5 Reasons Why You Should Share Your Story

   Cleo Childress |     Denver, CO      Photographer: Priscilla Contreras

Cleo Childress | Denver, CO

Photographer: Priscilla Contreras

We all have a story right? Yes, of course! Will you have the courage to share your story to help someone else? It’s not about you, it’s about helping the next person. I've read and listened to so many success stories that have inspired me to make the necessary changes in my own life so I can become the best that I can be in all areas of my life. 

   Christian Community Services, Inc. (CCSI)       Cleo's First Speaking Event | February 17, 2018

Christian Community Services, Inc. (CCSI) 

Cleo's First Speaking Event | February 17, 2018

This past weekend on Saturday February 17, 2018 I shared part of my story for the first time to staff and members of (CCSI) Christian Community Services Incorporation in Nashville, TN. It was a humbling and blessed experience. I am so thankful they gave me the opportunity to share some of my past, present and things I am working on in the future. I use to be ashamed, embarrassed and scared to share my story. I was afraid of how it would be received and how people would think of me going forward. I was afraid to be judged in a negative way. I had to remind myself that no matter how many good or bad choices I make, people will forever judge. Some people will love me, some people will hate me, and some people will simply not care. And that is ok. 

There were so many more details I wanted to share this past weekend, but I had to make it as detailed and quick as possible. I was totally blown away on how much of an impact just part of my story had on my audience. I thought to myself, "Wow, if only they could have heard everything, my entire story." I literally could have stood there and talked for hours. During my speech, I began to cry. When I began to cry, I started to apologize. It can be difficult to continue speaking when you are crying. My audience poured so much support into my heart, which gave me the boost I needed to continue standing tall and telling my story. A few years ago, I had someone tell me, "If you are telling your story and you cry, it means that you haven't healed from your past.” I respectfully disagree. When I cried while I was sharing my story, it wasn't from pain, sadness or anger. It was tears of joy, happiness and peace.

I was so excited thinking about how far I've come, that those tears just couldn't stay inside. I had to let it out. I've cried plenty of times in private, but never in public. That was a breakthrough moment for me because I am always striving to be strong and powerful. Some people think crying can be a form of weakness, but it's not. I never thought I would ever cry in front of other people, but when you are being honest, genuine and real about your story, crying sometimes can't be avoided. 

Last night on Sunday February 18, 2018 I watched “Uncensored” on TV ONE. This is a new series that spotlights celebrities and allows them to tell their stories from the past. Last night was the first episode which spotlighted Tiffany Haddish. She was definitely raw, uncut and uncensored. One thing that touched me the most was that you could feel her story, not just hear it. When she explained and described details from her past, she began to cry. It reminded me of myself just the other day when I was sharing my own story. It's a reminder that no matter who you are or how successful you become, it's ok to cry when sharing your story. There will be times when you are sharing your story and there won't be tears, and there will be times when those tears will just fall unexpectedly. Tears are normal, tears are ok, tears are human!

   Cleo Childress |     Denver, CO      Photographer: Priscilla Contreras

Cleo Childress | Denver, CO

Photographer: Priscilla Contreras

When you share specific sensitive details about your past, you begin to experience those feelings you had during those times. You also have feelings of happiness and gratefulness that you overcame and are no longer there. Once you’ve been through enough storms, you realize that your outcomes could have been totally different. You are still here and it's just a blessing that you have the opportunity to share it with others. Experience is the best teacher. You can read and study things, situations and people all day, but nothing will ever teach you like experience can. Do you have a story you want to share but haven't? If so, why? Let me tell you why you should consider sharing your story. 

5 Reasons Why You Should Share Your Story:

  1. You will help other people! It's never about you. It's always about helping the next person. We are all different, but we can all help each other if we open up and be honest about our lives and how much they aren't perfect. Teach others that life is great, but life is also full of challenges that will require you to pull strength from unknown places in order to progress to the next level. We have all had some type of help and encouragement from someone else. Do the same for the next person.
  2. You will help yourself! When I shared my story for the first time, I felt free. I already felt a certain level of freedom from my own personal healing process, but when I was able to look people in their eyes and share a piece of my soul, it was a different type of free. Years ago I didn't understand the benefits of public speaking. Sharing your feelings, personal and private thoughts and experiences with others is a way to heal and strengthen the love you have for yourself. It's therapeutic and allows your mind and body to heal at a level that is needed for you to grow. It's like medicine for your the soul. Getting uncomfortable in that way lead to me getting comfortable with not only speaking to people about my life, but it also allowed me to get comfortable with myself. Sometimes when we talk to ourselves, we tend to still lie and be in denial. When you truly get real with yourself, you open up to levels that will pour so many blessing into your life. 
  3. You remind others that no one is perfect! The media will have you thinking that everyone's life is perfect. No one wants to share the bad times. Most people only share the good times in their life. You see them smiling, traveling, shopping, in love, spending money, business is great, and always happy happy happy. Everyone isn't struggling all the time, but we all have ups and downs in our lives. No matter who we are or how successful we become, things can still get uncomfortable. Bad things can still happen. As long as you make a decision to always fight as long and hard and smart as you can to overcome and never quit, you will always be pushed into a better position than you were before.
  4. You make connections! When you share your story with others, you then get a chance to hear others share their story with you. You not only will inspire people, but they will inspire you too. It's always mutually beneficial. You get to learn what others skills, talents and gifts are, which leads to working together personal and/or professionally. Business relationships doesn't always have to be strictly business and serious all the time. You can become vulnerable with others and share you deepest darkest stories, and it can still blossom into friendships and business relationships. 
  5. You could save a life! You never know what others are going through. Most people know me as someone who is always nice, have a positive attitude and always smiling. People assume that I never get upset, sad, angry or experience anything negative. For years I hid a lot of pain behind my smiles. There were times when I no longer wanted to be here, but when I was touched by someone else's story it gave me hope, it gave me power, it gave me a new mindset that I too could overcome my own issues and problems if I did the work. You would be surprised how just even one short conversation could give someone the fuel they need to start that race towards the next level in their life. When they cross that finish line into the next level, they will remember you, your story and how you contributed to them not giving up on life. 

What's your story? When are you going to share it? Someone is waiting to be inspired by YOU!