“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou
If I asked you to think about a time you remember someone putting you down or saying something negative about you, your mind would quickly replay a moment you experienced hurt. It’s amazing how we can remember some of the most painful or even inspiring words people have told us. Some of the world’s leaders, greatest icons, and legends became who they are or left the positive legacy they left because of the words that shaped who they are. They may have been around great examples that pushed them, coached them, were just a phenomenal example simply by living their life.
Who has inspired you? Who are some of your greatest influences? How have these people impacted how you see yourself or given you the motivation to do something you may have been doubting? Whether there you can only name one person or create an endless list of people, someone has inspired you.
Humans have an amazing ability to influence others. For the good or not so good. We have the power to expose others to another way of thinking or doing something. We see it simply in how babies pick up behaviors from their parents without them even realizing it. Even as an aunt, I see my nieces and nephews follow some of my interests. I tend to dance all the time without thinking about it. One day, I noticed my niece copying my moves. Who would’ve thought that a two year old could pick that up so quickly.
You are influencing someone. You have power to impact a life. This month is recognized for mentors and mentorship, one of the most powerful and life transforming things someone uses as a form of influence. Creating relationships and spaces where an individual can be cultivated in their craft or as a person plays a major role in someone’s life. As a mentor, I never know myself which word of wisdom I give or what activity is going to stick with one of the girls I mentor. But one thing I do know is that I am making a difference. Even if I never see the fruit of my influence, I know that the impact will be long lasting.
You don’t have to be a mentor to make an impact. And you don’t have to be a verified influencer on Instagram to make an impact. Remember the power of your influence in the life on those around you, especially teens, who are shaping who they are, discovering talents, and seeking validation to become the best they can be. Be mindful of your words. Consider your example. You may never know the impact of your influence.