We all have stories.

We’ve lived our varied lives, and while some details may overlap, our stories are specific to each of us. Our experiences, good and bad, joy-filled and heart-breaking, are being woven together to create our unique tale.

Our brains are hardwired to think, learn, and act most effectively through stories.  Even at night, our sleeping mind creates and processes in the story land of dreams.  Personal stories create human connection through which those we share them with can learn more, with deeper understanding. 

Stories have been at the heart of all cultures throughout history. Storytelling means sharing about events and people that have mattered to you in your own life. Stories help us connect with one another, explore reality and possibility – or escape from it, share knowledge and wisdom, make sense of our past and present, and shape our future. Even thought the tone of our stories often change with each season, your story still belongs to you. 

Here are 3 reasons why you should share your story:

1. Storytelling is good for you. Research shows that sharing your story can have substantial psychological and physical health benefits.  As you share about events and people that have mattered to you in your own life it helps you express yourself. It helps you think about what has happened in your life in a way that makes sense. From a psychological point of view, it helps to think about your life as a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end. It helps to think about how the various events—even the bad ones—have been part of a journey toward the person you want to become.

 2.  Storytelling reaffirms your values.  Your stories are a collection of your experiences and often times you can learn things about yourself from the act of writing or storytelling. It can be a way to clarify what is important. It is so easy to get swept up in the day-to-day hustle and bustle. Sharing about the experiences you’ve had and the people who have greatly impacted your life can help you to renew your commitment to the things you value most. Taking some time to focus on values can  a serve as a good reminder of your priorities.

3.  Storytelling brings perspective. Our stories become a meeting place through which we can speak and offer deeper meaning to our experiences. When we’re living in the middle of situations it’s easy to become overwhelmed or feel like things are never going to change. When we share our stories, we’re reminded of how much we’ve already overcome. Sometimes looking back on things brings a surprising level of encouragement—I can personally think of a handful of times where I struggled so much with discouragement and disappointment that I never thought I’d make it through. When I remember those days now it puts my current situation into perspective. Nothing lasts forever, and better days are coming.

Stories have been at the heart of all cultures throughout history.  They help us connect with one another, explore reality and possibility – or escape from it, share knowledge and wisdom, make sense of our past and present, and shape our future. Your story can make a difference – to yourself and to the world.  It can bring new perspective. By “giving your story away,” you can use your own journey as a means to help others on theirs.

No one can tell it for you. So go on, tell your story.

What’s your biggest roadblock between you and your story?