My heart is burning as I write this.
It burns when I don’t share my truth for a while, and when I don’t take the time to fill you in or bring you on the journey with me, to explore with you new ways of looking at your business and the world.
I know your heart is burning, too.
I know you want to be braver.
I know you carry words in your heart that feel brave, but fear refuses to let you write them down.
You are not alone in that. Trust me on this.
My heart is burning because the 100 Stories Worth Telling Project is evolving, and I can’t wait to tell you why. It’s evolving because the last thing I ever wanted to do when I created this project was to reinforce old systems of oppression.
And the last thing I ever wanted to do was to send this message:
Your story is only worth telling IF…
You see, I believe we ALL have a story worth telling — no matter who you are, or how far along in your journey you might be, or what has (or hasn’t) happened to you.
You don’t have to have a rags-to-riches story.
Your story doesn’t have to be over yet.
And, if you don’t identify as a woman of a certain profile, we still need to hear you speak your truth.
I say that because, while this project has historically been about women, I recognize that I’ve been unconsciously leaning towards and organically telling more stories of women who have more in common with me — perhaps because of their ability, cisgender-ness, hetrosexuality, race or ethnicity.
But there is a much broader spectrum of folk who are not having their stories told, and it is imperative to me that I more proactively, and publicly, commit to supporting and lifting up the voices of all those with marginalized identities.
As Andrea Ranae Johnson says (and please read her full blog post on What Your Privilege Has To Do With Your Leadership for context):
“Your presence, words and actions have great influence on the people and the systems that you interact with every day. This is where your capacity to lead lies. As a leader, this is your responsibility: to be conscious and aware of how you’re influencing your life and the lives of those around you. To know yourself, to know your power and to use it in service of all people.”
The project is not about tethering yourself to a story that leaves you feeling disempowered.
It’s about claiming all the resilience and fortitude you’ve gathered on your journey and telling the story that liberates you, and others in the process.
It’s a brave space where you get to take back control of your story, and shape your narrative in a way that feels empowering and healing and true to you.
And it’s an opportunity for you to claim everything that you are, without shame or apology.
Because your story matters.
It does, and it’s time for you to share it in the best way you know how.