Bestselling Author Turns Her Personal Story Of Tragedy Into A Source Of Strength

At the age of three, Kelly Snider was rescued from a house fire that claimed the lives of her young parents, leaving her orphaned and without any of the people, places or items that were most familiar and brought comfort. This early-life trauma manifested in various ways through her teens and young adulthood: disordered eating patterns, angry outbursts, even low self-esteem. After another tragedy struck her family in the form of a stroke leaving her sister-in-law in a locked-in state, Kelly was nearing the breaking point mentally, emotionally and physically as she attempted to look after everyone else.

Kelly knew she needed to do something to change the trajectory of her life – which was ultimately going to land in the hospital right next to her sister-in-law.  She decided to remove herself from her day-to-day life for six weeks to change her unhealthy habits and coping strategies.

It was on this six-week retreat that Kelly first discovered the power that even a small part of her story held to inspire and encourage others, after a casual lunchtime conversation resulted in several other retreat guests commenting on how motivated and touched they were by her dedication to improving her health and habits.

This started a journey of more than 16 years to the completion and publication of her best-selling book, “Your Story Your Strength”, where Kelly interweaves her own story and healing journey with the bigger truths about the importance of all of our stories to bring understanding, healing and impact to ourselves and the world around us.

Much of the focus around stories these days is around how they can be used as a marketing tool.  There’s a great reason for that – it’s because it works. Stories help us connect emotionally with a product, a person, a company, and when we are emotionally invested, it’s much easier to make that purchase, believe in whatever someone has to offer, and support a company – whatever their product, service or niche.

Your Story Your Strength isn’t about the marketing impact of our stories.  Instead, it’s about using our stories to value ourselves, believe in our own worth and support our own movement and even growth forward.

Your Story Your Strength breaks down our stories – all of our stories, not just the challenging stories of overcoming the difficult times or traumatic events of our lives, but the good memories, the family traditions, the influence of the various mentors in our lives. Yes, this book does dive into the effect of trauma and tragedy and how it shapes and affects us over the long term, but it is about so much more than that.

It’s about discovering how our stories have helped us to survive in the world, and how we can use them to make sense of our lives. It’s about understanding imposter syndrome and how it contributes to us undervaluing the value and importance in our experiences, and even how we may be unintentionally putting ourselves in the role of victim.

It starts with understanding why knowing and telling our stories is so important for deeper healing, both emotional and physical. Next, the book moves to recognizing the role that forgiveness, guilt (both true guilt and false guilt), shame and even gratitude play in helping us embrace our current reality. And finally, the focus turns to the myriad of ways anyone can find to share their unique stories, and the importance of using our stories to help inspire, encourage and even heal others. Because our stories can be our legacy – if we allow them to be.

So often, the way we view our lives and our stories is as an observer, with other people circumstances and events as being the guiding force in our narratives and deciding our paths. This book helps the reader take a step back and realize that even though these other people, circumstances and events had an impact, they no longer need to have control over our choices and decisions. That nobody needs to be the victim of the decisions or actions of other people, or even of unexpected or uncontrollable events. That each one of us can find something those people or events taught us, something we have in our lives now that we wouldn’t have had any other way: we can find the gift.

Your Story Your Strength encourages us all to take an active role in redefining all of our stories and recognize that we have the choice each and every day to take control of how we want to show up: for ourselves, with friends, family and loved ones, and even in the workplace and out into the world.  When we do this, we no longer identify as the victim in our stories, but instead as the hero. And this is when we can take control and create (or write) whatever future we desire. 

Kelly Snider, Bestselling Author and Story Curator, thoughtfully collects and preserves stories through creating events, writing books, interviewing guests on her podcast, and facilitating life changing story workshops. She is an expert at extracting stories and identifying value and strength within the narrative. As an acclaimed event producer, she highlights her clients’ individual stories, needs and goals. Through her platforms, The Power of Story Conference 2017, Epic Exchanges Podcast and the Epic Exchanges collaborative anthologies, she helps people to find the true gifts within their stories in order to share, inspire and transform lives. Kelly thrives in finding the ways to connect people; whether it is charity, food and wine, or simply an engaged conversation, she is able to see the possibilities that are often overlooked in both business and personal interactions. Kelly’s generosity in sharing her stories of overcoming has emboldened thousands to find the freedom and the strength to share their own.

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