Bringing Backstory to the Fore

I find it funny how sometimes the “Making Of’ movies can end up more interesting than a movie itself.

We always love to watch the ‘directors cut’, the outtakes, the ‘unauthorised’ version of a story.

We crave the authentic, the uncut version, the real oil. So why is that?

I think we’ve become a little bit too clever for our own good. We can craft stories in any medium, and manipulate how they look and feel. We can package reality any way we want.

But it is the ‘backstory’, without the gloss and polish that we often long remember.

Throughout my career as a radio journalist and documentary maker, the best stories in an interview would often be told after the microphone was turned off. People would be naturally cautious or perform while being recorded, but at their ease talking ‘off the record ‘.

The greatest documentary makers have people so much at ease, they are themselves as if the interviewer or camera isn’t there.

We love those ‘fly on the wall’ documentaries and reality TV shows because we consider it’s the real thing.

It is time we all totally merged, integrated ourselves in our personal and professional lives, and got brave about telling the good, the bad, and the ugly of what is really going on.

If we own the ‘backstory’ of our lives and work, the mistakes, the fears, the uncertainties, then we will build trust, higher performing teams and greater communities.

If we own and tell our backstory, who we are on and off the record, we have nothing left to hide and we can engage and work with others without any baggage or anything hidden.

We are surrounded by the ‘social’ media of our times. Bringing backstory to social media is what it is all about. People don’t want stories that are all gloss or all gloom.

So stop and think about some of the biggest mistakes or challenges of your life. What did you learn? Tell stories about your journey, your weaknesses as well as your strengths.

It might take a little courage, but anything worth learning in life requires a little discomfort.

Owning and telling your backstory just might be the pathway to the happiness and success in life you desire.

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