Own Your A-GamePersonal & Leadership Development

Own Your Tears – Own Your A-Game

I’ve done the “vulnerable share” publicly at storytelling events. I relived, out loud, stories of personal life experiences when emotions were running raw. These storytelling events were for small audiences who specifically came for an emotional journey woven into the stories as their entertainment for the evening.

These small venues have helped me to cultivate my storytelling, emotionally process parts of my life, and help audience members to gain insights and greater understanding of their own life experiences.

Bottom line, stories heal.

I shared my stories with composure and dry eyes.

After my Mom’s passing, and feeling deeply grateful for the hospice care that she received, I wanted to give back to the hospice facility. I had the opportunity to share, storytelling style, at their monthly staff meeting. I was able to show my gratitude and it was a rare opportunity for the clinicians to hear how their care makes such a big impact.

Bottom line, stories heal.

I shared my stories with composure and dry eyes.

When the hospice facility asked me to be their Keynote Speaker for a Symposium, I could tell that this time, things would be different.

Would I be able to keep my composure and my dry eyes?

As I was writing the speech, Meghan McCain was delivering her tribute to her father John McCain at Washington National Cathedral. She teared up sporadically, occasionally sobbed, and her voice vacillated between quivering and strong.

Clamming up is freezing up.

Clamping down is when you force yourself to control your tears.

Flowing is riding the roller coaster of your emotions as you continue to speak. Flowing is an expression of the power of your vulnerability.

As Meghan McCain flowed through her tribute, I never questioned her confidence. I never questioned her credibility. Her character not only remained intact, but I felt even more connected with her and with her message.

So I gave myself permission to cry.

As I rehearsed the speech, I shed tears. It was unpredictable. I never knew when or where it would happen. I honored the process and I honored the tears.

As I delivered the speech to a packed room, far larger than any storytelling event, I knew that at any given moment, the tears would well up. And they did. Following Meghan McCain’s example, I flowed with the moment with tears in my eyes.

Afterwards, a number of audience members shared their stories with me. Many were sharing them for the first time. Because I had shared my stories, they felt like they weren’t alone on their journey anymore. Their experiences had become validated.

Bottom line, stories heal.

I shared my stories with wet eyes and that doesn’t mean that I lost my composure.

#howto #ownyouragame #cryingatwork #women #leadership




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