Everyone struggles with keeping secrets. Whether or not you consider yourself a locked vault of your friends’ crazy stories, secrets weigh us down. And as juicy as our friends gossip can be, in my opinion, the most difficult secrets of all can be our own. We slap on a smile and walk out the door when we are hurting inside, or we keep aspects of ourselves quiet out of fear of what people would think. It’s time to own your story.
For years, I struggled with this. What people might think of my true self or that they would judge me for things I have done. Then things changed…In my period of self-discovery, I was introduced to the author Brené Brown. I don’t remember exactly where I found the quote at the time, but I remember her encouragement to “Own your story.” In preparation for this blog, I found a blog post of hers that I encourage everyone to read on her website too.
“When we deny our stories, they define us.”Brené Brown
The moment it all changed
Own your own story, I pondered. Own it? All of it? The good, the bad and the ugly? Could I do it? I wondered. There are things I’m not proud of in my past, but they are certainly not situations that define me. I realized that until I chose to own my story, I was never going to be able to change the narrative. So, I put on my big girl pants and went for it… time to own it.
Now, I’m not going to sit here and spill all the juicy details on my blog. My owned story is still a privilege, but it’s not a secret. The people directly in my life generally know everything about me: my personality, flaws, strengths, weaknesses, loves, and pivotal moments that changed me forever. And you want to know the beauty of it all? In owning your story, you don’t have to cower from it. You give yourself permission to feel every emotion, own every situation, and not worry about what people might think.
A challenging route
Of course, this is still a delicate topic for many and a difficult decision to make. Owning your story does have its challenges. Sometimes my sharing has gone too far and to people that have tried to twist it on me, but at the same time has given me a transparency that has made my life so authentic. I’ve made new friends and gained support in ways I would have never imagined; all by being honest about who I am and every important aspect of my life. “We must own our failures and mistakes so that we can learn and grow.”
While it might be easier said than done, I still believe that fear and challenge shouldn’t hold you back. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to own every part of your life and say, “Yes, this is me. All of me.” You shouldn’t smooth over the things that need to be addressed, or pretend that a problem doesn’t exist. Never sit in silence and struggle alone. As Brené says, “It doesn’t feel comfortable, but courage rarely does.”
It is your story – own it. <3