Many of us go through our lives not realizing our impact – sometimes positive and sometimes negative on the people watching.  I am reminded of this constantly when I get messages or meet someone, and they talk about a post I did that impacted them, or a message I sent that helped them.  Over the past few years, I’ve become very conscious about the words I put out into the world as my platform has grown.  I feel a responsibility to put out words and content that is sometimes brutally honest but can also be a source of inspiration and motivation.  I feel a duty to be real, not just share the good things but also the things I struggle with, the moments that I stumble.  All of it is life, and the more we can normalize the stuck points and celebrate the wins, the more we motivate each other to do better.

As I was preparing to climb the mountain, I was pretty quiet about what I was doing.  I made a couple of posts about my preparation, but I kept it to myself, only telling people when I met with them 1×1.  And then, the day I left, my husband took a picture of me at the airport with my bags, and I decided to do a post from the heart about my fear and excitement.  It was also a great way to remind people that I would be off the grid for a while.  I did my post, got on the plane, and started my 30-hour journey to Tanzania, not knowing what an impact that post would have.  After each flight, when I got connected again, my phone would blow up with texts, emails, and LinkedIn messages from people wishing me good luck and sharing how inspired they felt to do something big themselves.  I was shocked at the impact a single LinkedIn and Facebook post could have.

And then I was reminded of the ripple effect of what we do and how we never know who is watching or listening.  Our kids, our friends, our colleagues – who needs a dose of inspiration today that you might have to give?  Who needs to feel like they aren’t alone?  Maybe they feel like they are failing as a parent, spouse, community member, or employee.  We all have moments when we feel on top of the world and when we feel like the biggest failures.  Those are the moments we need to lift each other up.  When I’m up and your down, I can inspire you.  When I’m down, and you are up, you can inspire me.  It’s a give and take that we are all responsible for.

Here are a few tips that I use to help me create positive inspiration for those around me as much as I can.

  1. Know your power.  So many of us are too humble to really step into our power.  That’s something that I have been working hard on since getting back from the mountain.  I’m trying to own my power and realize that when I do, I inspire others to do the same.  But power hurt others if it’s not used properly.  So, step into your authentic power and figure out how to use it to inspire others.
  2. Talk about what makes you proud.  When I came off the mountain, one of my fellow climbers asked me what I was most proud of from the trek.  Without hesitating, I said – that I did something I would be able to tell my future grandchildren about and inspire them to do hard things.  It just came out – I had never thought about it before.  But I am so focused on creating a legacy and not just a life that it’s the first thing that came to my mind.  I want my words, my wisdom, and my learnings from failure to live beyond me.  And I believe that this climb and the change it creates in my life will be something my family will talk about long after I’m gone.
  3. Chase your dreams – play big.  Nothing impactful is achieved in comfort.  I realized that daily on the mountain.  But I also knew that my discomfort was showing my kids that even when things are hard, you can get through them.  I knew my kids would learn from what I was doing and be inspired in their own way – maybe not to climb a mountain but to do something they didn’t think was possible.  I knew I was inspiring friends and colleagues to do something on their bucket lists.  When we chase our dreams, we give others permission to do the same.

I now realize that my job is not only to create a life that brings me joy but also to do things and experience things that inspire others through my joy.  To live a life where fear does not lead, but authenticity and courage do.  I will never know how my climb or lessons and stories afterward inspired others, but I believe in the ripple effect.  If I can inspire one person to take action toward something that inspires them, that will create a ripple effect of inspiration in the world.  And I’m good claiming zero credit for any of it, but just having faith that it’s happening.  So, Who are You Inspiring today?