Influence is a buzzword these days. From politics to social media, we are constantly influencing and being influenced – often without even realizing it. But if we take a step back, what does it actually mean to influence someone?
The dictionary definition of influence is “the capacity or power to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of others.”
Who are the people in your life who affect your actions and opinions?
Public figures, family and friends, the people who you follow on Twitter, the company that makes your favorite coffee – the list is endless. In fact, we are influenced every day by people we never even think about, like the farmer whose chickens laid the eggs that eventually became our breakfast.
But there’s a substantial difference between being influenced and being inspired. Inspire is defined as “to fill with an animating, quickening, or exalting influence.”
So now, think of the people who inspire you – who animate you, who you actively seek to be influenced by – a mentor who always gives you sound advice, a celebrity who supports a cause that you hold dear, a neighbor who always has a smile and loving word for your kids. What draws you to these people, makes you want to be influenced and shaped by them? Is it their honesty, their conviction, their kindness? What about them inspires and motivates you?
We all influence others – even those we will never meet. But don’t you also want to be someone who inspires others? Who motivates them to share their visions for change and think of solutions that might have stayed hidden inside them if not for you? At Davine, we strive to be people like that.
So, here are some of our tangible steps to become someone who inspires solutions and motivates change:
- Be a Voice, Not an Echo: Hearing the same old thing becomes boring. Make it your mission to share the thoughts, ideas, visions, and dreams that are original to you – ones that you’ve never heard from anyone else before. This will encourage others to open up and share their own “originals” as well.
- Share Your Vision: Fear can be a powerful thing, and so often it keeps us from sharing our vision for how to change the world – fear of appearing naïve or idealistic, fear of failure or vulnerability, fear that something we care about will be dismissed or disregarded. But there is no better way to inspire those around us – while they may be inspired by the vision that we shared, they may be even more inspired by the courage it took for us to share that vision.
- Foster Conversation and Open Dialogue: It’s easy in any circle for conversation to become stagnant and unproductive when fear makes people uncomfortable or unwilling to share their opinions and ideas. Becoming someone who encourages others to share those ideas and start those conversations can go a long way to inspiring collaborative solutions that will be better than what anyone could have come up with alone.
- Lead by Example: It’s never easy to be the first to do something – it’s one of the most vulnerable positions we can be in. But, as the old saying goes, actions speak louder than words, and if you truly believe in your vision and want to inspire others to believe in it too, you need to act. And when people are inspired by you to take their own first steps, it’s an immensely gratifying feeling.
- Give Space for Failure: This tip is probably the hardest one of all to embrace because, let’s be honest, none of us like to fail. Some of us may have overcome the discomfort of failure, but none of us like it. Unfortunately for our comfort zones, failure is inevitable, and so that necessitates us learning how to give ourselves space to fail and how to learn from those failures if we truly want to grow and move foreward.
- Empower: It’s amazing how far faith can go. If we know that someone has faith in us, in our vision and ability to create change, we suddenly become capable of more than we ever could have believed. Empowering others is a way to pay it forward, to get change moving that will build a world that’s better in all corners, not just the one where it started.
Click to tweet: Empowering others is a way to pay it forward, to get change moving that will build a world that’s better in all corners, not just the one where it started.
So, are you ready to become not just an influencer, but an inspirer? Are you ready to be the kind of person who motivates change for the better? Or do you already seek out ways to inspire those around you to develop innovative solutions? Do you have tips that we didn’t list here? We’d love to be inspired by your methods, so e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or inspire us on Facebook or Instagram. Happy inspiring!
The Davine Team