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Share Your Personal Narrative

Lesson 9 from: Embrace the Ugly: How to Break Through What’s Holding You Back in Business

Kim Werker

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Lesson Info

9. Share Your Personal Narrative

Lesson Info

Share Your Personal Narrative

So you've written down some of the stories that you tell yourself, I would love to hear some of those stories that you told yourself we're going to share personal narrative somehow, I think this came out when we were planning the class. We kept talking about personal narrative, personal narrative, and it sounds very jargon and kind of, you know, but like, story is really what we're talking about here. Yeah, and I just want to encourage people who are following along at home to share your personal narratives, your stories in the chat room and get their written by clicking on the chapman. So I told you mine was the big one seven year old, I was a girl couldn't make what I saw in my mind, but I'd love to know you can run down a list of stories or just one story positive or negative, but I'd love to know we know to share a story professor said to me in college and it, like still sticks with me, um, and it's, like at the time was really upset, and now I know like I should have gotten that u...

pset, but I still like when I'm feeling down, I remember she said that I worked really hard, but I don't do a good job it's like a kick in the gut, yeah. Wow! And then and have you believe that about yourself that that anything you adopted whenever I'm like, working really hard on something and it's not working like I remember her saying that, and I'm sure she doesn't remember saying and, like probably don't even like mean it, you know, but it really it got me, yeah, it's once I started thinking about this kind of thing, I realized, like the tremendous power we all have as, like, simple human beings to encounter other people in the world, like I once smiled like a week ago, I walk my dog and I'll be, like, caught my own thoughts, and I don't want to be like daddy, and I don't want to be making eye contact with people, but like there's, a man walking toward me and he just have a look at it, it was just walking like his natural resting face. It was like misery and despair, and I snap myself out of anything. It was like a mile of this guy, and I'm not that person. I'm often just like, why would this guy when he's probably on his own little world? I'm going when I smiled as I walked by, and that was full face like a little bit into the smile and I don't know if it meant anything to him but it totally stayed with me the whole day and that was it and like you're right that she probably had no desire to like affect your life for the next two decades but she bid right? So so that's not a story that you tell yourself what's something that you tell yourself if that's not one that you started to tell you I guess I didn't understand no no it's okay like so do you but do you believe it? I like at times I guess yeah now gay changing to like I work hard and I do do a good job yeah, I guess I should try tio take away a little bit of a gut kick I feel like I was a good man that's terrible yeah, one thing is that I I'm shine I'm super shine and I believe that so hard but when I look at myself and I think yeah, yeah, sure, but it can do with that now I can in the past it was super hard for me, but I kind of to believe that no it's too hard to deal with that but it's not so it's of two voices inside me know you were shy, so stay quiet you know you're fine, go ok yeah so it's funny that there was always this two sides and well one thing that is I just thought about that now that I was always very tall and very much bigger than the other kids and when I was at school we had to do ah aligning q and I was always the last of the q and that was so shameful it was so terrible so being big and like show war the other kids was a bad thing because I got to the end of the line so it was just something that I felt now that so you know what have this oh no I want I want to grow up I want to be big I wouldn't I wouldn't show what I do and who I am but no it's a bad thing you can do that because you were at the end of the line if you do that I wasn't that interesting and you know connecting with this I'm shine so I am that's part of missing now is they say they're in the dark and is doing your fame by yourself because it's not much better for but that's not what I want yeah do you think that you deliberately shied away because you are already tall you are already attracting that attention in the back of the way and I think in some level with to do that but I don't want it to that anymore yeah and now you can say, I'm not going to do that anymore that's funny because you this morning your high you're so open and so like that is it is something that I can do yeah, I know I can but other times but I have to be so I have to prepare myself for that you have to extract this confidence from I don't know where and then I know you can do that you know it's speaking another language because english is not my first language and then I proved with all look that yes, I can do that but part of me still thing no, yes, a cure terrible people think you were funny and weird and all court oh yeah a little bit sometimes with well, who cares? Who cares? Well, my inner voice sometimes, but now we know the inn avoid you can choose not to listen to that because you do not have to be shy this really interesting. I was always very, very outgoing, but I was never, ever, ever comfortable and it took me a very long time to be ok with that because other people are not other people assume I am very loud, I'm really like I can speak publicly without throwing up right all these kinds of things, but I like at a party really uncomfortable and if people come and talk to me I will not stop talking because I will talk out of nerves and then I will spend the days days kicking myself I can't believe you talked about that you talked about yourself the whole time that was so ridiculous nobody wants to be friends with you anymore you didn't give anybody a tenable lilo and then like but like the truth of the matter is that I don't actually really enjoy parties very much and I should probably stop going to them I don't enjoy them very much on I might be kind of outgoing but I'm also kind of shy and I've had like the opposite experience like please just be ok being shy be okay not just for the love of god don't talk till you're blue in the face just be quiet for a little while and it's okay right like people will still no you if you don't talk all the time and it's a really hard really hard to d'oh and I love talking to people about it because it I always envied the tall girl at the back of the line because I was a small girl who was you know loud and you know assuming to be in front and I was like can I just be you know and I never could I love talking about thank you for sharing about that because it gives us all that perspective yeah, I wrote a whole list of things, and I feel like it all comes down to one thing really, I'm scared of being judged anything I do, I feel like people aren't going to like it there's a problem with it? If I send out photos to a client, a fado immediate response response, saying they love them, they must hate them if I talked to somebody and just like you said, and then I go away and like, why did I say it now? They must hate me, and one thing is I love writing, but I'm always scared that people are going to pick it apart, or I'm going to do something wrong, and we just got a publisher that wants to work with us, and I'm so excited, and now I have all this stuff I'm like, I can't write, I can't do this, I know I have good content, but what if I put my semicolon and the wrong place somebody's gonna like about about that? And like, I just I feel like you're holding back, I don't want to do things that I love to do because I'm scared of what people might think, even if I know it's good in my mind and you know you'll you'll let yourself no it's good, yeah. Editors seriously, there will be an editor who will go through that move your semi colons great trust in the process I could tell you that my experience, but I didn't know what you mean, right? Like in that on that, like you were approached for this and then suddenly that's like choosed film and then if people judge that that's like bigger than the work you're already doing right, and then what does that mean? Is that a story that you think you can change? I don't know because I feel like it's something I've always had, and I mean, I guess I could, but it's been ingrained for so long, I remember being in fourth grade and writing in class, and I just crumple it up and put it in my desk, and then my mom came to me after my conference and she's, like your teacher, went through your desk and she said you hadn't been turning in your work, so she went through him found all these papers and she said that your work is absolutely amazing, but you just won't turn in and I never turned in because I always knew it was bad, so I get zero instead of turning and something that I was scared might be bad, and so I guess it's something that I could change, I just don't necessarily know how, yeah think about that keep that in mind I think hopefully we'll have some answers or you'll have some answers by the end of the day thank you train I really appreciate how you guys are all sharing it's really it's really inspiring the people at home to share more? So I would like to read a couple of those we have we have christine being says, I tell myself that being a housewife and a work at home dire somehow I'm not bringing value to my family and we have a dallas arthur photography says I tell myself that since I still work part time three days a week, I'm not as much or since I only work part time three days a week, I'm not as much of a professional as I would be if my if I was doing a one hundred percent of the time that's pretty common right there, so those are similar yeah that's what I talk a lot with my husband about this so all of us this self employed people I have partners about this there was a recent article and I'm going to talk about it now and I'm going to get it wrong and I'm not even gonna be able to tell you who wrote it or where to find it but I will dig it up and I would like post about it later recently a woman wrote about how she is a as a writer is a professional writer because she is essentially sponsored by her partner on there's this it's almost like a patronage right like it used to be hundreds of years ago that an artist would have a patron and that patron would feed and clothe the artist and the artists could make art and that is not really something that we have anymore although in various ways of crowd funding and you know we were able to sort of kind of try tio to replicate that but I think that and I have struggled with the same thing myself I am the person who didn't know what she wanted to be when she grew up until she was already a grown up and I had a husband who knew what he wanted to do with his life from the time he was about nineteen he is the only person I know in the world who is working in the same field now that he declared as a major when he was nineteen he has had various jobs within that field but that is the field that he chose then it is the field that still makes him happy and satisfied now and he is like this steady professional who makes a very respect income at a very respectable job has, you know, business cards issued by his employer and I am like people like what do you do for a living well, you know I like and it's like choose what you know if I'm feeling particularly confident about promoting myself I'll say, well, I wrote a book what about well, you know where I work as an editor for example work is an editor you know but like I do all of these kinds of things and there isn't really an answer for it and on any given day I feel looked horrible or I feel great and it's all like yes, yes and that any you know, there's no way I will ever have the income potential of my husband not because he's a man and I'm a woman but because we made different choices in these air, you know, but like what were important anyway opening a whole bag of worms that is utterly unrelated but weaken book market and chat about another time um any other story I would love to hear more stories about what you tell yourself yeah all related to business but I tell myself that I can't dance and anyone who knows me will tell you like if we go out to a club like I don't dance, I do not I like completely abstained from dancing because I believe that I cannot do it and no matter what people tell me like other people are not looking at you and judging I'm like but I'm looking at them and judging I know I'm gonna look stupid so I won't do it but do you judge them like oh my god that person should totally not be dancing with you I think I think fun but like I'm like I kind of looks stupid and I can't do that like I would feel too dumb yeah yeah I grew up in a home my my parents always talked about my mom being tone deaf on die just assumed that was the thing that most people were you're either tone deaf or like on broadway and there were these two things right? And so I grew up there was no expectation that I would be able to carry a tune I never learned how I always assumed it is another story that I've told myself my whole life I cannot sing and my husband when I met him we were in our early twenties he had been in the marching band he was a music guy and he did not believe that I was in fact tone deaf. It turns out this is actually a very technical term that is an inability to discern pitch right like he was like what you can for example imitate cartoon characters you want really well that's like pitch related you could totally you're not tone deaf and I was like, I don't understand what you mean I can sing let me show you how badly I can know butcher something it would be awful there's a one day in the car, we went on a road trip and we put in the alanis morissette because it was of that era and I imitated her voice, which is very unique, and my husband was like, you are totally keith and I was like, I don't understand what you're saying, and it was like the most fun I ever had in a road trip, and I don't think I've ever been able to do it since I'm like, what do I do with this knowledge now that I know I'm not tone deaf, but I'm still like carrie? Okey think I mentioned this earlier? It is like the thing that makes me blanche visibly, I will not do it. I will always have an excuse not to go out to the karaoke bar makes me like twenty. I will not do it and I feel fear like I will. I will get sweaty, I will get uncomfortable. I will feel sick, but I love the people who get up and like belt out there off key. I'm like it makes me feel so proud of them and so happy to be alive and ridiculous and yet I will not do it, I will not do it, we should go singing and dancing one day, which is like make a pact on do it and like some remote like which is like fly toe like kentucky because I'm happy to do carry okay okay okay way like that this is a thing that we should do well just lock arms with each other and then you know together okay all right because I'm like you say I feel myself on my standing here like I'm really uncomfortable with this all right? I've got another one to read for you on this is from lahti who says when I was in the third grade I brought home my first eighty nine percent and in my house if you got a ninety four or lower that was considered a b s o my dad saw and it was outraged and he went off about how I was trying to fail and that I didn't want to be any thing on lottie is now twenty six and says I'm twenty six but my dad is in his eighties and he grew up in a much different time what was hard for black people to do anything so he always dress that we had to get one hundred percent so that we could at least be average the pressure so I asked for us if he could find out from body if that was what she tells herself as well still so let us know yeah yeah yeah yeah please let us know the pressure from our parents right I mean what's interesting about that tone deaf story like I felt the pressure that this was like two belong like my mom and I were like comrades in arms with not singing you know, it's like really there is really not that kind of sex um but that's a that's a really major thing and I think that the expectations of our families in the greater context right, like that expectation off her dad was coming not just as a dad who wanted his daughter to succeed, but as a dad he wanted his daughter to succeed in a world where he felt all of the cards are stacked against them for a variety of reasons and that's like we have to decide, we have to decide they have to decide at a point that we're not really capable of doing when we're children if we're going to accept that pressure and if that pressure is enabling us to succeed or holding us back and succeeding it just makes me even more terrified as a parent. So now that we're telling you like it's like by the end of the day we're all gonna be sitting around with our tissues and pictures of hurricane it's like but anyway of more stories I would love to hear a couple more stories yeah, if you tell yourself I have a really big dream for my business and I and I tell myself, who am I to think that I could do be that successful that I could do that? And when I if I got there, um, that people would think my work wasn't good enough, I was a fraud, you know, we hired her, but her work is very good even though we thought it would be and then the other really big one is that I'll be a bad mom because I'll be traveling the work would require traveling on dh that's did a bit of a struggle, but someone said to me one day, well, you're inspiring your children to go after their dreams, which is really huge and yeah, my kids are older now anyway, so it's a little bit easier tell something and and again it's that sort of anticipation in projection of judgment on people that we care about, right? And that, like, will they actually will they actually really one thing you know, for all the singing? Yes, I have been talking about my mom always said to me like, you got a model for your kids, what you know and she did she she worked from the time I was like a tiny infant and I always knew that she loved me, that she supported me, but I always knew that she had these interests that were not mine not about me not related to me, and I found that fascinating about her, even as a child, I knew what I could talk to my mom about that was if I had questions about stuff like she had subject area expertise or like, you know, and I knew what I knew, what it wass and it's something to like when my son last night I face time him on my phone during bath time and he was going, I just know mommy to read me stories, and I had a choice either to collapse in a puddle of like, guilty little laden misery or to say I love you too, and I wish I were home to read you stories too, but I'm here doing work. I'm really excited about lcu in two days, and I said the ladder and I totally bit my lip as us said it and I managed not to collapse into a pit of misery because I knew that's all I needed was like that fifteen seconds of space to realize that that was the right decision for all of us and he was fine and you're like, ok, he did not fall apart when I said, well, I'm actually not going to be there in ten minutes from, you know, three hours away to read you a story he was like, yeah, I get it you know and I was like ok, I gave him the opportunity to get it and then gave myself the opportunity to prioritize something that I really wanted to prioritize and it was like but that story is that like an ongoing thing isn't it like who we are who am I as a person is a different from who I am as a parent would these role that we play and what do they mean for us and how do we how are we the constant in all of them and anyway again with the philosophizing and getting getting really crazy yeah I wanted tio read what a lot he wrote back when who had giving us the story about the eighty nine and that being failing a lot he said I did carry that for a long time but when I found myself putting the same pressure on my now four year old I had to face it and really address how I felt and that it was not the world that I'm living now yeah and as rest followed up in the chatrooms and said is crazy how sometimes it it takes us doing something to somebody else to realize what we've been doing to ourselves and I thought that was a really cool thought as well yeah like how many times are we the supportive friend to someone who needs that support about something we beat our own selves up about right like it's that come on right and we wait don't do that and that's part of why I want to focus on these stories that we tell ourselves because we often don't talk to our friends about our business could it work? You know we'll talk about oh how was your day at the office friend who has an office day job? Oh, good, yeah, my day at work in my I'm going to very legitimize myself working from home work, you know that I got to make up myself thing went okay, but wait don't often let ourselves so to the actually what I'm doing this week is not billable client work, but work development work that's not, you know, really tangible, but I've been doing a lot of time walking in the woods thinking about my ideas, and we decided not to say that because we assume that people will look at us like, oh that's not really work and that it will take away from all of the work that we've done over years to see have other people see her work of legitimate just admit it and anyway it right this whole thing I'm not I know people are not, so I know I'm not the only one who does this, but it's that like if we'd really just we would say to a friend, of course that's work off course that's valid you are a creative person you create for a living you need to give yourself the space to do that you want to ride the bus all day because you love people watching out the window and that is where you get your great ideas by the whole idea of my ideas that came to me on the bus it was great I have to force myself to leave my home and ride the bus because I love the buses like my it is going to come out like the buzz is like my shower way people as I want like a t shirt that says like right people have so many ideas in the shower everybody take a shower but not everybody has the right ideas like just leaving the house every day you know and I need to do that because that's what fills my tanks and it's important to do that in any way again with the rambling got to stop with the ramp I'm a person who rambles owned it's gonna stop um lots more more baby one more let me go to the folks at home I'm going to pull that up right now thank you everybody for sharing online we have kathleen alise who said being the good little girl who does everything perfectly on the first try has always meant to me that I will be love it and accepted if I fail I will not be loved so it is so demoralizing and sets you up to think that you can't do anything right and that you are set up to fail. I know that one by heart, yeah, if you don't get it right the first time then you failed. What would you, what? I would not look atyou kim and say, oh, you should be able to sit down at a piano and play this for release perfectly yeah, but I would tell myself that, right? Right? And if you don't realize that that's unreasonable and hire somebody to teach you how to play piano, if that person is like, if you don't seem to get it, if it doesn't come to you naturally, then clearly it's not worth working that they keep coming back to what you said at the beginning of class you worked like that's just so important and it's something that's hard and I find that hard to it is really great and easy to find something that resonates with you and you feel like I was put on this earth to do this and then do it. It is not easy to want something either the end product of it toe wantto learn a thing for whatever reason and to struggle at it and keep struggling until you do it that is a completely different thing yes struggle should do it more but then we should stop for miserable right it's a good whatever you know for god's sake stop beating yourself up if you hate doing something it's ok move on okay senate have really positive stories they tell themselves you hear about something that's like I know that I am great at whatever anyone anyone at home you know I'm a person who ace hat and we've been talking about school school school if you don't if you don't share yes ok all right when I was a kid everybody always told me that I was really good at math and science which I'm pretty good at math and science this is pretty true but I was thought I was really good at writing and nobody ever told me that but I did it anyway and then now people are like actually you're good at writing hey so so I'm good at writing love it that's great and I like that you did that in the face of like we often we it's like a false dichotomy right like what about being good at math and science would not make you good at something else I don't know how but an arbitrary thing good for you I have one from lori online who says I'm good at my job I like my job but I work in retail and there's a stigma attached to that kind of job that I don't actually have a career sometimes the hour sucks. Sometimes the customers make crazy. Yet I'm compensated fairly for my work, and I worked a local business. People who care. I should be grateful for my job, but still takes in that she doesn't have a career or that you know that it's different. So it's, interesting it's, a complicated relationship we have with other people's judgments and what we think, right, you know, for you, for being happy, that's. Good.

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Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

I listened to the entire course. I think that Kim is very inspiring and that she uses stories effectively. I do think that she needs to have the audience wear name tags and use their names when she is talking to them. It helps me the viewer feel a connection with the studio audience. I made my ugly creature. I am a graphic/interior designer. I know that ugly items are needed at times to make things beautiful, so my creature actually looks cute to me. I wished that less time was used on the ugly creature discussions and more time getting to the core of what is holding us back. Designers are visual producers so our work is always under scrutiny, and it is good to see what other designers are fearing, but solutions is what I wanted to get to rather than trying to identify what is holding me back. I hope that future videos by Kim will address the solutions and use less of the ugly theme so as to work on gaining insight as to how to overcome negativity about growing our businesses.


Amazing course, so good that I had to purchase it for further referral. With thanks to Kim Werker and also to the facilitator.

Student Work