I’m standing at the front of the room about to tell fifty people some things about me that no one knows.
The silence feels heavy.
Fifty faces are focused on me. As I scan the room I see close personal and business friends; acquaintances, and quite a few strangers. My husband is studiously avoiding my gaze.
Beverley is on the far left; she’s the only person who knows what I’m going to say. She told me it’s a good story, I hope she’s right.
Trusting these people with my vulnerability is a massive leap of faith but I’m not nervous; I feel calm, grounded and present.
For the first few sentences my voice sounds nervous but I soon get into my flow and ten minutes passes in a flash. The next thing I know I’ve got to the end and I’m thanking the audience for holding me safely and gently. The loudness of their applause takes me by surprise.
I savour it.
I walk back to my seat a different person; one who is stronger, more confident, and most importantly relieved that my story has been released into the world.
It has no hold over me now.
In my last blog I suggested that one way to take control of your life; to own your story and write your ending is to tell it.
So in the spirit of leading by example I recently told a story at The Story Party. This is an event where eight people tell a ten minute personal story, without notes, to an audience. The theme was Traveller’s Tales and the story I told was of my adventures over the past two years to make peace with myself and my Yorkshire roots. I’ll share the video with you in due course.