Do you long to be an inspiration to others? Whether you are aware of it or not, you already inspire others with your unique way of being. A recent experience at the farmers market brought this insight to life for me. I am excited to share a few stories that will help you grow confident in the myriad of ways in which your “you-ness” is making a difference.

Share Your Inspiration

While waiting in line our local farmers market, I pulled a few empty egg cartons out of my bag and dropped them into the container the farmer had beside his stand for this purpose. When I rejoined the queue, the woman behind me (let’s call her Sue) commented: “I didn’t know that the farmers collected egg cartons. You just inspired me to bring my egg cartons back to the market next time.” 

A lovely conversation unfolded between Sue and me and the wait felt shorter because of it. When it was my turn, Sue thanked me again for the inspiration. This interaction felt like a lovely boost in my day. Sue reminded me that my way of living naturally inspires others, whether they directly share it with me or not. What a great reminder for me to appreciate someone who inspires me. It will likely give them a boost, just as Sue’s appreciation brightened my day.

Before you read any further, conjure up a memory where someone appreciated your inspiring way of being. Alternatively, recall an incident where you appreciated another person’s inspiring way of being. Notice how it feels in your body to savour this positive memory. What would it be like if you could experience this kind of genuine appreciation more often?

Notice Inspiration all Around You

This recent experience at the farmers market also reminded me of a few summer camping experiences where my husband, Chris, and I had drawn inspiration from other campers. When we were camping at a new to us island, Chris’ gift of keen observation served us well. Within a day he knew where the best swim spot was, simply by observing other campers’ comings and goings. Chris also noticed a young guy camping next to us, who had a simpler approach to putting up the food cache. He is eager to copy that technique on our next camping adventure. Neither the swimmers, nor the young guy will ever know how they inspired us, but they sure did. 

How about you? What kind of experience do you recall, where someone’s action or way of being inspired you? Remember an inspiring experience where the inspiring person most likely didn’t know about their positive impact on you. Now just imagine the many times and myriad of ways that you’ve inspired people, unbeknownst to you, just by being YOU. 

Gain Inspiration through Storytelling

On another camping adventure on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, we talked with a ranger, let’s call her Tina, at the metal food cache. We deposited our food for the day, after breakfast and Tina checked the food cache for any garbage. We confirmed that we were the only campers left at the campsite and that the loose pepperoni sticks left behind weren’t ours. 

While Tina put the pepperoni into her pack, she shared that she had recently become a little more careful about cleaning out the cache. About a month prior, Tina met a hiker on the trail who had stashed food at each cache, allowing her to hike the trail less encumbered by the weight of food. 

Tina’s story in turn inspired us to plan our next multi-day hike in a similar fashion. This will make our future hiking experience easier and allow for more generous rest periods. Even though we didn’t meet this hiker personally, Tina’s story about her inspired us. That’s the power of inspirational storytelling.

Take a moment now to consider how a story about someone you haven’t personally met inspired something positive in you. Maybe it coaxed you into action or helped you shift perspective. As you remember that inspirational story, just consider the possibility that others may have shared stories about you. Ponder how these stories, may have inspired people you’ve never met.

Create an Inspirational Ripple Effect

Now that you’ve contemplated all these ways in which you already inspire people, I encourage you to turn this insight into positive action.

Reach out to someone who inspires YOU and thank them for their way of being. In addition, make it a habit to share your appreciation, like Sue at the farmer’s market did, whenever someone inspires you. Your appreciation will most likely inspire someone else to share their appreciation more often. Together we can create a ripple effect of inspiration!