What is inspiration and how do you define what inspires you? You may feel like you are an ordinary person, but you may be motivated to do extraordinary things.
I love when I see someone who has the energy and ability to be creative, selfless, focused, innovative, and spontaneous. Historic figures such as Martin Luther King and Mother Teresa were once ordinary but did extraordinary things to make the world a better place with their example and leadership. True leaders believe they can change the world and despite possibly facing great odds and impossible circumstances, they remain fearless. Sometimes, extraordinary comes from a very ordinary place. Perhaps it’s being poor, neglected, abused, or having physical disabilities. We often have mountains to climb in our lives. Great leaders can be born with a gift and the ability to lead others, but that doesn’t necessarily make it easy for them to lead. Fear does not stop them from persevering. Those people mentioned above were authentic and soulful, allowing them to become an inspiration to others.
We fail to see the amazing abilities to lead in ourselves. We think because we are ordinary that means we can’t be extraordinary. We view someone as successful because they get likes on Facebook, are mentioned in the press, or have a YouTube channel with millions of views. But, in most cases the most inspiring people are those that do not experience this amount of attention. What truly inspires them is change. They don’t necessarily need accolades or approval from their peers. They only need to know they initiated and caused change. Understand that you can be an inspiration to others regardless of how you view yourself. For me, I don’t think I have even come close to reaching my potential.
I believe I have perhaps reached more low points, but I won’t stop trying to inspire people. Reflecting back what people are saying about me and my workshops seems surreal. I don’t necessarily view myself as inspiring. Quite the opposite in fact. I never knew I could impact so many people or that my ideas and inspiration would lead to encouraging others to live their dreams. I had a young women come up to me at the workshop and reveal that she was getting ready to quit her creative career. But, because of the workshop and the support she received, she decided against it.
I never really thought my position as a leader would impact someone like that. Just by giving this young women a little inspiration, she can now reciprocate and share her talents with others. Giving back definitely leaves a bigger impression than the number of Facebook likes or press headlines. Leading and inspiring others will make you feel amazing. Inspiring people through my workshops is a dream come true for me.
A few things you can do to give back and inspire others:
Act Now- It’s not enough to say you want to inspire others and serve as an inspiration, you have to commit and initiate change. Follow through by being true to your brand and yourself.
Be authentic – Be proud of who you are and what you have accomplished. Show off your accomplishments and be proud but humble. This will inspire others to do the same.
Provide others with a road map– There are many reasons why you have experienced great success. Share your skills, but also offer guidance by showing off your roadmap or blue print. Now that you have reached the top, send the elevator back down to those that need it. Offer advice to people providing they are respectful of your ideas and treasured secrets and wisdom.
Be a mentor– One of the most amazing ways to inspire and serve is to be a mentor. Make sure your mentee aligns with you and your experience and background. The relationship needs to make sense. Make sure you are ready to be open and honest. Recognize the time and investment they are giving to you and trust in your guidance.
I have realized that waiting until I achieve my dreams before starting to inspire and mentor others was not necessary. You can inspire change no matter how far along you happen to be in the process. You are always further along than someone else. If they need you, then step up and be seen. Don’t hide and wait to be called on because you may never be. Thank others that have seen your gifts and called on you to lead and initiate change. Start to give back and inspire change today!