The World Will Miss Out If You Don’t Lead From Your Story
Your Life Matters
Each one of us has our own gifts, talents and abilities wrapped up inside a unique personality.
And we are all part of a bigger story.
“Your life matters. You are here for a reason. Your job is to determine why,” writes Michael Hyatt in his book Living Forward.
One of our tasks is to discover what our role in the grand story is, as well as answering the question: who can we add value to using our unique strengths?
So how do you lead from your story?
It’s less complicated than you may think. Follow these 3 steps to get started…
#1. Start Leading Where You Are Right Now
First, you start from where you are. The well-known phrase “bloom where you are planted” has a lot of truth to it…
If you wait for the right time, the right circumstances or the right resources to start leading, then you may never get started.
That’s why the most important thing that you can do at this point is to get started.
Now, when you’re deciding where or how to invest your time and energy, consider what you have to give to your family or community or workplace that’s unique to you.
At the same time, it’s also important to recognize your current responsibilities and commitments:
- Are you a mom?
- Do you have a demanding career?
- Are you looking after ageing parents?
- Perhaps you are already volunteering…
Wherever you are, start where you’re at right now. So, if you’re a mom and raising your kids, then begin at home. Or, if you’re a woman working full-time, then maybe you’ll begin at your workplace.
Take advantage of the current opportunities that are available to you right now. One of the secrets that you’ll discover is that it’s only after you begin and are intentional about your life, that more doors will eventually start to open.
2. Decide How You Can Lead In A Way That’s Unique To You
Think about a talent or skill you have that’s unique to you that you can use to serve others.
Keep in mind, however, that in the beginning, it may not be obvious to you because it will likely be so easy for you that you might dismiss it and think, “Everybody can do that.”
Of course, that’s not the case because your skill comes from a place of strength. Whereas for other people, it could be a difficult thing, so they shake their heads in amazement and think, “how in the world did she do that?!”
The things that you do so easily, so naturally and better than anything else you do — that’s your area of strength.
That being said, it doesn’t mean that it will necessarily be easy to discover your strength, so don’t get discouraged if it takes longer than you think it should. Invest some time in taking personality tests, strength tests or ask people close to you to tell you what they think you do best.
3. Discover What’s Unique About Your Story
Finally, answer these three questions that John Maxwell writes about in his book, Intentional Living. Reflecting on these questions has helped me to understand my why and what I have to give to others (read more about these questions here)…
What makes you cry?
This is something that upsets you to the point that when you hear a story about this, you weep.
For example, when I hear about a woman who has been mistreated or not cared for, or about a woman who has so much potential but she’s not living into it… that makes me cry.
What makes you sing?
When you hear of a person, event or happening and you feel so much joy that you just want to do a happy dance… this is part of your why.
What makes you sing?
Photo credit: Ann Visser
For example, when a woman tells me of a limiting belief or lie that she has broken through, or when I hear about a couple that has fallen in love again after struggling with disconnection, these things make me want to do a happy dance… they make me sing.
What makes you dream?
These are the possibilities that you daydream about or that you think about when you’re just about to fall asleep.
For example, I dream about a community of women who are passionate about growing, supporting each other, and who are reaching their potential. A potential that they now believe is possible because they’re breaking through limiting beliefs and barriers that were holding them back.
Discovering Your Purpose Takes Time
If you don’t yet know your purpose, start on the discovery process by answering the questions above. At the same time, if you can’t answer the questions right away, I don’t want you to feel discouraged. Sometimes discovering your purpose takes time.
This process is valuable because it can help you to understand how you can intentionally add value to your family, community or workplace by doing what you do best…
And as Seth Godin says by doing a “work that matters for people who care.”
Your life is a gift to unwrap, explore, discover and live to the fullest so that you can pour out into your family, community and workplace and make a difference in the lives of others.
The World Needs Your Story
There’s a bigger story that’s unfolding and you have an important part to play. Don’t hold back. Don’t write yourself out of your own story by choosing not to grow or not to add value to others…
Because if you do, all of us will miss out on what you have offer that nobody else can give.
“What will the world miss if you don’t tell your story?” asks Donald Miller.
We will miss your voice. Your talents. Your skills. Your presence. It would be like a library with some empty shelves because you didn’t share your story. And there’s no replacement if you don’t lead from your story.
In his book, Confidence: How To Succeed At Being Yourself, Alan McGinnis, writes:
“The Hasidic rabbi, Zuscha, was asked on his deathbed what he thought the kingdom of God would be like.
He replied, “I don’t know. But one thing I do know. When I get there I am not going to be asked,
‘Why weren’t you Moses? Why weren’t you David?’
I am only going to be asked, ‘Why weren’t you Zuscha? Why weren’t you fully you?’”
Photo credit: Ann Visser
I find this anecdote encouraging because we don’t have to try to be anybody else. When you discover your unique purpose and add value from that place, then that’s where you find significance and meaning for your life.
So start leading from your story today.
As you impact the lives of others, you’ll experience the immense joy that only comes from making a difference in the lives of the people around you.
Read more from this series:
Part 4: The World Will Miss Out If You Don’t Lead From Your Story (this post)
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