Over the weekend I almost, kinda, had a ‘woe is me’ moment.
It was the long weekend, and everyone and their dog seemed to be escaping the city for a fun getaway or good times up at the cottage.
And I was ‘stuck’ at home.
(enter the almost, kinda, ‘woe is me’ moment!)
As it turns out, I ended up having a pretty amazing weekend.
A few of us went over to Toronto Island and went stand up paddleboarding followed by a lovely picnic. And the next day we had a great day with some pool party action followed by a delicious BBQ with family and friends.
If only I realised in the moment just how much fun I was having.
If only I didn’t get caught in the comparison trap.
If only I wasn’t making it all about me.
You see the problem is, we can get a little too self-consuming.
We’re worried about not doing enough, not making enough, not having enough, not contributing enough, not being good enough…
We want to make a difference, and an impact, and yet we’re too caught up in our own ‘stuff.’
And the irony is, even though we want to make it about others, we’re making it more about us!
If we truly are going to make the difference we are here to make, we need to get over ourselves already!
So, how are we going to solve it?
Start recognising it’s less about us, and more about the people we want to impact.
You can’t make it about YOU if you’re here to make a difference.
And you’ll start moving forward when you choose to be ready to make that difference.
And I’m pretty sure that’s what you’re here to do.
So here are three ways to get you started.
1. Identify what impact you want to make.
It may sound trite, but it’s a terrifying world out there. Now I gave up reading the news regularly a while ago, but you don’t have to look very far or wide to acknowledge all of the injustices, atrocities, tragedies, sickness, and sadness that is all around us.
It may be overwhelming to know what to do, and where to start.
Start by recognising the gifts you have to bring, and who – what group of people – is going to benefit the most.
Are you a horse whisperer? Are you amazing with children? Do you have a knack for solving complicated logistical challenges?
Whether it’s working with the UN, serving food to the homeless, or cleaning up the streets, choose what cause, or what population, you want to impact. What do you care about? What are you passionate about? Start there.
2. Make your impact more important than your insecurities
It’s scary to put ourselves out there in an bigger way. To put a stake in the ground. To declare what it is you want to do here with the time we have on this planet.
I’ll be the first to admit I get stuck in feeling not ready, not good enough, not you-fill-in-the-blank here on a regular basis. And, I’m a work in progress! I have to constantly remind myself I have to get over myself if I’m really here to make an impact.
3. Start Small
It’s a little too daunting to think we can eradicate poverty or cancer or war overnight.
And, it’s too foolish to think we can’t make a dent in anything at all. We can. You can.
So choose the cause/population/person you want to make an impact on, and identify ONE SMALL THING you could do, starting today.
Maybe it’s picking up garbage while you run. Or giving subway fare to the next homeless person you see, so they can get to a shelter. Perhaps it’s making time to listen to a friend in need.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. ~ Margaret Mead
I’m human. You’re human. We’re human.
We’re going to have fears, doubts, insecurities.
And so I’m inviting you to be brave.
Brave enough to admit you are here to make an impact. Brave enough to choose the impact over your insecurities. And brave enough to take the first small, imperfect, step today.
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And then I want to hear what you’re committing to in the comments below.
Have a FAB week!