Stories that connect

Deiana Dragoeva, “Public communications and information sciences” PhD, founder of VIA CIVIC Association, project manager with over 15 years of experience, consultant in the field of media and communications, creator of innovative training programs. Professional screenwriter, editor, author.

“The schizophrenic residing in the real and virtual, the flood of multidirectional information, the freedom, controlled by algorithms, the paradox of lonely connectivity, all make the world a complicated place to live in. Especially for young people. They need space and support to find their meaning and put their chaos in order, to dare to choose and uphold their decisions. I am happy, that we give them good occasions to find themselves.”

Whether you believe it or not, everyone has a story. We ourselves are a story with a beginning and an ending. In the middle is our life, our choices, the decisions we made, the chances we took or missed, the insights we reached and the hardships we faced. Everyone has a story worth telling. By telling it we declare ourselves and connect ourselves to others, we get to know ourselves, we accept ourselves, we overcome our fears.

Stories are important, but we are often stopped by poisonous questions, such as:

“Isn’t my story too small and insignificant?”

“What makes me so unique, that I should bother others?”

“Do I have to lay myself bare to get attention?”

“Will my story make me too vulnerable, if I tell it to everyone?”

Many questions like that torment the participants in the trainings, organized by VIA CIVIC, related to the skill to tell compelling and inspiring stories. That is why the invitation is for them to first see their life from the sidelines – not as a character, but as an observer-narrator. Changing the perspective is good – it creates distance from the emotion and traumatizing memories, and provokes rethinking what happened from all points of view!

Do an experiment – tell the same episode of your life three times!

On three different days, in front of three different audiences – to a friend, to a child, a colleague, a stranger or in a different environment. Now compare them – the facts may be the same, but you certainly changed your tone, emotion, nuances, even your evaluation of what happened will surely be different. You accented one thing in one case, and on another in the other case – on something that seemed more important in that particular moment. You developed your story. The third time you tell it more confidently, than the first. You like it, when someone wants to hear what happens next with genuine interest, when they react and get excited along with you. Your story is now charged with the power to change and – why not – someday, your listeners may tell you they did what you did or that your story helped them.

How do we rethink our story and tell it in a captivating, impactful and inspirational way – this is our challenge to the participants in our trainings, the latest of which had an accent on stories, that create togetherness – “Storify Yourself to Create Togetherness“.

Storytelling – the skill to tell stories. But! The catch is to be the character, the author and the narrator. To tell the story skillfully, confidently and successfully, to invite the listener to be part of the story, to immerse themselves in it and emerge inspired and changed. And to change yourself with the act of storytelling – to understand, that you have already attracted new characters to your story, new followers, with whom you can proceed together. To recreate your story for those you want to connect to, however different they may be.

What is the secret to trainings with a focus on storytelling? Of course, we won’t give everything away, because, it may be a cliché, but everyone has to experience it for themselves. We will just mention some main ingredients.

The first – diversity that enriches.

It is brought by the participants from different countries, professions and experience, character and skills. They embark on our trademark “Storify Yourself” training adventures as strangers, but connected by the desire to develop as people and professionals, to understand what their true motivation, strength and passion is, so they can develop and enrich their personal story.

The second – an appropriate mise-en-scène and unexpected obstacles.

We choose the mountain and the wild for our trainings – the natural, which the modern person disconnects with more and more. Nature is scary and unfamiliar – the perfect space for the modern person to discover who they truly are, to return to themselves, without the deceptions, brought by civilizational widgets. A night under the stars, alone in the mountain, is a powerful experience, which takes courage, but becomes a good canvas for any inspiring story.

The third – transforming limiting beliefs.

Through impro theatre we provoke an acceptance of everything in life as a gift, as something we can agree with and add to. “Yes and…!” is the key principle to connect with others, to accept everyone’s ideas, without criticism and evaluation. Trust and building on what exists – that is what we accomplish and it is important. And transforming limiting beliefs into positive ones is a strategy and a matter of attitude and point of view.

The fourth – communication without the biting teeth of the Jackal, that sometimes tear through us.

Words have the power to wound, sting, and force the other to feel like a slave to negative emotions. We lead on the steps of non-violent communication, wherein labels, evaluations, convictions, demands for others are changed toward that, which lives in us – an observation, a feeling, a need, a plea.

The fifth – telling stories or giving part of yourself to others.

The participants’ stories bloom in a safe environment, which nurtures personal development and creative impulse. We encourage their bravery to share them confidently. We gave space and a TED format, so we can gather and share interesting messages and points of view.

Something like an epilogue

The beginning of every training is like a little oasis, gathering interesting and colorful people, looking for themselves, their story, a new goal and direction, impetus and confidence. They come as a group of strangers, but become friends and like-minded people. And that is the most important thing, when your mission is to be a youth worker, to work for causes, which are worth it. Especially when they are aimed at young people and it is up to us to make them confident, that their life depends on them, and to encourage them and support them to follow their dreams.

The end!

Stories that connect

Deiana Dragoeva, “Public communications and information sciences” PhD, founder of VIA CIVIC Association, project manager with over 15 years of experience, consultant in the field of media and communications, creator of innovative training programs. Professional screenwriter, editor, author.

“The schizophrenic residing in the real and virtual, the flood of multidirectional information, the freedom, controlled by algorithms, the paradox of lonely connectivity, all make the world a complicated place to live in. Especially for young people. They need space and support to find their meaning and put their chaos in order, to dare to choose and uphold their decisions. I am happy, that we give them good occasions to find themselves.”

Whether you believe it or not, everyone has a story. We ourselves are a story with a beginning and an ending. In the middle is our life, our choices, the decisions we made, the chances we took or missed, the insights we reached and the hardships we faced. Everyone has a story worth telling. By telling it we declare ourselves and connect ourselves to others, we get to know ourselves, we accept ourselves, we overcome our fears.

Stories are important, but we are often stopped by poisonous questions, such as:

“Isn’t my story too small and insignificant?”

“What makes me so unique, that I should bother others?”

“Do I have to lay myself bare to get attention?”

“Will my story make me too vulnerable, if I tell it to everyone?”

Many questions like that torment the participants in the trainings, organized by VIA CIVIC, related to the skill to tell compelling and inspiring stories. That is why the invitation is for them to first see their life from the sidelines – not as a character, but as an observer-narrator. Changing the perspective is good – it creates distance from the emotion and traumatizing memories, and provokes rethinking what happened from all points of view!

Do an experiment – tell the same episode of your life three times!

On three different days, in front of three different audiences – to a friend, to a child, a colleague, a stranger or in a different environment. Now compare them – the facts may be the same, but you certainly changed your tone, emotion, nuances, even your evaluation of what happened will surely be different. You accented one thing in one case, and on another in the other case – on something that seemed more important in that particular moment. You developed your story. The third time you tell it more confidently, than the first. You like it, when someone wants to hear what happens next with genuine interest, when they react and get excited along with you. Your story is now charged with the power to change and – why not – someday, your listeners may tell you they did what you did or that your story helped them.

How do we rethink our story and tell it in a captivating, impactful and inspirational way – this is our challenge to the participants in our trainings, the latest of which had an accent on stories, that create togetherness – “Storify Yourself to Create Togetherness“.

Storytelling – the skill to tell stories. But! The catch is to be the character, the author and the narrator. To tell the story skillfully, confidently and successfully, to invite the listener to be part of the story, to immerse themselves in it and emerge inspired and changed. And to change yourself with the act of storytelling – to understand, that you have already attracted new characters to your story, new followers, with whom you can proceed together. To recreate your story for those you want to connect to, however different they may be.

What is the secret to trainings with a focus on storytelling? Of course, we won’t give everything away, because, it may be a cliché, but everyone has to experience it for themselves. We will just mention some main ingredients.

The first – diversity that enriches.

It is brought by the participants from different countries, professions and experience, character and skills. They embark on our trademark “Storify Yourself” training adventures as strangers, but connected by the desire to develop as people and professionals, to understand what their true motivation, strength and passion is, so they can develop and enrich their personal story.

The second – an appropriate mise-en-scène and unexpected obstacles.

We choose the mountain and the wild for our trainings – the natural, which the modern person disconnects with more and more. Nature is scary and unfamiliar – the perfect space for the modern person to discover who they truly are, to return to themselves, without the deceptions, brought by civilizational widgets. A night under the stars, alone in the mountain, is a powerful experience, which takes courage, but becomes a good canvas for any inspiring story.

The third – transforming limiting beliefs.

Through impro theatre we provoke an acceptance of everything in life as a gift, as something we can agree with and add to. “Yes and…!” is the key principle to connect with others, to accept everyone’s ideas, without criticism and evaluation. Trust and building on what exists – that is what we accomplish and it is important. And transforming limiting beliefs into positive ones is a strategy and a matter of attitude and point of view.

The fourth – communication without the biting teeth of the Jackal, that sometimes tear through us.

Words have the power to wound, sting, and force the other to feel like a slave to negative emotions. We lead on the steps of non-violent communication, wherein labels, evaluations, convictions, demands for others are changed toward that, which lives in us – an observation, a feeling, a need, a plea.

The fifth – telling stories or giving part of yourself to others.

The participants’ stories bloom in a safe environment, which nurtures personal development and creative impulse. We encourage their bravery to share them confidently. We gave space and a TED format, so we can gather and share interesting messages and points of view.

Something like an epilogue

The beginning of every training is like a little oasis, gathering interesting and colorful people, looking for themselves, their story, a new goal and direction, impetus and confidence. They come as a group of strangers, but become friends and like-minded people. And that is the most important thing, when your mission is to be a youth worker, to work for causes, which are worth it. Especially when they are aimed at young people and it is up to us to make them confident, that their life depends on them, and to encourage them and support them to follow their dreams.

The end!

If you are interested in what we do and would like to be our partner

If you are interested in what we do and would like to be our partner

This post is also available in: Български