There she was again! While in town running errands, I saw the same acquaintance, in the first two stores. I had not seen her in a while, and she was now in her early twenties and pregnant. Had she married, and I just hadn’t heard about the wedding? My heart went out to her. But I hesitated to say anything. I wanted to encourage her, as others had encouraged me when I was single and pregnant. I had a story to share, a very personal story. Should I step out and talk with her? After our “chance” meeting, that day, I realized yet again the importance of sharing one’s story. So how can you bless others with YOUR story? Here are 4 simple ways to share your personal story to encourage others.
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4 Simple Ways to Share Your Personal Story
Well, I feel a little sheepish to admit but while I was standing there thinking what to do, this young mom-to-be approached me. Her words quickly came tumbling out. She wasn’t married. And like I had been, she felt frightened and uncertain about her future. We talked for a while just two woman who shared the same predicament, 13 years apart.
I shared a bit of my story, the events leading up to and how I survived the first few years as a single mom. But I was also able to share more than just a survival story. My story isn’t just about pure survival. It was also about growing. And later thriving.
We parted ways, and had several interactions in the next few months. But it was for a limited time. And yet, years later, I learned from this mom that the day we had talked, in the store, had been such a blessing. She had really needed that.
We can be such an encouragement to others, and receive a blessing too in return when we impart our life lessons. Perhaps you have realized that others would benefit from hearing your story, but you are unsure how to share. Here are some simple ways to share your personal story.
Wait for Others to Share or Ask You Questions
The easiest way to share your personal story is just to wait til others open up to you. When someone tells you of their struggles and you have had a similar circumstance, then just share a little, telling them of your personal journey. If they seem receptive or ask questions you can feel free to share a bit more.
Do be aware that the focus should remain on the person who is currently in the midst of the tough battle. We don’t want to diminish their pain in any way by just glossing over the hard days and only speaking of the positive outcome.
But most people who are really hurting feel comforted to hear that YOU made it through and that they also can.
Give them a few tips as to how you overcame or what was a comfort to you in the midst of your darkest days. Did a particular Bible verse bring you hope? Was there a book that opened your eyes and gave you clarity? Is there a blog that you started following that offered guidance and a community of others?
Most will mentally grab a hold of your words and remember them. Others will appreciate your words but also want to take an action such as looking up the book or blog you suggested.
Put Yourself in the Opportune Setting
Do you feel really passionate about the circumstances you have survived? Perhaps you should step into a role in an organization that helps others that are going through similar struggles.
For many years, I worked as a court and family advocate with an agency dealing with victims of domestic and sexual assault. Some of the most passionate people in that field were themselves former victims or had lost a loved one as a result of domestic violence. When a women (or man) walked into our agency seeking help and direction, those that had escaped domestic violence “got” what these women were going through.
As I mentioned in this post here on how to make over your life, I could relate to the women who were making poor relationship choices and that definitely helped me do my job much better.
Most places love volunteers, especially non-profit agencies, so if you are feeling led to share your story in a tangible way ask if the organization has a need for volunteer help.
Volunteering is also a great way to see if you might want to seek out a more permanent position. Several women in my heart Facebook group have gone on to help make changes in the medical community after their sudden heart attack(s) and diagnosis with SCAD (Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection).
One word of caution before you proceed with one of these simple ways to share your personal story! Please make sure that you have processed what you personally have gone through so that you are in a position to mentor others. It is one thing just to commiserate together in a friend to friend type setting. But if you are putting yourself into a mentoring role, be sure to have some hope and clear direction that you can offer someone.
For instance, if you are taking on a sponsor role for someone struggling with alcohol or drug issues, you would want to have created a strong support base for yourself as well as have had a length of time since your struggle was a day to day issue.
Let Others Know You are Available
If you feel comfortable, use small opportunities to share your story with friends and family. And let them know that you are more than willing to chat with others that may need some support. This is a relatively easy way to just open your life to small pay it forward moments.
On numerous occasions, I have told my friends and family that they can give out my number to someone they are helping who is struggling with an issue to which I can relate.
Sometimes, I receive a call from the person and other times I receive a call from a friend or family member asking my opinion on how they might help their friend.
Speak or Write about It
Lastly, speaking or writing about your journey is one of the best options on simple ways to share your personal story.
You may just decide to journal all your progress and thoughts for yourself and only share with a select few later. Or you may decide you feel passionate about helping and feel led to make your words public for others.
How much you share and what aspects of your life you feel led to share is totally up to you. Just because someone suggests it or asks you to step forward does not mean you need to do so.
For example, while I share about my heart issues, I don’t personally feel led to advocate for women’s heart health all the time. I do it occasionally where I feel it fits or might benefit others. Read more about my medical journey here and here. While other SCAD survivors feel called to make it one of their life’s missions. And I’m glad they did because it means I was able to find a community in a SCAD Facebook group that they bravely set up and initiated!
Now, I do love writing and speaking about creating an emotionally healthy life. From my personal and professional experience, I have seen that when we address the real thoughts and feeling in our life we can create an emotionally healthy life. When we stuff our fears, allow shame to drag us down and refuse to learn from our mistakes, our life takes a downward spiral. So I’m super passionate about creating an online community where moms of tweens and teens can learn about caring for their personal growth so that they are better equipped to teach and care for the emotional health of their homes.
Would you join us on Instagram or Facebook? I would love to have you as part of our supportive community!
So decide what works best for you! You may even decide you want to start a blog:)
Some of my blogging favorites:
Building a Framework . Abby at Just a Girl and her Blog created this amazing course to help you start your own blog. It includes videos, including tech videos showing you how to get set up and running. Want to try a sneak peek as what to anticipate? Try her free email course which will come right to your inbox with tons of great content! FREE course here ” Launch a Blog that Thrives.”
Your Blogging University. Crystal Paine created several awesome courses. Learn more about her blogging course here on this free webinar loaded with great information,” 3 Days to Start That Blog You’ve Been Dreaming Of.”
What is a struggle that you overcame that you feel led to share with others? Are you currently sharing? Or are you still thinking about how you would like to share?