Curate Your Story Center

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This is a podcast episode titled, Curate Your Story Center. The summary for this episode is: <p><strong>"Take full use of the power you possess inside you right now to write the next chapters of an epic story."</strong></p><p><br></p><p>On this episode, Rebecca reads a chapter from her book, Write Your OWN Story, about the importance of the Story Center in our brain. She then shares how we can fully utilize our Story Center to help us focus more on the ups in our lives than the downs.</p><p><br></p><p><strong>In this episode, you’ll learn:</strong></p><ul><li>What the story center in your brain is, and how it works</li><li>How to utilize the power of your own story</li><li>Why leaders need to be great storytellers</li></ul><p><br></p><p><strong>Things to listen for:</strong></p><ul><li>[01:47] What is your story center</li><li>[12:25] Why your story matters</li><li>[17:28] How to intentionally curate your story center &lt;/aside&gt;</li></ul><p><br></p><p><strong>Resources:</strong></p><p>Join the&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">1000 Thriving Women Movement</a></p><p>Learn more about&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Rebecca and her work</a></p><p>Get your copy of&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Write Your Own Story</a></p><p>Listen to Rebecca's Audiobook&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Write Your Own Story</a></p><p>Take the&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Badass Quiz</a></p><p><br></p><p><strong>Connect with Rebecca:</strong></p><p><a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank"></a></p><p><a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank"></a></p><p><a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank"></a></p><p><a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank"></a></p>
01:28 MIN
A reading about the story center, from Rebecca's book
05:50 MIN
Why your story matters
04:48 MIN
How we can put into practice logging our stories
02:07 MIN

Audio: (singing)

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: This is Write Your Own Story, Three Keys to Rise and Thrive in Life and Business. I'm your host, Rebecca Fleetwood Hession. Hello, loves. How are things going? Good, not so good. That's the way life runs, isn't it? If I had to go back and relive last month, I just would do everything in my power not to, and yet this month, currently, as of today, is going exceptionally well. And that's why we call it rhythm because it has ups and downs and that's just the way life goes. And in those ups and downs, we are storing memories into what I refer to in our brain as our story center. And so today I'm going to read a part of my book, chapter three about the story center. And then give you some insight and some suggestions into ways that we can fully utilize the ups in our life to serve us during the downs. Here we go, the story center. Picture your brain as a giant story center. This is the library of you. With all the experiences and information we've gathered in our lives, our brains are a busy place. There are stories we hear, stories we tell ourselves, stories we dream and imagine. There's the wall with all the books you've ever read, the viewing room of all the movies, TED Talks and videos you've watched. There's the community room with all your past relationships and random chance encounters, the bosses, the neighbors, the family, the loves you've lived, and those that you've lost. The senses room holds the heat and smell of blazing summer sun, melting hot asphalt underfoot as you walk the country road to grandma's. Oozing with independence in the perfume that brings back all the anticipation of new love, the smell of the art room at the school, calling you to create, the glide of a new pen across a new journal page signifying new beginnings, the warm smell of a child's hair after a sweaty day of playing outside. There's the nerves and sweaty armpits from your first job, the victory of your first promotion, the thrill from the meeting where you spoke up and they loved your idea. The imagination room overflows with the stories you make up. This room has a full range of darkness and light. It includes your dreams for the future and the worries of catastrophes you dream up while lying in bed, waiting for your teen with a new driver's license to come home. The story center is full of happy stories, angry stories, scary stories, hurt, and pain- filled stories. We're using our stories to make choices every day. Our lives are a constant of emotions. The more emotion attached to the story, the more likely we will recall the information when we need it and often when we don't. Emotions strengthen memory. We are continually taking in information and organizing it into the story room. Picture a crazy librarian running around trying to put all of our stories away and figuring out how to catalog them. In fact, our brains catalog and consolidate our stories as we sleep. This is a significant reason to get plenty of sleep so the librarian can do her job. How many times have you said to someone you love, " If you just put it away, you could find it when you need it"? The same goes for you and your sleep. When you sleep, the information from the day gets filed away to find it when you need it. As a high achiever, sometimes the story room is stimulating and exciting. Some days the story room won't let us sleep either with the bright light of our dreams shining in our eyes or the shadowy dark corners of our mistakes haunting us through the night. Some stories won't go away, even if we want them to. In my story room is the embarrassing time I brought Coke products to a meeting I was hosting at a plant that was run by the Pepsi company. The plant manager asked, " Who had brought in the drinks lined up on the table?" The table full of their competitors' Cola products. In large two- liter bottles, their labels, billboards of insult. I slowly raised my hand while turning ghostly pale, wishing to magically disappear. This story reminds me always to know who's in the room, which has benefited me and thousands of interactions since. All of your experiences go into the story room, the child of you, the awkward growing up of you, all of your business decisions, successes, failures, interactions with your colleagues, all of it. Let this image of your story center inform you of the complete ridiculousness and impossibility of separating our personal lives and work lives. We have one life, full of all of our experiences and stories. It's the collective of these stories we can call upon daily. Sometimes these stories inspire us forward into something greater and sometimes they hinder or halt us, keeping us striving and stuck. I'll be going around a regular day and think of a random story from 20 years ago. Sometimes the memory is an inspired one, like the time I had the opportunity to work directly with Stephen R. Covey, one of the most outstanding thought leaders of our time. There's a particular exchange with a prominent place in my story center. After traveling together for three days speaking in three cities, Dr. Covey looked at me and said, " You are a teacher." Today, more than two decades later, his comment continues to give me confidence and affirms my desire to help and serve. Some voices create troublesome memories that threaten to hold us back. Nearly everyone I know has a story from a coach, teacher, or parent that haunts them today, giving them pause about their truth, their worth, and their potential. I use these troubling memories as a reminder of the immense responsibility I have in choosing the words I share with others knowing how our stories connect and influence each other. Genuine and affirming words are a powerful force in the world. Own this role as the writer of your story. Take full use of the power you possess inside you right now to write the next chapters of an epic story. As an executive coach, I have the privilege of meandering through the story centers of beautifully powerful humans doing important work. I wanted to read you this part of my book because we have the ability to store these stories in our story center library really intentionally. It doesn't have to just be subconscious happenstance because this story center is representative of our soul. It's the collective of our humanity. It's personal, emotional, and social. So we can feed our soul through stories and experiences in a way that we make it matter. So I want you to go through your days and as you have significant moments of, " Oh, that was good," whether it's a conversation with a colleague, or an accomplishment of a big goal or a project, or just the awareness of a beautiful moment, and I want you to feel those high points. Feel those times of, " Oh, this is good." Be aware of them, look for them. And when they happen, log them, store them. If you are someone who likes to write and journal, at the end of each day, write them down or in that moment, just take a moment and write it down. Maybe it's at the end of each week. That's often what I recommend for my clients, especially as busy leaders who won't typically slow down during the day. But I ask them at the end of each week to reflect and go back over the week and look for those beautiful moments and then journal about them. And we don't just log the details, we log the emotions, how it felt to be in that situation, to be with that colleague and be able to help affirm them and coach them and encourage them and inspire them. How we felt in that moment when we just took a walk in the middle of a busy day on a beautiful sunny day just to enjoy the blooms and the birds and the wind and the sun on our face. Not everything in your story center is about your accomplishments. Sometimes it's just about an experience. In fact, most of the time it's just about the experience. And when we log that with emotion through journaling or snap a picture and know that when you come back on that picture later, it will trigger that memory. A good way to incorporate this into your day- to- day life because we're so often on email... God help me, I'd love to get ready email. But create a separate email address just for these things, just for your leadership, just for your story center, just for you, not your regular email address that gets bogged down with what you ordered last week from Amazon, but one that says greatmoments @ gmail. com or whatever it is for you. And whenever you have that moment, pop yourself an email to that email address because when we store our stories into our story center and do it with great emotion, it gives them greater significance. And so when we need to borrow confidence, when we're in one of those down spots and we need to look back into our story center and go shopping for something good, we've stored it there and we can go into that room in our library where the goodness is. In fact, I encourage you to put a big warning sign on the door of part of your story center that has all of your dumb mistakes and all of your downtimes, and just put a warning sign up there that says, " Why are you coming here? What are you expecting to get from this?" Sure, we can get lessons from our mistakes, and I hope that you do, but I would prefer that you reflect on the mistake in the moment and the lesson that you want to take from it. Journal that, log that into your story center, into the lessons learned room of your story center. And instead of going and meandering through the suck of it, walking down the aisles of your story center of all the stupid crap and all the stuff that you don't want to relive, all that off, put a warning sign on that door and instead a little note at the bottom that says, " Hey, there's a really great room down the hall and to the left. That is the greatness of you, the all of you, the uniqueness of you, the way that God intended. Go wander around in there for a while. Be reminded. We have everything we need within us right now to thrive. And so when uncertainty hits, when fear hits, when imposter syndrome hits, go wander around in your story center, but go to the section with the good parts and stay out of that place that just wants you to be afraid, to be stuck, to be striving. And if we make this a practice, doesn't mean that we're not going to have shitty things that happen, but we're going to have such a powerful reminder that that's just one moment in a much bigger story and that we've survived every one of those to this point and have the greatness and the courage and the confidence to get through this one too. That's how we calm the sea of uncertainty, reminding ourselves who we really are. This collection of stories, and I want to really underscore from a business perspective that data, spreadsheets, dashboards, metrics are all really important parts of good business practice, but they don't mean much if anything at all without a story. Data without stories are just numbers and letters and symbols and signs like a hieroglyphics on the side of a cave. They don't know what that story really was. So as managers and leaders or employees that are going to build a business case for an idea that you have, when you go to someone with data, go with the story. Data gives you clarity. The story gives you context. So as a leader, we want to be great storytellers about why it matters to cut cost by 18% by the end of whatever date. Give the specifics, give the expectations, but tell people why it matters. Who's it for? What's it going to help you do? You want to increase market share by 10% by the end of the year? Great. Why does it matter? Who's it for? What's it going to help you do? Tell the story. I know we think we're doing people a favor by summarizing information and just giving them the basics, but that doesn't do much to inspire someone to want to help you increase market share cut costs. If you want to engage the hearts and minds of people to do great things, you got to bring the stories. So as I wrap up this short little episode today, how can you put this practice of logging your great stories into a really prominent place in your story center? Maybe it's that weekly reflection time that you put on your calendar as a reoccurring appointment and you honor that time with yourself just like you honor an appointment with the boss or a doctor's appointment for your kid, because I promise you that that practice is going to serve you in big, bold, beautiful ways. Maybe it's adding that email so that you can just pop a message to yourself so you can go back and reflect on that when you need it, you know what it is for you. One of the things I did in my house was put up a wall of pictures of me with friends and family that's part of my story center. When I walk into my house every day, I'm greeted by this wall of pictures that reminds me what matters most. So if I get too mired down in the details, in the muck of what it takes to run a business, I at least have this reminder of who it's for and why it matters. Pick the language of stories that is best for you. Writing, pictures, recording your voice so that you can go back and listen to that later. There's a multitude of ways. It's not how that matters most. It's if you are willing to take the time. I've been working with the women that are in a 1000 Thriving Women. We just got started to jump in. This month we're focusing on fear, imposter syndrome, uncertainty, swimming the sea of uncertainty. And the biggest part of that is that we want to be able to tap into who we are, the internal guidance of our thrive guide, not waiting for someone else outside of us and our lives to tell us who we are and what we need and where we're going. And so if this is resonating with you today, come on in. Just test out the content. It's so easy. I record the content each month, drop it in on the first of the month. It's all self- guided. I break the videos down into anywhere between two and 10 minutes so that you can watch them in between other things and there's never more than an hour's worth of content in any given month. And then you jump into the Zoom coaching calls where I ask questions. You ask questions, we have a conversation. So if you can't make those calls once in a while, you're still getting great content. And at the end of the month, we celebrate how you did with your challenge for that month. Because each month we challenge ourselves in incorporating some of these practices. I try to make it as easy as possible, as low cost as possible, so there really is no reason not to do it. You know what I'm saying? You're invited. You would be safe, you'll be loved. It makes my heart hurt the number of friends and colleagues that have said to me, " Hey, I've been trying to get so- and- so to join a 1000 Thriving Women because I know they really need it. They're hurting, they're struggling, or they want more, but for whatever reason, they're just afraid, stuck." Maybe you had a bad experience with a group of women in their past. I think all of us have. And so because their story center says, " Hmm, I'm not sure that's for me," or the biggest one of all, " I'm not sure I have time for that." That's the story that you're telling yourself. It's part of our story center. So we also have the ability to tell ourselves a different story. " If I don't do this, what will I do so I don't stay stuck? Maybe this time it'll be different with a group of women that I can feel safe." I can promise you that in my group. All right, y'all, I am wishing you nothing but love and light and a beautiful early summer season to enjoy all that nature has for us right now. All right, love you, mean it.

Audio: (singing)

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Thanks for listening to this episode. I would love it if you would leave a rating and a review on Apple Podcasts and then go to wethrive. live. First thing you'll see is a place to drop your email and join the movement. I'll send you tools that you can use to thrive from life and business.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Hey

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: y'all, fun fact, did you like the music for the podcast? That is actually my son, Cameron Hession. And I would love it if you would go to Spotify and iTunes and follow him and download some of his other music. My personal favorite is TV Land.


"Take full use of the power you possess inside you right now to write the next chapters of an epic story."

On this episode, Rebecca reads a chapter from her book, Write Your OWN Story, about the importance of the Story Center in our brain. She then shares how we can fully utilize our Story Center to help us focus more on the ups in our lives than the downs.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • What the story center in your brain is, and how it works
  • How to utilize the power of your own story
  • Why leaders need to be great storytellers

Connect with Rebecca: