The most powerful aspect of your impact is how deeply it spreads to others. How you impact me affects how I impact others, etc…. etc. When you understand and accept that your impact is like the circles that spread from the pebble dropped in the water, you will become more conscious of what you put out into the world and the powerful affect your being-ness has.
I was feeling ineffective when…
I’m 82. I hate to keep bring that up, but it explains a lot of where I am. I thought I was retired until recently I’ve decided I am not, I have much more to give. However, I couldn’t see how I was making much of a difference, if any. No one in my senior community has any clue what I’m writing about or publishing, or learning. I found like-minded people on the internet and it helped to feel that connection.
I didn’t feel I had any impact
In a blog post of Chris Brogans, he mentioned how he was drawn to people who had impact. Not realizing he had written an entire book on the topic (The Impact Equation I picked up on the word “impact.” I wanted to have impact. As I looked to see if I had any impact going for me, I realized that if I did, it was very soft and not very noticeable. I emailed those thoughts back to Chris. What he emailed me back changed my life. I’m now on a very pro-active productive roll.
But I needed feedback. I needed acknowledgement, so I wrote an article trying to figure out what acknowledgement would look like and how I could get it. I needed to understand how I had impact because I wanted to recognize it. I wanted to feel it. I still didn’t understand how impact works.
I could barely feel my impact
I have a blog and a community of readers, and I periodically get acknowledgements from people who have read my work for many years. I can look at the number of posts opened and pages visited, but I couldn’t feel my impact.
Then I read Chris’s book The Freaks Shall Inherited the Earth and wrote a book review Why I Love Being a Freak. . I put it on my blog and sent the link to Chris. He emailed back that he had tweeted the link to 287K people! Now there’s a giant leap. I’ve never reached that many people in my entire career. But it was the impact he made on me by choosing to forward that post that make the most difference. I felt a vote of approval and worth. I felt useful and even valuable. It’s the inside impact I feel from doing my work that creates change.
I began to understand how impact works when Chris emailed that he had raved about me in Dallas. I had no idea what he said or to whom, but I later found out that he was the keynote speaker at a Podcast Convention. He said, “You have no idea how much impact you have.” I wondered what that meant.
I’m pretty certain my impact is not about something specific I set out to write or do. Whatever impact I had happened organically. Something in our exchanges made Chris think a different way, or see a different option, or take a different viewpoint. That, in turn, influenced his talk and his conversations with those who sought him out at the conference. Those conversations had impact and changed lives too.
I no longer need to know how I impact
I got it. Today. It made me write this article. I get to trust that whenever I put out my own truth, my own insights, my own understanding, I have impact. When I am present with another person, I have impact. My choices impact what I learn and do next. I trust that whatever I am guided to do or say or write will reach the people it is meant for – and not necessarily from my words or my mouth. My impact will travel where it is needed and affect the lives of those who need to absorb what I offer. A change in thinking, a shift in attitude, a deepening awareness, those are the gifts I bring that create impact. I no longer need to know how or where. I simply know that I have impact. As do you.