Quick Story Lesson: Vulnerability
Updated: Jul 27
When you're at the beginning of your storytelling practice you can often feel like it's not your place to tell your story. You compare yourself to others who (in your perception) do a far better job. And you feel like you will never reach that point of creative mastery. The opposite is true however: it's that self-doubt, insecurity and vulnerability - creative anxiety - that actually makes your story worthwhile. Your story is needed. Today we discuss why.
Storytelling is about embracing friction. It's about overcoming obstacles, not avoiding them. If you show hardship and how you thrive despite of it, this becomes inspirational to others. People don't relate to perfect tales.They are boring. They relate to stories with friction because life is full of that. They recognize and understand vulnerability.
That makes any attempt to tell a story that show both the positive and negative sides - i.e. the whole story - ultimately a successful one. It is true of course that story structure, set-up, resolution, character and all those other elements of storytelling can greatly enhance the success of your story.
If you are at the beginning of your storytelling journey, you still have a long road ahead of you to master those. But that is form. And although form is hugely important in storytelling, without content or context a story really is nothing. The emotional connection needs to be made with an audience. And whether it's through tragedy or comedy, there is no greater emotional connection than showing your vulnerable, emotional side.
So, show yourself. Whatever your level of storytelling may be, when you open up you will already have crossed that first bridge.
Rogier van Kralingen