Of Superheroes & Vulnerability
Storytelling has been like a superhero in my life.
Heroic, ingenious and inspiring about helping other people’s stories to be shared and appreciated.
And evasive and introspective when it comes to my own...
Yes I confess that I tend to shy from the limelight. I totally understand the awkwardness, vulnerability and the power of sharing your journey!
That’s why I love helping people to get comfortable and step up to becoming visible and strategic with storytelling.
Let me make this crystal clear: I know how difficult and confronting this can be!
From as long as I can remember, I sought to inspire and influence through art and storytelling. Cue montage of little me forever sketching, observing, writing and performing my little creative heart out... I dived into arts school, making and curating exhibitions, and building an impressive critical and professional facade.
Making interviews became my passion - celebrating how people make meaning in the world, across different cultures, languages and areas of expertise. I relished being behind the camera, asking sage questions and creating storyscapes. I wrote my Master Thesis on narrative, and while I valued the academic achievement, it brought me no closer to my own story. I honed marketing, communications and strategy expertise working with government and cultural organisations, and with new MBA studies. But I would point at imaginary Good Year Blimps if someone asked about me.
However, simply avoiding or minimising your storytelling is a story in itself. A tale of invisibility, indifference, confusion or misunderstanding. Which may make a magnificent work of art, but is hardly ideal in business…
What changed for me?
A decision to be clear, inspiring and an empowering agent for change in the world.
This began with a seismic shift in my life around 7 years ago.
I fell in love with someone who is outrageously and extraordinarily open, who sees through my mystery-enigmatic-puzzle routine, and who implodes all my self-limiting stories along the way. Chancing everything to be together, I farewelled Sydney careerism to play a bigger part in the world.
We started together in a remote Top End community, amongst crocodiles and the best Karaoke you can imagine. I worked with Indigenous leaders, towards their vision on their Homelands, as well as intercultural projects across business, government and community. I joined the Board of Artback NT, which tours and develops extraordinary creations across Australia.
When we moved back to the East Coast a few years ago, I shifted gears to join a vast STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) education project in Queensland. I worked with scientists, educators and students, to bridge collaborative understanding and engagement across diverse fields of knowledge, towards a collective vision for change.
Now, parenting our 2yo daughter is another crash course in transformation and the value of storytelling. She’s a great little teacher...
I’ve aligned my business with my purpose, and am continually showing up and stepping up with authenticity, both in terms of business and personal growth. To do this, I create stories and strategies for mutual understanding, inspiration and action.
I am also continually learning to give myself care and space, to innovate and fail well, and to leap towards things that inspire and terrify me.
That sounds lovely, but essentially I’ve repeatedly faced up to self-sabotaging habits, fears, and unhelpful stories that I inherited (like most of us) from a past with a degree of pain and self-doubt. This is the real story. With the support of my partner, friends and entrepreneurial community, I practise vulnerability as a tool for change.
What do I mean by this?
Others witness my weakness and I theirs, and together we share the realisation that our various fears and shames are not unique, that we are not alone, and that being visible and vulnerable is an act of strength. Revealing these authentic stories - the good, bad and the ugly - we can laugh, accept, heal.
Most importantly, we can progress the vision of our enterprise, inspire those who are ready to join us, and so make it reality.
With this firsthand experience, I help others to make the most of storytelling in business.
To reflect on our own stories, and to feel supported in beginning to overcome fears and limiting beliefs. To become clear of the purpose of the stories we choose to share, who these stories are for, and what they will gain. To plan, create, test and evolve effective stories that align with our why.
Let’s weave storytelling into your content strategy, to build authentic connection and insightful relationships with ideal clients, and to inspire and catalyse towards your vision!
I'd love to hear your perspective and ideas too! What is your story, and what do you love or loathe about sharing it with your business?
Join me too for this FREE webinar to help you connect and catalyse with your story, 18 July 2018!