We all want to have impact. It’s an innate human desire. To belong, to be needed, to be heard and seen. To know that our efforts have an effect, that they positively affect others/society/the world and that there’s solid reason for doing what we do, an alluring rationale for being. Inherently, we want reassuring certainty that we are worthy and that our actions matter (and mattered) to ensure our souls slumber peacefully each night satisfied our toil was, well, worth it.
If I ask you, however, if you do indeed drift off replete with that comforting tranquillity that your daily grind was meaningful, satisfying and progressive, and that your heart rests contentedly, I suspect you’ll admit that alas ’tis not so neatly profound in your moonlit bed. I think perhaps in fact you have an underlying niggle itching irritatingly, perhaps manifesting as a burdensome insomnia, that you could be playing bigger, hitting harder, signifying more, doing more, generally being more. A rising funk sensing you’ve got more value to explode out onto the world than the tasks you completed today would indicate. That there’s more to you, more to this and more to it all.
I empathise with you here. From my own inner rumblings over the decades, to those of my coaching clients, my colleagues, my team, my industry peers, my family members too, everywhere in fact, there’s an awful lot of striving going on that boils down to wanting to have more impact. It’s tied into that promotion, the start-up, the true love, the project success, the ‘perfect’ family idyl, the fittest body, mind and soul, becoming that key person of influence, the mansion, the handbag, the watch, the peak of whatever form our insuppressibly endless seeking and grafting and dreaming takes. The wants and wishes burn bright, whilst equally as prevalently the frustrations, fears and excuses lurk murkily, clouding our pure intentions with the grime of self-doubt and doddery progress.
It’s that wretched self-doubt which gains power too often and squishes and squashes, potentially obliterating or disabling, that once sparkly gloss of momentous potentiality.
Marianne Williamson puts our lack of movement along our righteous paths solidly down to fear; not so much fear of being inadequate however, but fear of our power being unleashed so splendidly we enter a realm of the unknown which terrifies us. She asserts that we are in fact ‘powerful beyond measure’ and thus afraid of our own ‘light’. (I’ve included her beautiful poem ‘Our Deepest Fear’ from her masterpiece, Return to Love, at the footnote of this article for your pleasure.) Fear in this guise definitely percolates, I agree, but I see this stuttering and stalling towards impact as more nuanced than being attributable to fear alone.
When I rummage through the excuses my clients proffer, I find yes all the fears, but also lots of lacks, all plonked messily together into a dirty brown hessian sack of life, all clanking and clunking into each other at once. Lack of time, energy, focus, motivation, mentors, purpose, and so on. Fear of substance, judgement, calibre, value, usefulness, etc. A jumble of laments, some more prevalent than others, most virulently defended, all constituting self-inflicted blocks towards the dream (or the goal if we’re dropping down into less lofty, more immediate desired plans).
If we could just rip off the frayed rope tie, yank open that dusty old sack, take out each one of those thwarty little life barriers and destroy them one by one our path to impact would be smooth and rapid. We would confidently whizz into the land of commitment and focus, blasting forwards unwaveringly, probably having a lot of fun, perhaps even on fluorescent roller blades with glittery laces doing the odd 360.
We do however, simultaneously also need to be very clear, and I mean with technicolour vibrancy, on where exactly it is that we are headed…
There are 2 approaches to all this.
1. Focus on removing each of the barriers one by one to effectively make space for the glory ahead. Here we step into accountability. This is what I call The Foundational Imperatives for Impact.
2. Make the destination so big, shiny, real, compelling, all-consuming and dominant that there’s no possibility of not gliding into our destiny with gusto henceforth. Here we become whole heartedly committed. This is what I call The Expansion Phenomenon.
Without the fundamental 4 areas following addressed, understood, managed and pragmatically, personally woven optimally into our daily existence we won’t be ready or able to expand limitlessly into our greatest impact. We have to dissect, examine, heal and remove any barriers around these areas first. Designing an organised constitution per realm, per our unique and core human essence as robustly, rigorously solid and taut is essential to flourishing. Fact. Nothing can grow until we sort this.
Realm 1: Energy — our bio-individuality means we each distinctively respond energetically to extrinsic and intrinsic stimulus differently. Understanding our chemical and hormonal responses and rhythms to optimise our energy levels is up to each one of us to learn, honour and protect religiously.
Realm 2: Vitality — the holistic synergy between body, mind and soul transcends our physical energy management of Realm 1, into the powerful zone of the fulfilled being. Self-compassion blends with mindfulness, awareness of ego and intuition, and an evolved mindset away from depressed, anxious and perhaps angry victim into accountable, directional, growth-oriented self.
Realm 3: Time — time is our gift to manage. If you were having an affair you’d find all sorts of new available time to indulge your passion, take that approach to work and look how time appears abundantly and flows. Make space for what matters and be intelligent and conscious with prioritisation.
Realm 4: Purpose — motivations comes from inspiration and intentionality. Inspiration and intentionality come from connecting deeply and wholly to our purpose. Of course, this comes from identifying exactly what indeed our purpose is in the first place (clue — the intersection between what you’re good at, what you enjoy and what the world needs).
Here money starts to abound, networks expand, opportunities flow, confidence and courage thrive and a sense of being plugged into the universe, dancing rhythmically along the right path and enjoying the journey become all pervasive. There’s no stopping you from here.
Realm 5: Work — your contribution becomes better. Creativity tumbles out evocatively with ideas effervescing. The quality and volume of output improves. Your productivity increases gracefully, burgeoning with a sturdy, protective resilience eliminating any circling stress sharks threatening burnout. In the trite words of the modernist encouragement choir oft found in social media Monday Motivation posts ‘You Got This!’.
Realm 6: Connection — as your newfound self-belief contagiously ripples outwards, harmonious connections deepen with new ones sprouting and professional networks yielding more stimulating opportunities where buoyant fresh perspectives excitedly thrust you to consistently create new value with your new pals. You find your tribe, perfect the art of listening and relationships all feel good again. Love blooms.
Realm 7: Wealth — clarity of your personal (re)definition of success on your terms means you chase and gain more responsibility in line with what matters most to you — promotion, business launch/expansion, more kids, bigger house, faster car, etc. Your grounded self-worth now propels that clarity of value you bring to realising your purpose, uplevelling your organisation, inspiring your industry and beyond. Life abounds with riches.
Realm 8: Peace — fulfilment, in its prettiest most mesmerising form, only truly settles like a butterfly resting from flutters momentarily atop a donkey’s nose when behaviours honour values. As per that delicate and perfect butterfly poised and motionless, enchanting and irresistible, grandly purveying the horizon, so you gracefully and decidedly step into this complete version of your whole, expanded and congruent self. It is here where you find serenity. In presence, stillness and gratitude, awe blossoms at life’s sheer radiance and onwards your unfurling potentiality gently and consistently grows. Impact is yours.
Ultimately, if we want impact we can simply decide to commit to having impact, to building the foundational imperatives and embracing the expansion. Impact is ours to make real. How committed to impact are you?
As ever, this article is written freely with love from me to you to encourage you to flourish. Please subscribe and share and if you’d like to read more of my work, I have written a couple of books and many more articles you may enjoy and grow from. To work together, let’s chat — email@example.com.
Thank you, Bianca x
PS Access my Flourish Online 6 week kickstarter course here.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.
We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small
Does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine,
As children do.
We were born to make manifest
The glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us;
It’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we’re liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.