This coming weekend, I’m headed to Dallas, TX to speak at The Kindness Summit — a gorgeous event organized by Louisa Garrett of the #MakeKindLoud movement.
Our task as speakers is to talk about How to Make a Kind Imprint in the World.
As I sat in the park yesterday, putting the final touches on my talk, I thought more about how Kindness shows up in Storytelling.
For me, Kindness has shown up each time I’ve sat down with someone to interview them, or to help them with their story. And the Kindness has come through listening.
I’ve talked about how important listening is before, but let me say it again here: When you take the time to listen to people…. to ask them questions about their life, their business, their passions, their family… and then sit and listen intently, kindness is showing up with you.
People just want to be heard.
They want to know their story matters.
They want to feel acknowledged and validated. I know I do…...
If I handed you a glass full of dirty water, would you drink it??
My guess is most of you — actually, I hope all of you — would say, “No way, April” …
For the record, I wouldn’t either.
Hold this thought for a minute of dirty water, because it’s a really great visual for the storytelling concept I want to share with you.
I talk to women on a daily basis — women I’m interviewing, women inside my Community, my private clients… and as we talk about their story, at some point or another we have to address the dirty water — which represents the negative thoughts they are filling their mind.
Thoughts like — "my story isn’t good enough."
"No one will care, they don’t want to listen to me share my story."
"My story is boring/not important/not...
For more than 20 years now, I’ve been interviewing people as part of my work as a video producer, writer, and journalist. I always consider it a great privilege and honor when people accept my invitation for the interview, and proceed to answer the questions I ask….
Ultimately, this leads to them sharing their story with me — and there’s always this magical moment that happens at some point inside the interview… it’s like a chime that goes off in my head…. a little bell rings to signal that moment when we’ve hit our target. I’ve uncovered a golden piece of their story.
This happened yesterday when I was interviewing my guest on the Bright Light’s Storytelling Series— a weekly Facebook Live interview I do on Thursdays.
I was interviewing Lucy Brummett, a writer and blogger who went from being riddled with insecurity and self-doubt…. to stepping out as a writer & bloggers to be seen and heard....
There’s a little-known side-effect to sharing your story that not a lot of people talk about — so let’s talk about it!
For a lot of people, the idea of having other people look at them, hear them, and observe them is truly unnerving. Think back to your school years, and the courage it took sometimes to raise your hand in class and answer a question. All of the other students in the classroom would turn and look at you while you spoke.
Or, if you ever had to get up in front of the classroom to make a presentation — the nerves you likely felt, by having so many people look at you, hear you, and witness you.
As we grow up, that stuff doesn’t necessarily go away — it just manifests into a whole different fear and feeling. I call it the Vulnerability Hangover.
Part of learning how to share your story is learning how to deal with the aftermath of feelings — feeling naked and exposed, feeling raw and tender. When you first get up...