THE BLOG
08/09/2013 03:30 pm ET Updated Oct 09, 2013

How Do We Successfully Connect?

The key to your success is connection. Well, the question that comes to mind is how do you connect? I mean, really connect? The key to connecting is in the telling of your personal story of triumph as well as loss. Many people focus on the triumph because they fear that the loss or failure makes them look weak. It is the opposite. The story of your loss is what makes you look strong. It is what connects you with your audience. Chances are that the emotions you felt in your loss are the same emotions that the person you're speaking with may have experienced in a different situation. Your ability to fall and get back up speaks in a way that your story of success alone will never be able to compete with. I have worked in story for more than 20 years now. I've had the chance to really absorb and observe what is the link that connects people to success. I've found that the true link to a successful outcome is the telling of your story. When you reveal your truth from a place of confidence as well as vulnerability, you increase the chances of building a bond with your audience. When you do this, you connect. When you connect, there is no limit to your potential.

In fictionalized story, a common question is why does she or he want what they want? When we understand why your central character wants what they want, we connect with the emotion behind the pursuit. Why do they want to achieve the goal? What do they have to lose if they don't achieve it? Think about this in your life. How is your personal dilemma fueling your professional pursuit? Are you utilizing your personal story to help motivate you toward your goal? Are you telling your story so that people can get on board in helping you reach your accomplishment? What if you did do this? If you reveal your story in a meeting in a way that supports why you want what you want, you have a much greater chance of hitting your destination.

Recently, I was in a consult with a woman about her career and some scripts that she has written. I heard about her scripts and the challenges that she is facing with getting them made. She does have a lot of heat on one and personally, I see the concept. However, what really connected me to her actually didn't have a lot to do with her savvy story sense with her scripts but more with what she revealed to me about her life. Toward the end of the meeting, she opened up to me about a personal part of her story. It was very personal and it told me a lot about who she is. My heart felt immediately connected to her truth. With this feeling of connection, I suddenly saw her ability to tell story in an even stronger light. She showed me that she knew how to connect with her own truth and to reveal it without shame. In doing this, it told me that she knows how to tell story.

In another situation, I had someone reach out to me who had read my article in Tiny Buddha called "Moving From Ego To Spirit." He was drawn to my message and my truth about my own fall. It made him want to buy my book, Change Your Story, Change Your Life: A Path To Success and to set up a meeting. When I met with him, he immediately told me his story of triumph and loss. His triumph was very big so I knew that his fall was a hard one. With the loss, he didn't leave anything out. His world was truly turned upside down and reality as he knew it, shifted in a major way. I identified with his fall. This connected me to him. I loved the courage that he showed in revealing the consequence behind some of the choices that he made and his feelings of regret. He revealed his truth without fear. This made me know that his potential is unlimited. He has the emotional fuel to get back to a place of strength in business. It will all come down to the revelation and telling of his story. I know that if he connects with others like he connected with me, there is no limit to his potential.

If we tap into our truth that often surfaces from our loss and we are able to share it in our story in a way that connects our personal story with our professional goal, there is no limit to what we can achieve. Where we plant seeds, things will grow. Our personal story is how we connect. It is our gold. How we tell our story and what we reveal determines where we will go in life. If you want to successfully connect, understand the strength of your story.