In my last post I shared “Your clients want to know why you are the person to help them” what drove you to gain expertise and passion for your service. In short, they want to know who you are.

This doesn’t mean sharing every event from a swimming certificate to coming second in a race on Sports day unless, of course, it applies to why and what you do now. Now more than ever, you need the courage to step up and show who and why we are the person with the solution you have.

If you’re thinking, this is harder than it seems, you are probably right. You’re probably right because I’m asking you to share your vulnerability.

A trite statement like, “I want to help people” won’t cut it. Virtually every person I’ve ever met in caring professions, including Counsellors, Coaches, Psychologists and Consultants set out with the intention, conscious or not, to heal their own wounds.

One of our duties as professionals is to continue to work on ourselves so that we are free to help others. As a former mentor of mine once said, “You can’t see the other person clearly if your own windows need cleaning.”

Sharing your “Foundation story” is to risk the other person seeing your frailties, your vulnerability. But what if you can see your history, your painful experiences as the basis for your knowledge, your strength, your gifts?

So how do you set about constructing your foundation story, the experiences that make you qualified for what you do?

First, sit down and have a gathering session spread over a few days

Make a note of all the positive memories, then all the negative or painful memories up to the age of 7.

Sleep on it and repeat the exercise from ages 7 to 16.

Sleep on it again and repeat the exercise from ages 16 to 25

When you read it back, see where there is an overlap. Was it easier to identify the positive or the negative experiences? Is there a pattern emerging? What are you proud of and what do you feel slightly embarrassed or awkward to share?

If we were working in a workshop, I’d be encouraging you to share your findings. Imagine you are about to share them. Do you feel a slight tension in your body, maybe your stomach or your shoulders? If you do, you are probably on the right lines to construct your foundation story. If you felt nothing, you are probably not going deep enough.

Last, what insights have you gained and which experiences do you think make you uniquely qualified to provide the service you provide?