[DAY NINE] The limiting beliefs holding you back from telling your Story

I need help finding my voice. I don’t know what to say. 

I met with a woman yesterday who’s ready to jump into 1:1 business strategy with me. And one of the things that came up was that a) she’s brilliant in her field and knows it and b) she feels like she’s not doing enough to grow her business with her content. 

She, in every way, is my ideal client. She’s ready to make moves in her business. She knows what she wants. But there’s this fog in front of her that’s preventing her on getting clear on her next steps – in terms of process in her business and how she’s using her content in an aligned way. 

So I thought today, I could unpack some of the limiting beliefs I heard come up on that call because they are common to almost every single person and business I work with. 

Obviously these are paraphrased and not exact, but these are the three key beliefs that hold my clients back on the regular. 

I can’t figure out what to say. 

When someone says this to me, it’s telling me there’s A LOT of other things going on and it’s not really a belief about one’s ability to ‘tell stories’. 

When a client tells me they believe they either have nothing to say or can’t figure out what to say, it screams the following: 

  • I’m unclear on what my objective is ; as in WHY I’m telling these Stories
  • I’m not sure who my audience is; as in WHO I’m trying to reach with my message
  • I’m not able to tap into my intention or my personal values with confidence yet

It’s not that you have nothing to say. I’m almost certain if you came over for an afternoon of snacks and hanging out, we’d have a ball and there’d be lots of things to talk about!

It’s that you’re not clear on what to say in that moment because social media makes things mucky and unclear for a A LOT of people. (See my previous post about how I’m trying to extricate myself from daily use of Instagram). 

Getting over this belief is simply an act of putting down the social media for a while and getting clear on the fundamentals in your personal brand and business. 

This is why I work with people to do the following (and usually in this order) 

  • Find their Story
  • Tell their Story
  • Grow their Business
  • Amplify their Business through Story

It’s a cycle (not a linear progression) where we always return back to finding the Story, but it’s a process that helps EVERYONE get clear on what kind of Stories to tell. 

So if you’re feeling like you have nothing to say, it’s likely that you need to sit and think about your Why and your Who instead of What. 

I’m not creative. 

I’m not going to tell you that being creative comes naturally to everyone. It doesn’t. But I will tell you that there are ways to spark Story in everyone that makes it easier to do. 

I’ve always had a beef with the term creative writing because something about it implies that things happen accidentally. And for sure, some of my best writing and creation has come from Divine inspiration- but most of the stuff I personally create comes from a combination of the following: 

  • Process
  • Commitment
  • Editing

And none of those things sounds as flowery or as ‘unlearnable’ as creativity. 

Process 

There is a process to telling Stories. And it’s 100% one that can be learned. When I say ‘telling Stories’ by the way, I simply mean creating content or repurposing content or getting your content into the world in whatever form you want. 

I developed a process for doing this decades ago in the newsroom and I still use it to this day. 

This is how I’m able to write a blog post, live stream, multiple social media posts and newsletters PER DAY and still have time in my life for clients, fun, food and family. 

Process releases the need to be spontaneous – which helps a LOT of folks get over that creative hump. 

Commitment 

Crafting content and telling stories is a muscle thing. It’s a practice like yoga. You need to work it often in order to keep it in top shape. 

Hence why I’ve recommitted to writing daily – because I want to strengthen my muscles!

Editing 

Less is more (eventually). When my clients first start creating content and writing to develop a “Story lens and ear”, I don’t edit them. I allow what naturally comes up to come out. (An important part of muscle development). 

But at some point, I will hold them to telling Stories more simply. Editing out unnecessary details and language. 

Here we practice the art of: 

  • Short form stories (like one to two sentences)
  • Medium length stories (like an IG caption) 
  • Long form stories (like a blog post or podcast script) 

And again, this is a skill that can be LEARNED simply by practice. It has nothing to do with being inherently creative. 

So if your belief about creativity is holding you back, lean into logic and you’ll be fine. 

I’m not a writer. 

I’ve talked about this before on one of my Live Streams in Story Club because this belief is less about the skill of writing and more about how you see yourself. 

Consider that only a fraction of the population considers themselves to be actual writers. 

So what does that say about the rest of us? 

I do not identify with being a ‘writer’ and yet I use it daily to grow my business. 

Crafting content and telling Stories has very little to do with the skill of writing and way more to do with your understanding and confidence in what you want to say. 

This goes right back to that first belief about not having anything to say – it’s busted down the moment you get clear on your who and why. Then it doesn’t matter if you’re creating content that’s written, visual or audio or all three.

So here’s where I make an invitation to you. If you want to deepen your understanding and unlock the PROCESS for creating content that works for your business and for your personal brand, jump into Stories for a Year.

I created this program to be accessible, affordable and super useful for anyone who feels stuck and in the starting blocks when it comes to content creating and story. 

You also have the option of joining the next round of my Group Program – which is for you if you have an established business but want to blast through that fog in a big way. We start in September 2021 and you can apply here

Finally, if you just want a kick in the pants to get going? Download 77 Story Prompts and see what it unlocks in you. 


The Rest of the Story is a project of love and commitment to showing up on this site every day for 90 days; sharing honest opinions, thoughts and observations. Comments are welcome.

Erin Trafford Incorporated is located on sacred land that has been the site of human activity for over 12,000 years. We are in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People, and we acknowledge them as the past, present, and future caretakers of this  land.

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