Feb 4, 2020

Ep 92: Embrace Your Past and Tell Your Story

Show Notes


For years, I’ve been sharing my story of growing up with a single mom who built a business (a cake shop) when I was six months old to raise and support me. This story is a huge part of my passion and heart behind Business Boutique.

I love sharing the memories I have of our late nights and early mornings in her cake shop. I learned so much from those years helping my mom build her business from the bottom up. But you know what I don’t share as often? How hard it was.

tell your story

There were so many hard times we had to walk through together. Like the time her cake shop was broken into at two in the morning, or the time we ran out of gas on the side of the road while it was raining. Many of those early years were spent in the trenches watching my mom raise a child and build a business completely on her own.

But it was both those good times and those hard times that made me who I am today.

See, there is power in telling your story. When I share my story, it really ignites the passion in me to champion women from all walks of life who are chasing their dreams like my mom was. And this is the same reason I’m constantly telling you to tell your story too. I tell you to not worry about selling, but to just tell your story—to start with your why.

But the truth is: A lot of people are scared to share their story. When we start to explore our past, we tend to focus on the negative parts of it. And when we see only the negative parts of our story, we immediately feel inadequate and disqualified to do the things we want to do.

But I want to encourage you today: It might just be those parts of you—those “inadequate” beginnings—that position you to do something that no one else can do but you.

So, let’s talk about some of the unbelievable benefits that come when you tell your story—both the good and the bad:

Three Reasons You Should Tell Your Story

1. It creates connection.

Sharing your story causes a ripple effect. It’s contagious!

It’s amazing how many people think they’re the only ones who feel the way they feel or have experienced what they’ve experienced. But when you open up and share your story and your heart, others realize that there are actually other people out there who can relate to their situation. And you know what? Realizing they’re not alone gives them the freedom to open up and share their story as well!

I love how Craig Groeschel puts it: “We might impress people with our strengths, but we connect with people through our weaknesses.”

2. It brings hope.

Think about it this way: Your story’s not just yours. Your story is something that God wants to use to give other people hope for the future—to give them hope through hard times and scary moments.

Are you going through something hard right now? Maybe God wants to use you to shine a light to others.

It’s not just an option for you to share your story. It’s your responsibility to steward this story that God wants to use to bring hope to other people.

telling your story

3. It can become your passion.

Dave Ramsey has built an incredible business helping millions of people get out of debt. How did this become his job? He went bankrupt and lost everything in his 20s. Because of that experience, he vowed never to take on debt again—and today, he’s successfully helped millions of others do the same thing.

Your story—no matter how dark or how difficult it is—can become your life’s work when you share it with the world.

There are so many incredible benefits to sharing your story. Don’t be ashamed of it. Let it be your testimony that glorifies God because of what He’s brought you through.

So, share your heart. Tell your story. Don’t keep it to yourself. God wrote your story, not just for you, but because He wants to bless others through it as well.

How to Tell Your Story with Jamie Ivey

Jamie Ivey

My good friend Jamie Ivey is our guest on the show today! Jamie is a speaker, host of The Happy Hour podcast, and author of the book, If You Only Knew.

I’m so excited to have her here today because she has an amazing story. She’s going to teach us about how she got comfortable sharing her story—and how it’s changed her life—so we can learn how to share our stories too.

On this episode, Jamie and I talk about:

  • How to start small and get comfortable sharing your story
  • How to discern what to share with your audience and what not to share
  • How to push past the fear when you don’t want to share vulnerable areas of your life

Encouragement: Wisdom Is Not Weakness

Last spring, I was training for a half marathon. It wasn’t my first time running a long-distance race while pregnant, so I figured I’d be fine.

And I was fine for most of the training. I’d trained up to a 10-mile run and felt great . . . until the week leading up to the half marathon. All of a sudden, I was having a lot of pain—not just running pain, but actual pregnancy pain. But I just kept telling myself, I’ve done the training. I can do this.

Still, I continued feeling more and more pain throughout the week. I found myself needing to sit down more—I couldn’t even make dinner at the kitchen counter without needing to sit.

So, I called my nurse to make sure everything was okay and ask her if she thought I could do this half marathon. She said, “Well, you’re a runner. You can physically do it. I’m not going to tell you that you can’t. However, if you run this half marathon, by the end, you will not be able to walk.”

As you can imagine—because I’m persistent to a fault—even after those words, I was still considering running the race . . . until that night when I tried to stand at the kitchen counter to cut some fruit for my son and had to sit down again. I finally admitted to myself, Christy, if you cannot stand here to cut some cantaloupe, you probably shouldn’t try to run 13.1 miles tomorrow.

So, that was it—I decided not to run the half marathon. But y’all know me. I wasn’t totally giving up. I decided I would do the 5K instead.

Well, that night, I woke up at about 1:30 a.m. with pregnancy insomnia. I was up the rest of the night, so I started talking with God about my plans for the race. And I thought, You know, maybe God is telling me not to run at all—like zero miles. Maybe I should sleep in, rest, and pay attention to what He’s trying to tell me.

So, at 4:30 a.m., I decided to sit out of the race completely. No half marathon. No 5K. Nothing.

That was so hard for me. You know what I was hearing in my head? You said you were going to do it. You told people you were going to do it. You put it on your Instagram story. You can do it. You did the mileage. You could do this. You should do it. Are you just giving up? Because you know, you could make yourself do it.

To turn off this narrative in my head and decide to choose wisdom over pride was hard.

The next day, when I gave a recap of this on my Instagram story, someone messaged me and said, “Sometimes saying no is harder than running the race itself.” Isn’t that true?

Sometimes sitting out, quitting, tapping the brakes, passing on an opportunity, and slowing down is actually harder than pushing forward and pushing through.

I don’t know about you guys, but if I get really honest about what was going on in my head, it wasn’t about performing or caring about what others expected of me. It was about pride.

So, let me share something with you that I’m learning: Pride is not power. It’s not strength. It’s just pride. And wisdom is not weakness. It doesn’t mean you’re less than. It doesn’t mean you’re settling. It doesn’t mean you’re lazy. It means you’re wise. It means you’re smart.

God did not let me go to that race. God did not let me push through, hurt myself, or make the wrong decision.

So, I want to give you a challenge today: Maybe right now you’re facing something hard, and you don’t want to say no or sit back because your pride is rising up. You’re thinking, I can do this. I should do this. What will other people think of me? I told people I was going to do it. Well, I want to encourage you to lean in and listen to God’s will for your life—not yours.

Because if He’s asking you to push through, I promise you He will give you the strength to do it. But if He’s asking you to slow down, sit back, and say no, I promise you, if you lean in and listen, He will not let you make the wrong decision.

1:20 Sharing Your Story

6:38 Three Reasons You Should Tell Your Story

14:44 How to Tell Your Story with Jamie Ivey

39:10 Encouragement: Wisdom Is Not Weakness

If you have a success story you would like to share with the Business Boutique community, email me at podcast@businessboutique.com.