Category: Motivation

12 Ways You Can Be Inspiring

“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Some people seem to have a knack for inspiring others. It’s like they’re oozing with brightness and positivity. They somehow just know what to do and say to inspire other people. It’s effortless. Perhaps for some people being inspirational is innate, but I believe there are ways any of us can tap into our light and purposely shine it on people who cross our paths. All you really need to be inspiring is a desire, the rest will follow.


Follow your own path.

People aren’t inspired by other people in the crowd. They barely notice what other people in the crowd are doing. People are inspired by those who dare stand away from the crowd, following their own dreams, living their own authentic lives. It takes guts to break away from the status quo, to allow yourself to be uncomfortable, and to chase the dreams you can’t stop thinking about. But it’s what you have to do, not only to be inspirational, but to achieve your goals.

“Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less travelled by and that has made all the difference.” Robert Frost

Do what you love.

The concept of “doing what you love” may be a little overhyped. The money won’t necessarily follow. Success isn’t guaranteed. It will still feel like work. Some days you may question whether this is really what you love. When people see you following your dreams and pursuing your passion, they’ll feel inspired to take a leap and follow their dreams. And there’s always a certain amount of pleasure in doing what you love. Even if it doesn’t make you rich, it will make you happy.

Become a master of your craft.

Let’s be honest: there’s nothing inspiring about mediocrity. Ordinary, while sometimes enjoyable, is forgettable. The most well known people in any discipline were great at what they did. Strive to move past your plateau and excel within your passion. Take a class. Read a book. Find a mentor. Venture outside your comfort zone and continually push yourself to new heights, not just for yourself, but to show others that it can be done. People are watching what you do and they’ll know if the walk doesn’t match the talk.

Let your ego go.

Humility is inspiring. Ego will turn people off even when you’re excellent at what you do. If you can learn to be confident without being arrogant, people will love you much more. Confidence is (realistically) believing in yourself and trusting your abilities. Ego is confidence on steroids. Ego makes you over-exaggerate your importance and accomplishments. Be less Kanye and more Taylor.

Share your failures and your successes.

Sharing your successes makes you admirable, but sharing your failures makes you a resource. When you only talk about your successes, you become unrelatable. Most people have suffered some level of loss in pursuit of their goals and can’t identify with someone who’s always won. If you’re honest with yourself, you’ve suffered losses too, but what’s made you successful is continuing in spite of them. If you can help people avoid the mistakes you’ve made by sharing the knowledge you’ve gained, you’ll make their path to success a little easier and they’ll be grateful for it. You’ll inspire them to keep going even when it’s tough or the outlook is bleak.

Be resilient.

We all suffer setbacks on our path to success. It comes with the territory. What’s inspiring is showing how you can bounce back from setbacks, refusing to let them derail your progress. You may fail, but let your failure be part of your success story, not the finality of it.

Share your inspiration.

Inspiration is contagious. To be inspirational, you have to first be inspired. Share the quotes, stories, art, people, foods that inspire you. As you share the things that motivate and encourage you, those in your influence will also be motivated.

Focus on the good in life.

“Keep your face toward the sunshine – and the shadows will fall behind you.” Walt Whitman

Staying positive isn’t always easy, especially when you’re faced with obstacles. If you make a conscious decision to focus on the good, you’ll be a happier person. People around you will notice and want to know your secret.

Help other people.

But not just so you can inspire other people. If you’re helping others for bragging rights, people see right through you and those bragging rights will be all you have. Help others from a genuine place, because you have the ability to help and you have compassion for other human beings.

Make people feel good about themselves and challenge them do to their best.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

Many people perform better when they know someone expects them to perform better. Continually motivate the people around you to be the best version of themselves, to continually strive for the next level.

Share the why behind what you do.

You’re not the only person doing what you do. So share your story, the reason for doing what you do. Talk about the problems you wanted to solve with your product, the audience you wanted to reach with your blog, the needs you’re meeting with your services.

Be inspired.

Inspiring other people starts with you. You can’t share a flame you don’t have. People can easily spot a fake. If you’re having trouble finding inspiration, re-read this list. These aren’t just ways you can inspire others, they’re also ways you can inspire yourself.

14 Ways to Stop Doubting Yourself and Go After What You Want

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler. -Henry David Thoreau (paraphrased)

© eelnosiva / dollarphotoclub

© eelnosiva / dollarphotoclub

Here in the southern United States, there’s a plant called kudzu. Legend has it that kudzu was brought over from Japan to help farmers stop soil erosion.

The problem is that the southern environment is perfect for kudzu, so much so that the vines grow as much as a foot each night during the summer. If it’s not maintained – and in many areas it’s not – kudzu can completely engulf an area of land, covering trees, houses, and anything else in its path.

Doubt is like kudzu.

Doubt is one of the biggest enemies of success. Doubt tells us that we can’t reach our goals, that our dreams are unattainable, that we don’t have what it takes to succeed.

Doubt tells us to settle for a life that’s less than what we desire, to remain complacent even though we’re capable of achieving much more, to bury our talents rather than sharing them with the world.

You can prevent doubt from suffocating your dreams and here are 14 ways to do it.

Let the success of others motivate, not discourage you.

Comparison is the thief of joy, said someone (some attribute the quote to Theodore Roosevelt and others say that is misattributed).

It’s almost impossible not to notice what those around you have accomplished, especially in the social media age. It’s ok to see what people around you are doing, but don’t use it to put yourself down or beat yourself up about where you are in life. Instead, use it as inspiration and motivation to set your own goals and work toward them.

Stop trying not to compare.

I think it’s unreasonable to expect that you’ll never compare yourself to anyone else. There’s nothing wrong with making a simple comparison between what you and the next person has achieved. What matters most is the conclusion you make from that comparison.

You can think to yourself, “Sam has achieved so much more in life than I have. He has such great charisma and charm. I’ll never be able to achieve as much as he has because I’m just too shy.” Or you can think, “It’s amazing that Sam has accomplished so much. I bet I can achieve similar results if I work as hard as he did.”

Don’t get caught up in the (wrong) details.

Focus on the things that matter. I’ve gone through cycles of blog ideas, but I sit on them for so long because I can’t think of the right domain name. I can’t find the right theme. And weeks go by before I can make a decision when those aren’t even the things that make great blogs. It’s the content and the writer that makes a great blog.

Realize the amount of control you have in your success.

Success comes to those who work for it, who are prepared for the opportunities when they come, and who can work through hurdles efficiently.

Sure, things happen in all our lives that can make success – at least our definition of success – more difficult to achieve. How you respond to those events is what will keep you where you are or propel you forward.

You can’t always control the things that happen to you, but you absolutely can control how you respond to it.

Stop worrying about the possibility of failure.

The only way you truly fail is by giving into your self-doubt and not trying at all. Worrying doesn’t prevent failure, it just prevents you from trying.

No matter what you try to achieve, there will be obstacles, roadblocks, and setbacks. Learn from your failures and use the lessons to climb another rung on the ladder to success.

Remember that even the most successful people started somewhere.

We seldom have the opportunity to follow a successful person from the very beginning of their journey. We see them once they’ve already reached success and that vantage point is deceptive.

Some of the biggest websites, mobile apps, and other technology started in a garage. Famous singers got started singing to thin crowds in empty dive bars. Many of the top bloggers started with only their mom reading their blogs. Even real estate mogul Donald Trump started out with a measly $1 million loan from his father.

Recognize that success doesn’t look the same for everyone.

Don’t define success by what another person has achieved. Define success in your own terms and be ok with how you’ve defined success. Your final destination won’t be the same as any other person’s and neither will your journey.

You can certainly borrow from the experiences of others. Learn what worked and didn’t work for them. You’ll have to tailor even those experiences to fit your unique circumstances.

Stop trying to perfect it.

Perfection is unattainable. It doesn’t exist. If you’re trying to get it perfect, you’ll always end up discouraged.

Get started. Continue to improve your process as you go along, but don’t be crippled by a desire to release a perfect product, give the perfect keynote speech, write the perfect blog post. There is no such thing as perfect.

Stop overthinking it.

Negative thoughts can avalanche and paralyze you, leaving you unable to take action on the things you want to accomplish. Stop mulling over every single thing ad nauseum. Make a decision and commit to it. If it doesn’t work out, revise your plan and keep going.

Focus on the things that inspire you.

Think about your goal and dreams, the things you want to accomplish for yourself and for your family. Imagine the results of your hard work…

…a single mother reading something you’ve written and saying that you changed her life

…a small businessman struggling to maintain sales and having his business 180 after consulting with you,

…your kids one day saying how proud they are of how hard you worked to accomplish your goals.

Be inspired and stay inspired.

Remember that no one’s criticism is harsher than your own.

No matter what anyone says about you and what you’re trying to accomplish, nothing they can be any worse than the things you’ve said to yourself when you’re in the bowels of self-doubt.

If you can shake off your own criticism and forge ahead, you can get over anything that anyone else can say about you.

Read positive books, think positive, surround yourself with positive.

Proverbs 23:7 says “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” If you fill your heart (and mind) with negative thoughts of self-doubt, you’ll be a negative, self-doubting person. But if you focus on things that are positive and believe in your ability to achieve, you’ll do that.

For non-Bible believers, a similar quote from Buddha “The mind is everything. What you think you become.” And from the Dalai Lama, “In order to carry a positive action we must develop a positive vision.”

If you do a search for quotes on positive thinking, you’ll see the great writers, thinkers, philosophers, and entrepreneurs repeatedly say focus on the positive.

Think of everything you’ve already accomplished.

Did you finish college? That’s a feat on it’s own. If you graduated high school, you accomplished more than many people. If you got a GED, it shows dedication to a goal that many people would have given up on.

Instead of focusing on what you haven’t achieved, give yourself credit for the things you have accomplished. It takes hard work to reach any goal and to have achieved what may seem like the smallest objectives shows that you have what it takes to do more.

Be The Little Engine That Could.

It’s one of my least favorite children’s books to read  – the sentences are wordy and underpunctuated – but the story of The Little Engine That Could is so motivational, despite it being fiction.

When the toys and dolls needed to get over the hill to the boys and girls and no other engine could or would bother to take them, the little blue engine saved the day by repeating a mantra “I think I can.”

When you’re faced with a task that’s more difficult than you expected or your goals seem so far out of reach, don’t focus on the difficulty, focus on your potential. Believe that you can. Squash the seeds of self-doubt before they have a chance to bloom and work toward the things you want to achieve.

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