Today is a short but sweet episode, a rallying cry to value your impact, no matter how big or small that impact is, recognise what you have to offer the world and understand that your voice matters.
I hope it inspired you and excites you for the New Year ahead. Listen wherever you get your podcasts or here:
Links and further reading
Today on the podcast I’m serving up a rallying cry to value your impact, no matter how big or small that impact is, recognise what you have to offer the world and understand that your voice matters.
Hello everyone, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. If you’re listening to this on the day it goes out, it’s the 30th December and we’re in that glorious in-between period between Christmas and New Year. I always find this is when I get really reflective about the year that’s gone by and start thinking about the upcoming year.
And after this year, 2020, it feels like there’s a lot to reflect on. I think it’s safe to say we’ve all learnt some things about ourselves as individuals and as a society, some positive and some less so. I’d like to think that we’ve all grown in some capacity this year too, I know I certainly have. Taking some time to pull together these learnings and think about the New Year feels especially important right now.
Planning for the future and even dreaming about what’s possible has felt almost impossible in 2020. Uncertainty fell like a fog, clouding our view of the future. But as this year draws to a close, there is a glimmer of hope. We have a vaccine that is being rolled out and it feels like there’s some light at the end of the tunnel.
This hope feels like it’s seeping into our collective consciousness as we look ahead to 2021. So, if you’re feeling a bit more hopeful for the future, if you’re allowing yourself to gently dream about what could lie ahead, I want you to first understand the value of your impact.
This phrase came to me a couple of months ago when I was changing the tagline on my website. I thought about the work I do and the common threads throughout and I came up with: ‘helping you value yourself, your needs and your impact’ which I think sums it up nicely, and it’s this last piece here I want to focus on today.
To start with then, what do I mean by impact? Well, I guess I mean the mark you leave on the world. The way you make others feel, the change you make in someone’s life, the contribution you make to causes you care about – all of these things are what I consider your impact. And your impact is so, so important.
Part of the reason I care so much about helping people build self-worth and confidence is because the more people recognise the power they have, the more likely they are to use it and have a positive impact. And when lots of us do this, when hoards of us start using our voices, bringing our unique gifts to the table, society grows and changes – but it all starts with us.
The biggest movements of our time could only happen when certain people valued their voices, their beliefs and themselves. Only then could they build the confidence they needed to use their voice and inspire others to do the same. This is impact.
Back in the summer when the Black Lives Matters movement gained momentum I saw some people defending the fact that they didn’t speak up and one defense that, quite honestly, surprised me was when someone said they only had a small following so didn’t think it would make a difference if they quote unquote ‘added to the noise’. When of course the truth is, the noise is needed. Everyone’s voice matters. The person in question had around 1,000 followers which may feel small to them in the context of Instagram (which is where they were speaking) but can you imagine if you put those 1,000 people in a room and talked to them about a cause you cared about?
Even if just one person heard them speak and took action off the back of it… that would be an incredible impact.
Of course the movements I’m talking about here are social justice causes, environmental causes, political movements. They’re big and important things, but they’re not the only way you can have an impact.
The beautiful thing about developing your self-worth is the ripple effect it has. When you value yourself, honour your boundaries and show this to others, it matters. People notice, they learn by example. For example, if you are role modeling the importance of self-care to your child and they take in the subconscious lessons you’re teaching and start valuing themselves, this could ripple out to friends in their class. This could then ripple into the homes of those children, to their parents, their parents’ friends and so on. This is impact.
Another way to look at it is to think about what happens when you have the confidence to bring something creative into the world. Perhaps on the side of your job you make art. Maybe you show this art to the world through a website or social media and someone sees it, is moved by it, and maybe it even encourages them to pick up a paintbrush. This is impact.
We all have something to offer. We all have a voice that matters. And keep in mind that the impact we have is often immeasurable. We don’t always see it. Sometimes the things we do adjust someone’s sails, taking them to a completely different place – but we never know. It’s certainly nice to get feedback from people when something we’ve shared or done has made a difference, but please don’t rely on this as proof. Just trust that you are.
So, if you’re thinking about intentions or goals for 2021, I want you to consider your impact when you do this, and how valuing yourself and your needs feeds into this. What can you do to value yourself more? What impact do you want to have? What beautiful mark will you leave in 2021?
And remember, this doesn’t have to be a big, grand plan. Your mark doesn’t have to be a giant dent in injustice, it could be a lipstick kiss on a mirror, showing someone else that they matter.
There we go, a short but sweet episode for you today, I hope it lit a small fire in your belly and has given you something to think about. I’ll be back in a couple of weeks with the first episode of 2021 where I’ll be talking about body acceptance when in recovery from an eating disorder, because it’s hard – but I’m convinced it’s possible. Until then though, I hope you all have a wonderful start to the new year, take care of yourselves.