up on being the victim, blaming others, or becoming judgmental. Guard against enabling or encouraging them in negative thought patterns. That’s because judgemental thinking leads to corrosive and self-destructive thought patterns. This prevents them from learning or healing from unpleasant experiences.
When their sharing gets sidetracked, you can use phrases to guide them away from the victim mentality. Don’t invalidate their current feelings, but use phrasing like, “I hear what you are saying. How would you tell this part of your life story to someone to help guide them to a place of healing? Or, “How could you use this part of your account to help a child or adolescent that may have had similar life events?
We use a quote to help put things in perspective.
“Live long and prosper.” ― Leonard Nimoy as Spock on StarTek
What if Re-Directing Doesn’t Work?
Don’t force it if you encounter someone who doesn’t respond to re-directing or reforming their life story. Take a completely fresh approach from dealing directly with their past. People often need grounding to heal or deal with past situations. If someone identifies with the victim’s role, they need to find the path to healing.
So, we recommend having them learn to ground and center first. It provides the basis people need to change their life direction. There are several spiritual technologies everyone can use for grounding and centering.
We hope these five great reasons for sharing your life story inspire you to try it yourself.
(1) Psychology Today, Resilience and 4 Benefits to Sharing Your Story: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-web-violence/201309/resilience-and-4-benefits-sharing-your-story