Today is about owning your story to avoid having an identity crisis.
If you’re in a situation where you doubt whether you should reveal who you are or how you came about to be in said situation, remember this cliche:
OWN YOUR STORY.
The reason I’m bringing this up is that I know as an introvert, way too well, how easy it is to keep my mouth shut and ears open. I’m definitely more fluent at listening and observing, than at speaking, but I know that I have a story worth sharing, even though most of the time I choose not to.
When I choose not to, it’s because:
I don’t want to take up too much time talking about myself
I don’t want to sound like I’m a narcissist
I’m more interested in learning about someone else’s story
I feel uncomfortable having people stare at me
I don’t want to bore anyone
But the reality is that owning my story is a vital component of my personal growth. I cannot expect to take my mindset to the next level if I’m not able to truly and confidently talk about what makes me ME. By not talking about it, I’m inadvertently creating an identity crisis.
This recently came to light during my first day back at school.
As we were all getting ready to do a speed-dating exercise to get to know some of the other students, I was fretting internally.
I wasn’t sure how much I should reveal about myself.
Should I talk about how I was born in Romania? That I’m also a Canadian citizen? But ALSO an American Citizen? What do I say when someone asks me where I’m from? Do I say Florida, Canada, or Romania? What about the fact that I’m 10 years older than everyone else, do I mention that? Do I talk about how I just quit my job after 7 years when no one else has work experience? Do I reveal that I’m also a mom?
For those of us who have “complicated” identities, it can become stressful having to talk about our story and our background.
Especially if we have an identity crisis.
But the moment I stood face to face with each one of the students, I spoke my truth.
I owned my story.
“Yes, I’m probably the oldest one here! I’m 31!”
“I just moved here a week ago with my husband and 2-year-old from Florida”
“I lived there for 20 years but I’m originally from Romania but grew up in Canada”
“I up and quit my job because I was looking for something else”
“Yeah this is my second Master’s Degree because I only did the first one for my resume”
And even though most of the others couldn’t relate to anything I said, it was really important for me to set the record straight and reveal all facets of my life, regardless of how complex my background is.
It would have been really easy to just say “Oh I’m from Florida, and that I’m so excited to be here for this Master’s degree”. Period.
Be honest with yourself, how many times did you hold yourself back from telling your story because you didn’t want to “bother” people with it? Come on, tell me the truth!
Stories are BEAUTIFUL. Without stories, we have nothing. We are nothing. So OWN your story, and spill it every chance you get because you never know who you’ll inspire, who you’ll motivate, who will become your fan, or who will relate to you.