I often preach that we all have a voice that needs to be shared, and it’s usually the parts of our story that we don’t want to share that people need to hear the most.
In my media training sessions, I teach people how to find their voice by telling stories. People listen to stories because they have lessons and outcomes. People remember stories. Telling a story is the best way to make yourself relatable to another person. Bottom line: If you want to be remembered or understood when sharing your voice, tell a story! Even better, tell yours. Putting pen to paper is usually your first step in finding your voice, but what can be even more powerful and transformative for yourself and others, is then using your voice to help reach others.
For me, it took me twenty-seven years to build up the courage to share my story – one of trauma, healing, and recovery. I did so in my award-winning book Authentic Power: Give Yourself Permission to Feel, which I wrote during my darkest pandemic days of 2020. It was incredibly therapeutic to put pen to paper and fingers to keyboard and write the story of losing my father from a sudden death heart attack as a child to my winding path of burying my trauma for years, only to have it come out later in life in the form of a health crisis. The book was published in December 2021, and I was both thrilled and terrified to get it out to the world. As any good PR expert will tell you, I knew what had to come next. I had to talk about the book, and therefore my story. But the problem was this: I had spent my entire life doing everything possible to avoid talking about my story. Writing about it was one thing. But now talking about it? This was uncharted territory in my life. To put it simply, I was scared sh*tless.
I work with people every day who have deeply personal stories that they are feeling called to share with the world as I did with my own. The reasons vary, but mostly, and the number one reason I can confidently share, is that they want to help other people. That perhaps by sharing their story, others will feel inspired, hopeful, and not alone. Perhaps they’ll feel inspired to take action and learn powerful lessons within that story that could possibly change their lives. That was my main motivation for writing Authentic Power.
When it came time to talk about my story and my book, everything changed. I became my own client and finally understood the courage, strength, and vulnerability it takes to share your story by using your voice. I called upon my own media training tactics and tips and put them to use. As a highly sensitive person, I also learned how to coach myself and take care of myself as I prepared for interviews. I was mindful of when and where I did interviews, and even how many interviews I committed to doing per day.
Perhaps you’re feeling called and ready to share your story and use your voice as a catalyst to doing so. I always say that the way we write and the way we speak are two different things, and I’ve discovered the healing and transformational power in both modalities.
If you’re feeling called to use your voice to share your story, I’ve put together some gentle and loving tips for you as you embark on this journey! Remember, treat yourself with kindness as you go through the process of learning to uncover and share your voice:
- Uncover the motivation for sharing your story. Ask yourself, and perhaps journal: Why is now the time to tell my story to the world? In what ways would be supportive for me to do so? Perhaps it’s journaling and then (safely) burning the paper. Perhaps it’s in a book, followed by media interviews on podcasts and TV to help reach more people. But before you do that, it’s important to do the deep work and uncover the motivation behind why you want to share your story. This exercise is important because in order to share your story in the most powerful and authentic way, you need to ask yourself, is this my ego talking? Or is it something else, deeper within me? Oftentimes a simple journaling exercise or meditation can answer this question for you. But first, get clear on your motivation for sharing your story in order to remove any blocks.
- Reframe your mindset! Sharing your story can feel awkward and sometimes “salesy” or icky. But with a simple mindset reframe, you’ll be well on your way to using your voice as a catalyst to help others. Tell yourself: “I have a responsibility to share my voice with the world”. Write it on a sticky note and put it on your mirror. Say it out loud. Reframing your mindset around sharing your story will help remove blocks that could be holding you back from using your voice.
- Once you are ready to share your story, get support! There are many ways to do this and this is exactly where I come in both as a Life Coach and Media Training expert. Here at Nardi Media, we support authors, thought leaders, entrepreneurs, and more, by learning how to not only discover their voice but to use it to help inspire others to take action. It’s important to have a cheerleader and experienced coach behind you and that is exactly where we come in!
- Prepare to share your voice with the world! You never want to wing an interview, presentation, or even conversation with someone where you feel called to use your voice to share your story or message. Practice in the mirror, on your own Zoom line, record yourself speaking on your phone or conduct a mock interview or conversation with a trusted loved one. Practice is always key!
- Give yourself grace and permission to fumble and fail. Not every interview or conversation you have about sharing your story is going to be a home run. You’ll have off days. You’ll have days where you’re super excited to share your story and days where it feels daunting and exhausting to share it. Give yourself grace for not having your best day! Remember, this is a journey and every day can look different!
- Take care of your body! The body is a temple, and therefore your mechanism for sharing your story. If you’re anything like me, caffeine (even one cup!) will give me the shakes, I can’t think clearly if I don’t get 8-9 hours of sleep a night, and I need to move my body every day to clear the thoughts in my head. Get curious about what fuels your body in a positive way, whether it’s extra water, healthy meals, and good sleep.
- Rest after you share your story. Of course, resting before is important, but in my time doing interviews promoting my book, I found myself absolutely exhausted after doing an hour-long podcast interview discussing my book. It takes a lot of energy to relive the hard parts of your story and share it over and over again. Give yourself permission to rest if you feel called to do so, and take breaks!