“The journey is never ending. There’s always gonna be growth, improvement, adversity; you just gotta take it all in and do what’s right, continue to grow, continue to live in the moment.”
Given that human relationships are very complex, we always get to see curious situations around them. What we see is a result of intertwined actions performed within a group. Yet, its causes are veiled at first glance. Of course, this is also true for personal impact.
It is even easy to identify someone influencing their surroundings. But how do you get there? Well, as with everything else, there is no magic formula as each individual is unique. And yet, we can talk about a general pattern to follow and build our personal impact.
Before we move forward, let’s define what personal impact is and explore some tips associated with it.
How to build up personal impact?
Personal impact is understood as the ability someone has to influence, motivate or engage others. As such, it is a key element of leadership. From this definition, we can set certain features that are present in individuals with this skill:
- A clear description of the desired impact.
- Being authentic.
- Manage the social perception.
- Acting as a leader.
- Non-verbal intelligence.
- Showing vulnerability.
- Expressing the vision and values easily.
- Being coherent.
Now, that’s what is seen from the outside. What’s behind all of this? A journey, one that leads to your deepest self, one that starts with knowing yourself, using what you have learned to change, and, finally, getting a strong conviction that you are capable of doing something.
Each of these stages is known as personal development, personal transformation, and personal empowerment. When we work on them, personal impact happens organically, say, being your intention or not, you will end up influencing those around you.
Perhaps, an example will help us to grasp these ideas better.
You are asking too many questions…
Meet John. He is a very curious child who is impressed by everything. That’s a great sensation, right? Feeling awe when we see a butterfly with striking colors is a wonderful experience. That’s what John feels when he learns something new.
Now, as John grew up, he came to understand that the people around him would get annoyed by his questions. Yet, he didn’t stop asking. He would ask any kind of questions like:
- Where do people from the store sleep?
- Does God tell pigeons not to damage the electric wires?
- Why does it rain?
Perhaps, two or three questions are not that much, but John’s curiosity wouldn’t be satisfied with only that. Besides, each answer he got would lead to more questions. As time passed, people started to treat him like he was dumb and even told him that.
“You are so dumb to ask such questions”… He started to get such messages. As a result, he learned that asking too many questions is bad and that he might be a dumb guy for having questions.
Once he started to go to school, he tried his chances to ask questions to his teacher. He quickly noticed that he was expected to ask questions there. He also discovered that people tend to answer questions in books.
So, schools and books became his refuge. He stopped asking questions to people around him and devoted himself to schools and books. Yet, he still believed he was dumb for asking questions and reading books.
As a consequence, he grew up with low self-esteem and liking/disliking his curiosity. He could move forward to it though. How did he do it? Accepting he is curious, and that asking questions is ok as long as he does not challenge someone else’s patience.
What can we learn from this story?
We are who we are, and there’s no turning back to that. We are all born with an essence that constitutes our core. Part of John’s essence is his curiosity. Because he didn’t realize he was that, people around him tagged him as nosy and dumb.
After he understood and accepted he was a curious guy, he started to save his questions for the right person to ask them at the right time and place. From that point on, people started to see him as someone who cares about them.
He also learned to be patient with those asking questions. Now he is even more eager to learn new things so that he can share new knowledge with those asking him questions. In short, he became a good listener and teacher.
Getting feedback, whatever the way we receive it, can influence how we see ourselves but it shouldn’t determine who we are. You and I are the only ones capable of doing such a thing. Just like John did, we better use whatever others say about us as data we can use to explore ourselves.
John used other opinions to know himself better. That drove him to be more careful with his questions and enticed him to read books. In the end, his experience pushed him to be kind to other curious people and make them feel important with key questions. His whole process can be summarized with three words: Know > Change > Impact.
Personal impact and self-acceptance
Just like it happened with John, we start our personal impact journey by knowing ourselves. To get there, we have to make an effort and face ourselves to see who we are. Interacting with others is very helpful, and we can use such experiences to go within and understand ourselves.
The first step is realizing that good or bad are not absolute concepts, but judgments we make based on our experiences and expectations. What others deem as bad can be good when it is seen in a new light.
For example, someone may reject his ability to care about others based on how his father overprotected him. However, he could be a leader who supports those following him once he accepts the joy he finds when helping others.
In other words, embracing who we are and accepting ourselves as we are is critical. We are geared with gifts, talents, strengths, skills, and so on. Identifying them, using them to change our habits, and making them the fuel we need for personal impact feels awesome!
That’s how we create a healthy image of ourselves. As we accept who we are, all the traits we associate with personal impact will appear organically. That’s because we reflect outside what we are on the inside. If you are happy, people will feel happy with you.
In short, to impact others we have to impact ourselves first. There is no shortcut for this. It makes sense when you think about it: you can’t give what you don’t have.
In Your Gift Journey School, we explore topics like this one to guide people like you looking for building up their personal impact. Want to know more about this? Send a message to schedule a complimentary short call to have a sneak peek of what you can get from that experience.