Who’s Telling Your Story?

This week has been an interesting one, even though nothing spectacular happened. I however think I’ve learnt such a big lesson from someone who doesn’t even have the slightest idea that I actually learnt something from them. And it stemmed out of them just owning their story and being very willing to tell it to someone who was willing to hear. Because we’re all curious beings, aren’t we? And isn’t it better that when you interact with someone, and they eventually open up and tell you their story. It’s a quality I have grown to admire over time, because it’s always best to hear it from the horse’s mouth. Before I would think its TMI (Too Much Information), but now I’m like,

Go for it, own it. I won’t judge you, I will just try understand where you’re coming from.

Ever met with someone new and they ask you, ‘so what’s your story?’ and you wonder, ‘where do I begin telling it?’ Or someone who wants to know a little more about you, and they ask you to tell them about yourself, and wonder again, ‘where do I start?’ I recall the stage in my life when I actually struggled with describing myself. The same doubts are the ones that clouded my mind, and the thought of going for an interview and being asked that particular question gave me the jitters. Because where do you want me to start? Was it from the day I was born, how many siblings I have, the schools I went to and the places I’ve worked? Because that pretty much sums it up, and I was okay with it.

We were trained that when you’re describing yourself, you’re simply mouthing your CV (curriculum vitae), and I did that for a very long time. No lie, I still do it sometimes, because it’s easier, and it makes me sound less like a blab (which I can be). It’s a standard response template for that question, and when you do it over and over, it just comes naturally. It’s really a confusing part  of conversation to have and I couldn’t wait for that bit to be over so that we could get into the technicalities.

Who’s Telling Your Story?

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Then again, there’s so much more about you, so much more than what is in your CV. So much more than reporting to someone where you went to school, what you studied, or your past work places. They form part of your story, yes, but that’s just a small piece off the big pie. Those are not the things that drive you or you’re passionate about; neither are they the things that make your life what it is, nor are they the things that make you say, “This is the reason I am here, and this is the reason I’m chasing this dream.”

Sometimes it’s through your shortcomings or struggles that you realize, ‘you know what, I’d better make this shit work for me.” And it’s quite interesting when you own up to your shortcomings, and you’re able to say, “I didn’t have it right in the beginning, but we’re getting there now, and this is where (or who) I am.” Sometimes it’s also through your achievements that you realize, ‘Whoa! I have really come from far.” And through these experiences, both the good and the bad, you piece up your story, because all these things have contributed towards your advancement.

So, gather the courage to tell your story, because only you know yourself best, and tell it best. Don’t leave it to other people, because they’ll be glad to do it, but with a twist to it that may not be representative of you. At the end of the day your story represents your brand and what people hear is most likely how they’ll deal with you, because that’s the perception they’ll have created of you.

I loved this quote, because I feel like I am also just getting there.

I was once afraid of people saying, “Who does she think she is?” Now I have the courage to say, “This is who I am.”

Oprah Winfrey

Have a Fabulous Friday. And to Kenyans, Happy Jahmuhuri Weekend!

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*