To increase your impact, you need to be aware of who you are and you need to embody the change you wish to see. That is a lot of homework and I don’t know a shortcut…
Real impact and change come from the inside out. Working from the outside in, using a method or structure or position, does not seem to yield real, lasting results.
You can tell people what to change, you can force them. You can go through the motions. You can consult them and ask them to participate. But real change happens foremost when you are real. When you embody the change – and the others start to copy you in their own, unique ways. That is having a positive impact.
You need to know yourself. You must free yourself from limiting beliefs and negative emotions. You need to come to terms with past fears, grief, and anger so you feel safe and don’t desperately need your armor (your limited ego). Then it’s easier to experience “flow” and tap into your true potential.
Being who you are, there’s no need to defend and justify yourself. No need to feel unsafe, hurt, insecure, mocked or insulted, angry or stressed. No need either to put others down, to control them, to judge them. You are free to use your energy on other goals.
Being who you are and leveraging your impact doesn’t mean more ego and vanity (“Hey, look at me!”).
Being who you really are, means developing into the best version of you
Being who you really are, means less ego. It means developing into the best version of you, and connecting with your wise, higher self and your purpose.
When you do what you love and work for a purpose, you temporarily forget yourself. You may experience “flow” as Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes it:
You’re not self-conscious when you are absorbed in an activity. You become one with what you do – and that way of working can deliver unique, amazing results. Everything you do in a state of flow is inspired by who you are – your essence (or presence) – but not your self-conscious ego.When you are absorbed in an activity - you become one with what you do Click To Tweet
Being yourself means you went through the stages of raising your energy (when you unburden yourself from grief, fear, and anger), increasing your engagement (when you connect with your higher self and with others) toward empowering yourself and others (when you act in an authentic and autonomous way for the benefit of the whole, and support others to do so, too).
You feel confident and open, yet focused. You role-model authenticity and integrity by being yourself at work. You are open to connecting with others, with the whole person, not just their job role. You treat people as people – not objects or a means to an end. People trust you.
You are fully present in the moment to respond to what happens. You can let go of plans if that seems wise, based on the signals. You try to unite instead of divide, include others, ask questions, practice listening, point out the positive and help others see the positive vision and build on their strengths and what is already working well. You try to be the change you wish to see.
One grand example? Nelson Mandela. The South African government wouldn’t have taken the risk of abolishing apartheid, letting go of their power and sharing it with any other “black man” than Mandela – because of who he was. He developed himself beyond his anger, grief, and fear and focused on a positive vision. He embodied the equality, inclusiveness, forgiveness and kindness that he wished to see in the South-African society. He could be trusted to do “the right thing”, serving as a moral anchor for the “black power” that was about to be freed.
That was scary for President de Klerk and his fellows at the time. But Nelson Mandela made the difference because of who he was.
You need to be You
But many people don’t do this homework of discovering who we are. We’re busy, and we don’t make time – we’re overwhelmed enough as it is. We’re not used to feeling uncomfortable feelings either.
In the short term, that may work. Just keep the lock on what still hurts and hinders and soldier on.
In the long run, this can exhaust you. You use valuable energy to control negative emotions, to fight or to flight, and you hide behind ego and armor.
You cannot use that energy on your purpose and on increasing your positive impact. You’re busy justifying yourself, or sabotaging others, or thinking about what they might think of you, and creating scenarios to plan for a secure future, and holding back for fear of being ridiculed, and acquiring more status and money to remain safe, securing your position, suppressing your worst fears and pain, oppressing anyone else who blocks you, avoiding your worst fears and pain, avoiding any situation that may harm you, reigning your kingdom and fortifying the walls – all your energy is spent. You are spent. You are in armor, restrained.
Your ideas and energy don’t flow freely into the world because this harness weighs you down. You can’t impact the world with your energy the way only YOU can do. Your light doesn’t shine through all these walls and iron plates – and it has diminished to a small spark because you have spent your energy.
You need to be YOU, fully present and open to the current reality.
BE (a) Present, and you will see your impact increase.
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
Dr. Seuss, The Lorax
This is book post # 18 – level: ME
Copyright © Marcella Bremer 2017. All rights reserved.
Leaders, employees, consultants, citizens – everyone can make a positive difference from any position, without needing permission or resources from others. This blog will help you see positive possibilities and (re)claim your positive agency. Unstuck yourself and engage others via your interaction and actions. Transform into a positive organization where people and performance thrive.
I’m blogging my next book: “Positive Power at Work – How to make a positive difference from any position.” Your feedback is appreciated!