I watched the TED talk below and realized there’s yet another reason to surround yourself with a variety of supportive, uplifting, brilliant people. And that is to deepen the story you tell.
Chimamanda Adichie is a Nigerian novelist who spoke about the “danger of a single story.” She says, “The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.”
I see this happening to women in business as well. It is dangerous and incomplete to assume we’re all struggling with the same issues.
I spoke with one woman today who said she’s hesitant to attend a conference with a predominately male audience in Las Vegas for safety reasons.
Another woman talked to me about not having her business cards on her when she needed them, yet her purse and tote are full of her kids’ items.
A third woman ranted how so many young and inexperienced people in her industry are getting the jobs she used to called for. “They have promoted themselves using social media and have these HUGE followings… but not years of dedication and hard work, and it doesn’t seem fair.” (Her words, not mine.)
I can relate to all of these stories, in one way or another. I know what it’s like to be afraid of the unknown. Or to put other people’s needs before my own. And to feel like I was the last one to get online… but this doesn’t have to be the end of the story.
Like Chimanmanda who does not want one story for all of Africa… I aspire to hear the many stories of women, creating companies… trusting themselves to try something new.
“Stories can be used to empower. And to humanize.” Chimamanda Adichie.