Not too long ago, I added the word "storyteller" to my LinkedIn heading. It was a significant step in my life because I'd never felt like I was good enough to call myself one. But sometimes you have to decide to own things even if you feel trepidation or doubt. Sometimes you have to kick your own ass and get out of your own way.
I'd never considered myself a good storyteller mostly because I'd tried to write novels and failed miserably - more than once. I'd start my story from a vague idea and then veer off quite dramatically, screeching the brakes and plowing into a wall. Then I'd burst into flames and slam the laptop.
Failed project. Done. Over. Definitely not a storyteller.
But the word storyteller is something I'm realizing can be applied to all sorts of things that most people can do. It's not just the traditional story like a novel or a screenplay, although I still hope to get there one day. But storytelling is also present in marketing. And in social media. And in day-to-day conversations. In fact, all of us tell stories every day when we recount something that happened or when we commiserate with our friends over a life situation.
We are all storytellers.
Why was I convinced that I wasn't able to do what every single human being can do? What nonsense. What a waste of time.
By claiming this word once and for all, I was empowered to move more in the direction I wanted to go. I think claiming things is important for everyone's personal development and that it's step one to achieving what you want to do. I mean, if you can't claim your dream, then who will? How will you ever get there if you don't say that it will be yours?
For me, claiming the word "storyteller" was an essential part of becoming more authentically myself because I'd resisted it for most of my adult life. I hadn't allowed myself to find real success because I'd been convinced that storytelling wasn't in my DNA.
Well, it is and I'm going to do it.
I'm already doing it, in fact, based on the response I've gotten from my network. And I've already done it for more than a decade on my other blogs and in my private journals. I just didn't think it counted.
Sometimes we hold ourselves back more than anyone or anything else, and sometimes it takes a long while to realize that this is the case. But often, I think, we finally understand it when the time is right - and not a moment sooner.
This was my time. This was my moment. And I seized it.
I started my new job as a managing editor – a chief storyteller - today.
The Big Pause