Do we ever really pay attention to how we introduce ourselves? We do it several times a day in business and sometimes more than a dozen at parties. Who are we? Is it something we believe, much less want to say? And how did we ever come to that ‘elevator pitch’ in the first place?
The way we introduce ourselves show connection. That is, our introductions refer to our relationship with another – whether it be a larger entity, a family member, locale, or even work title. We are, at that moment, describing our ‘tribe’: I’m a native New Yorker, I’m a daughter, I’m a teacher, I’m a chef.
Sometimes, we introduce ourselves in terms of what we have accomplished: “I am the inventor of the sticky note,” “I am the leader of the Hinterlands,” or “I am the number one travel blogger on the west coast.”
You have described yourself by the days and years of statistical data. The problem with that is that if you remove your name from your introduction, you could simply be anyone affiliated with your tribe or accomplishment. Anyone can come from New York, another person can teach, or blog, or take over the land. That’s just data points.
You are much more than that. You are a living, breathing story. (Dave- in the caption above- I’m talking to you!) You are your own unique experiences, you are what you believe in, you are the lessons learned from your struggles. You are a one-of-a-kind contribution to the world around you.
Instead of listing the facts of your life, why not briefly tell your story? Tell the ‘why’. Instead of me saying, “I’m Tamara, I’m a native New Yorker who moved to California 20 years ago, ” I might say, “Hi, I’m Tamara. About two decades ago, I got tired of digging my car out of snow banks, wearing clothing that rivaled Nanook of the North’s, and just dreaming about vacations, so I decided to move to San Diego and live and work inside my vacation dreams. It’s worked out great.”
Tell what you believe in. “Hi, I’m Tamara. After seeing the devastation that the Hinterland people were facing, I wanted to create an environment and educational systems that would support a better way of life for the people. I corralled other like minded people to help and we became so successful that I eventually became the leader of the Hinterlands.”
We all have lived varied and wondrous lives. We all have a story. Go out and tell yours and see what happens