True Talk: Expertise vs. Vulnerable Truthtelling

Here at Women For One, one of the values we hold dearest is vulnerable truthtelling. This means connecting with the stories, experiences, and ideas that most deeply speak to your personal struggles and triumphs—in ways that allow readers a better look at the woman behind the curtain.

For this reason, we always ask that our stories be written with an emphasis on personal experience. Although we are ecstatic to include the voices of experts and wisdom holders in our community, what sets Women For One apart from other communities is our emphasis on the personal journey that each woman undertakes in her own unique way.

This doesn’t mean that we don’t value our Truthtellers’ expertise. Every single woman has lessons to share, as well as wisdom to disseminate—whether she is a professional life coach or someone with decades of practical know-how under her belt. And while many women are rightfully stepping into their talents and learning to feel comfortable wearing their expert’s hat, the purpose of truthtelling isn’t merely to dispense advice. It’s to connect with each other on the basis of our raw truth—which can often feel edgy or uncomfortable to share, because it is so revelatory.

Life lessons that are absent of personal stories can certainly be powerful in their own way, but here at Women For One, we’ve discovered that they are best conveyed through illustrations of each Truthteller’s personal experience rather than a series of how-to’s. To that end, we honor every woman’s story—and we want to see, feel, hear, and know her inside it!

Vulnerability is part of a woman’s (and, I would argue, anyone’s) essential power. The capacity to speak and feel from the heart is one of the components of women’s wisdom that we are beginning to truly appreciate and acknowledge in our world today. And our personal stories are the stepping stones of our learning journeys on this Earth. So, the next time you want to share your expertise, knowledge, and accomplishments, ask yourself: “What are the experiences that helped shape my wisdom? What have I learned along the way? How can I share it with others so that they can actually understand who I am and where I’m coming from, and feel impacted by my story?”

I encourage you to step even more powerfully into your wisdom by acknowledging just how deeply it is embedded in your personal stories, and your particular life’s journey.

What do you think makes a good story? Are there any other tips you’d appreciate when it comes to becoming the best Truthteller you can be? Email me at and let me know.

And if you’re ready to step into vulnerable truthtelling, submit your story to Women For One today!

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About the Author | Nirmala Nataraj

Nirmala Nataraj is an award-winning author, editor, playwright, and counselor whose work has ranged from freelance journalism to copywriting in the advertising industry to transformational book coaching for first-time authors interested in translating their ideas from their heads to the page. Raised in California, with most of her career experience concentrated in the booming creative region of the San Francisco Bay Area, Nirmala recently relocated to New York’s Hudson Valley. She is currently working on editing three different books and writing a play about Egyptian gods, commissioned by the San Francisco Olympians Festival. Find out more about Nirmala at

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