Sharing your story can be scary and intimidating. You may wonder why would anyone ever want to hear what I have gone through? What makes what I have to say important? Will I be laughed at or criticized?
Well, I’m here to tell you I was in that phase of hesitancy but decided to take a leap of faith no matter what anyone may or may not think.
If you find yourself wanting to share your story, but don’t know how or are experiencing the same feelings as stated above, these 5 tips can help you overcome any fear-based thinking:
1. Just begin
In order to put yourself out there, you need to start first. You don’t need to have everything planned out either. I began sharing my stories on a website called, The Mighty and opened a Twitter account first, where I connected with other people going through similar experiences. Then I went on to create my blog and other social media channels. Everyone’s path and how they begin is individual, so don’t get caught in comparing yourself to what others are doing or have done. Focus on you.
2. Get comfortable
Stepping out of your comfort zone will make it easier to get comfortable around the idea of sharing your story with strangers. If you are not ready for that step, start with building up self-acceptance and self-love. Once you are mindful and self-aware of how far you have come, and that you do have wisdom to share with others, you will be unstoppable. Meditation, sitting in silence, journaling, and morning affirmations, are just a few ways to get yourself centered, grounded and less anxious before beginning.
3. Open up to those in your inner circle
Many feel that they can connect with people outside their inner circle because that’s where they feel the most understood. It’s hard for those in our lives who are not going through what we are to “get it” right away. However, sharing with your closest, trusted family and friends can be very empowering because the support you may receive could surprise you. While not everyone may feel this way, sharing your experiences with those who already know you is a good option to get acquainted with the idea of being more open.
4. Connect with others outside your circle
You can find many bloggers, patient advocates, and professionals of all kinds who are living with your condition. Reach out to them and ask questions. This will expand your knowledge, get you inspired and help you realize you are not alone. You can share your story with people you meet on various social media outlets and create connections for future collaborations or forge new friendships.
5. Get involved with your favorite organizations and other activities
Many nonprofits, charities, and organizations have volunteer opportunities that share your passion for helping others in the same niche. Meeting people in real time gives you the chance to get to know people within your community on a deeper level. You can find a mentor, peer group, focus group or any other class that can assist you in gaining the confidence to open up and become a patient leader.
I often look back and realize there were so many whom I came across that supported my journey. So I am now giving back by providing my tips in hopes it can help you as well.
Learn how to leverage your own health story in Effie’s free, online course.
‘Sharing your story,’ is a phrase many of us are familiar with. But pressing the publish button is only the beginning! There are several ways you can leverage your story to reach a wider audience nationally and worldwide, are you aware of what they are? New Patient Leaders and established ones alike, who are interested in learning ways to expand their reach and advocacy efforts, won’t want to miss this course!