It’s not what happens to you. It’s who you become because of it.
Meet Ria Story
Raised on an isolated farm in Alabama, I was sexually abused by my father from age 12 – 19. Forced to play the role of his wife, and even shared with other men at times, I was tied up, photographed nude, raped, and beaten. I was desperate to escape, and even considered ending my own life. But, it’s not what happens to us in life that’s most important. It’s who we become because of it. I left home at 19 to escape, leaving behind the father who abused me and the mother who blamed me for it. I didn’t have a job, a car, or even a high school diploma. I had a few pillow cases stuffed with clothes, no money, and few options.
Mark Twain said, “The two greatest days in your life are the day you are born and the day you discover why.” On August 14, 2013, I found my “why” and shared my story publicly for the first time. Each one of us has the opportunity to become better because of what life hands us or bitter about it. Resilience is the difference between “I didn’t die” and “I learned to live again.” And, resilience is the key to success in life. Resilience increases our influence with others both personally and professionally. Resilience is the key to leadership.
I left a successful corporate career in 2014 to pursue my calling full time. 10 books, a TEDx talk, and several years later, today I work with organizations and individuals who want to develop resilience and increase influence in life and leadership. My husband Mack and I frequently speak together on leadership topics and co-founded Top Story Leadership, a leadership consulting company. Learn more about Mack and his unique Blue-Collar Leadership resources at BlueCollarLeadership.com