I’m excited to present this post by Meg Konovska. I had the amazing privilege to meet her in a Facebook group started by Jeff Goins. She’s an enthusiastic patron of the arts, seeking every opportunity she can to meet other artists and encourage them in their work. Meg is originally from Bulgaria and is currently living in England. Despite English being her second language, her storytelling shines through as a thing of beauty. I am glad that I have the opportunity to learn from this amazing storyteller.
Want to Deliver a Powerful Message? Use Storytelling!
Ever wondered why some of the greatest teachers of all times used stories? You know, remarkable people like this fellow Jesus Christ telling his parables; or Greek philosopher Plato with his allegories and metaphors; and don’t forget your grandmother and her bedtime stories!
Why, because stories are one of the most effective methods to deliver messages!
Why are stories so universal?
1. Stories originate from ancient times.
Imagine a dark night… in front of the fireplace of a prehistoric village where the Tribe gathered at the end of a long exhausting hunt. They are tired. They are sweaty. They are hungry. And what are they doing? Sharing stories! Or at least this is what we believe today.
Stories are with us from the end of times. They are our safe place – in front of the fire, away from the dark, protected from the claws and fangs of wild beasts. They give explanations of all unexplainable – of the lightings tearing the skies because of the fury of Gods; of the raging ocean waves frightened by the Red Bull; of the sunrise brought by the fiery chariot of the Sun God. You can explain everything in a story.
2. Stories make you stand out. Or not 😉
Your story makes you unique. While all stories fall into 7 basic archetypes ), the mixture of details can make a huge difference.
Did you know that all people have 99.9 % identical match in their DNA? It is the rest 0.1% which forms the amazing variety within the mankind! The same applies to stories.
This means all stories are both different and the same at the same time!
Subscribe HERE to receive an amazing report how to use storytelling for enhancing your brand. It is developed by expert brand storyteller Charlie O’Shields whom I had the privilege of interviewing.
3. Stories serve as examples which we can relate to our own experience, and take some moral from them.
One of the tools of Law masters is case studies (Person A did X, Y, Z and this is what happened for these and these reasons). Stories are more or less case studies, providing patterns to apply in daily practice.
A story is not limited just to a sequence of events, facts and figures. It also illustrates social norms, interpretations and possible scenarios which can affect us emotionally.
4. Stories have the power to imprint the messages in our subconscious mind. Eventually they form our belief system, and our belief system leads to what manifests (mostly) in our life.
Do you believe that Good always triumphs over Evil?
Or that all real artists are starving, miserable and lonely?
Or that good people fall victims to injustice?
These were all passed to you thanks to stories which surrounded you. A lie repeated 1000 times becomes perceived as a truth. Or, as my mom loves saying:
If you are told 100 times you are a pig, at the 101-st time you start grunting.
However, you must remember you also have the power to choose what to believe and whenever possible – choose to be surrounded by storytellers who inspire you and empower you rather than belittle you.
5. A story is a mirror of our current situation. We can see in a story only what we have in us.
Stories do not reflect Reality itself but our perception of reality.
I will use a story to illustrate my thoughts:
One evening in the street twilight there were the silhouettes of two people embracing each other. As people were passing by, they all had different suggestions about the couple:
“These are a mom and a dad” – thought the child.
“These are two lovers” – thought the romantic girl.
“These are two friends who haven’t met for a while” – thought the lonely man.
“These are business partners who’ve just made a great deal” – thought the business man.
“This is a mother hugging her long gone returning child” – thought the mother.
“Who knows why, the heck, they’re hugging” – thought the annoyed man.
Everyone thought what they already had in themselves.
All interpretations developed from a different perception of the same situation.
6. Stories can be told in many mediums to fit different tastes.
They can be visual, verbal, musical, performing, mixed… Narrative options are endless! A movie can tell a story as effectively as a book does. It all depends on your personal preferences.
7. Stories can empower you to accept your story.
Have you seen the movie “Angel-A” by French director Luc Besson? In case you haven’t, I totally recommend you to go and watch it ASAP!
Here’s an episode from it (avoiding spoilers 😉 ) which gives a brilliant example of this aspect of stories:
When asked by the protagonist Andre where she came from, Angel-A told him a story of her being very poor and starving before she got to her current position. Our hero expressed his compassion, only to see his beautiful companion giggle and confess:
“You are so naive! This is not true. I was a spoiled and nasty girl who got everything she wanted, before I got in a car accident. All I wanted was my father to think of me in the day of my funeral.”
Andre looked confused:
“Which of the stories is yours?”
“Which of the stories will help you bear YOUR story?”
Now I invite you to share in the comments one of your favourite stories!
What messages did you take from it?
How did it influence your beliefs?
I would love to hear your thoughts.
And now go and make your most beautiful story happen!
About the Author:
Meg Konovska. “I’m a professional artist, designer, and author (to keep it short). I help professional creatives connect the dots on their Journey and achieve better results while living a fulfilled life. Follow me on Twitter @MegKonovska. See my art and design works on the Facebook page Meg Konovska Art And Design Or explore Just How Cool Is That – the website for creatives to learn and share about the Journey and the ways to be a successful creative.