Every now and then, I’ll ask myself why I’m bothering with all this blogging and coaching malarky. There’s usually a trigger for this feeling. Maybe an instagram post will bomb, a newsletter triggers more unsubscribes than normal or I’ll just go through a period of time when it feels like I’m just shouting into a void.
But then, just when I feel ready to throw in the towel, I’ll get a message out of the blue from someone telling me how much something I’ve said / written means to them.
These messages / comments / emails are… everything.
These interactions are rare, but so incredibly special. Often they’re not responding to a certain blog post or topic I’ve discussed. Instead, they come from people who have been quietly following my work over time.
I think social media has driven our desire for instant gratification. We want to be able to measure the impact what we do and say online has. We want to count the likes, comments and shares, using them as a measuring stick for how successful we’ve been in communicating our message.
We expect our posts to gain traction immediately, leading to big discussions and, let’s face it, opportunities for our business. So when this doesn’t happen, we get impatient, frustrated and mutter ‘what’s the point’.
Every time this happens to me, I think back to the small interactions, the small moments of connection that, really, aren’t very small at all.
Those moments may not show up in my metrics, but they’re important. More important than the number of times someone’s double-tapped a photo. The people who are watching from afar but aren’t commenting or liking are important too.
You never know what’s going to resonate or what impact you’re having – just because people aren’t shouting praise in your face doesn’t mean you’re not having an impact.
Hold the nudges of encouragement you do get close, but try not to rely on them. If you’re trying to make a difference in this online world, keep going. The small steps you take add up. Every time you put your voice out there you are creating another opportunity to make an impact.
The only way you won’t make an impact is if you stop. So, if it is your hope to make an impact with your work (and let’s take a second to recognise that this is not something everyone wants and that’s totally OK too) keep going.
Pause when you need to. Take breaks. Recalibrate. Pivot. Change your mind. Try things out. Find what makes you happy and what makes you feel fulfilled and then, don’t stop.
A short, but hopefully sweet post this week – I hope you found some comfort in it if you’ve been questioning what impact you’re making. I would really recommend joining Ruth Poundwhite’s fantastic community project, The Everyday Difference which has brought together multiple voices on the subject of making an impact (it started on 1st July but you can still catch up with previous emails if you sign up).
And, if you’re looking for some gentle encouragement when it comes to tapping into your sense of worth and pushing through thoughts like ‘I’m not making an impact, I should quit’ – take a look at my self-worth discovery package to see if it could be helpful for you.
I’ll be back here next Friday with an extra special post about an email challenge I’m going to be running in August to help you plant, grow and nurture self-belief, so keep your eyes peeled for that. Until then, I hope you have a beautiful day whatever you’re up to.
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