Is your story one of triumph or tragedy?

imageThe value of ‘story’ seems to have increased ten-fold in recent years.  It’s become a useful marketing tool and a great way of identifying with a wider audience and demonstrating how lives can be enhanced through use of a product or service.  I have long promoted that ‘the greatest tool is self’ and that reflection and personal development are key to ensuring that ‘the greatest tool’ is it’s most effective.  In fact, my doctoral research study was narrative based and it was there where I really got to grips with the power of story.  The focus of the study was on how entrepreneurs and leaders of charitable organisations, experienced climates  of financial austerity and continual contextual change.  A recurring theme was that of resilience…the seeds planted – sometimes many years before – were often grounded in a bed of pain, hurt, rejection, abuse or some other potentially traumatic event.  Yet, somehow these seeds grew through the challenge and were transformed to become useful in negotiating the sometimes rocky terrain of personal and professional life.  What could have been woeful tales of tragedy, became inspirational and triumphant stories that enabled the development of fantastic coping mechanisms.  The story tellers had used their stories to propel themselves towards betterment…with an awareness that things could have been so very different, if they’d have ‘followed the script’.  Resilience, flexibility, courage and self awareness were the gifts that came through like one of the contributors stated:  ‘the Phoenix that rises up from the flames’.   Acknowledging story is part of the success…that everything that went before is what brings depth and colour to the present day….not as a tragic mishap but as a route to triumph, to be shared and celebrated.


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