09 Mar

Impact of Your Story

We communicate through sharing our stories with others. We need to get our point across and what better way than to tell what happened to us, to explain what we’ve accomplished and what we need help with. There is a lot of research being done into how businesses can sell more through sharing stories instead of making powerpoint presentations, Zack, P.J. (2014, October 28). Why Your Brain Loves Good Storytelling. Retrieved from Harvard Business Review database. Businesses sell more if they can communicate through stories how they’ve helped their customers, how they’ve changed people’s lives.

I recently helped teach an interdisciplinary class at Columbia University Medical Center. I taught Narrative Medicine to medical, dental, nursing, occupational therapy, and nutritional education students. When we started the course, the students were shy claiming they were afraid of the course (despite their demanding workloads) and didn’t have anything to share. Once we delved into the readings and they got an opportunity to write and share their stories, both they and I were impressed with their narratives.

Their stories were compelling and interesting; they gave us (the listener) a clear picture of who the person was without the speaker having to give us their background. The stories also touched each of us in a different way, providing us with what we needed at that moment.

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Being in the midst of writing about my past and surviving the brain injury, hearing these strangers’ stories gave me much needed perspective. I am always in awe of other people’s lives and background, and I get much needed inspiration when I get a glimpse into what they’ve been through. Most of my students were foreign so the narratives they shared greatly varied and were deeply rich.

Don’t be afraid of sharing your story. You never know how it can affect someone else. It may be what compels them to change career paths, return to school, try to get pregnant or adopt, or saves their lives.