Like it or not you have an impact. You have an effect on the people around you. You may want more influence, you may want less. But there is no such thing as not having any. The effects of your influence are either positive or negative, there is no middle ground. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Saying that your actions have no effect is just ignorance. Although it is not our responsibility to change the reaction, it is up to us to manage our actions. Your life and actions will change the world, but how you change it is up to you.
There will always be people will more influence than you, and people with less, somehow we are always trapped in the middle. The more influence you have will usually result it more of an impact on people’s lives. As we grow in our influence we must learn how to change with our influence. As most people grow in influence they believe that they can maintain the same lifestyle and actions. This usually has a negative outcome to the people that surround them. Influence can hurt others if you are not careful.
“Your growth should not come at a cost of those around you.”
One of the saddest things for me to watch, is people who do not manage their influence well. Potential and leadership are wasted because of a lack of awareness. I see people time and time again waste moments to use their influence for others benefit and encourage others. They do not see how their words are effecting the people around them.This is a harder concept to explain than most that I come across, mostly because it’s not something that’s measured. When you walk into a room most people aren’t asking how they are influencing others. They are simply acting and responding to the actions of those around them.
Most of what I come across is hard to explain because I can watch it happen in front of me, something that is seen and felt. To something that can be put to words. I will try to convey what I am trying to say through an example: Recently I’ve been watching a person I know waste their influence. Out of respect of who they are I will not reveal their identity. Every time I see this person the same thing will happen regardless of the situation. Because of their lack of awareness they have a largely negative impact on a room. Even though this person does much good, their words usually hurt the people around them. They can say the same thing as the person before them and it will have 10x the effect. Even though they have the ability to lift the people up around them, they have a tendency to make jokes, or point out others faults. This wouldn’t really be a problem if they had a minimal level of influence, because what they said wouldn’t have much of an effect on the life of the person they are talking to. But because they resemble more of a leadership figure, their words can really play with the worth of the person in front of them. This saddens my heart, it’s one thing to not use your influence, it’s a whole other issue to use it improperly. Whether you are the pope, or a cashier at McDonald’s, you have a responsibility to use your influence properly. As it was designed to be used. Any misuse is a violation of design.
“I never have to watch what I say, if I watch what I think.” -Bill Johnson
So when I say check your influence, what I am really asking you is for check your actions. Actions are the expression of your influence, and how you manage them will determine how far your influence will go. If you have a lack of ownership over them, it will result in a ceiling over your growth.
If you are using your influence well, I commend you. You have learned a valuable skill that few have, and in the process you set yourself up to receive even more. It’s not about the amount of influence you carry but rather about what you do with it. I would much rather use my influence well and have a little then have a lot that is misused. That is a person that I can respect. Regardless of how you use your influence currently, there is always room to grow. So don’t be discouraged that you don’t have much. You usually will have more influence then you think you do. Your influence will come, just make sure your heart is prepared for it when it comes.