I’ve never imagined one day becoming a leader of a huge organization. I’ve never had the desire to be the chief. I don’t need to be the one calling the shots. I’m okay taking orders from someone else (as long as they’re respectful and fair). I’ve always been content with just doing the best job that I knew I could do. I had no problem heading up small groups, but there was no need for me to be the HNIC.
But lately, like in the last couple of years, I’ve been feeling a shift in my feelings, a slow change of heart. Now don’t get me wrong. I am still not interested in becoming the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, not even the principal of my school. However, I have been feeling a strong urge or push or calling to get out there and do more.
How I Settled Upon Becoming an Influencer
The word that keeps popping up over and over again is the word Influencer. No, not a social media influencer, someone who is paid to influence (convince) you to purchase a product from some corporate sponsor. I’m talking about being a person whose life sets an example for other people, who lives a life of integrity, and is focused on positively touching the lives of everyone whom she meets.
This word influencer has been following me. I read three different devotionals each morning. At some point over the past couple of weeks, each one of those devotionals has talked about being an influencer for Jesus whether it was in the way I was to lead in my home or how I am supposed to treat my coworkers, students, or strangers on the street, or even about what I decide to post on social media.
To make it even crazier, a new journey that I am about to embark on in the next few weeks deals with choosing to be someone who inspires versus being someone who inspires and influences (and believe me there is a difference). Is all of this just a coincidence? I think not.
As one of my dear friends always says, “You can’t make this stuff up.”
My Heart is Open
The main point that has been drilled in me is that, “People are watching”. This realization has finally gotten to me, and I am embracing the understanding that I have to step it up when it comes to letting my light shine for the world to see. There is no “on the fence” or hoping someone else will do it. It’s my light to shine, my gift to share with the world. I don’t have a choice. There is no other option.
I’ve been playing it safe. Flying under the radar. Doing my part but keeping it small, feeling as if the message I have to share isn’t that important, that special, that different.
But it is. It definitely is.
I mean, it has changed my life. So who am I to say that others don’t deserve the same? I know there are so many others already doing what I’m setting out to do, but why do I think that I don’t have a place? No one can do it just like me! Actually, the Bible commands that I extend this opportunity to others, tell others the Good News, and inspire, no, influence people, especially women, to live their best lives.
The Business Boutique Effect
Part of this journey began when I went to the Business Boutique women’s conference in Tennessee a few weeks ago. It was life changing. I was surrounded by women (including my bestie who invited me) who were chasing their dreams.
All around me were business owners at various stages whether they were just starting out or had been in business a few years. The energy in the air was more than inspiring; it was influencing. I knew I could not go back home the same way that I had left.
Christy Wright who was over the entire program said something that really stood out to me (actually she said a lot that stood out to me), but one of the quotes that knocked the wind out of me was when she said, “Fear wants to box you into a small life”. While others may not think that was a big deal, but at that point, on the last day of the event, it was what I needed to hear.
I was already extremely motivated to go home and live out my purpose, but I knew that fear had been holding me back from doing that to the degree that I needed to do. (Yes, I’ve written about overcoming fears before, but this time it truly was different.)
Sarah Jakes Roberts had also spoken about the concept of us dying empty. She said that God put things in us to pour out into the world and to leave there. We were to pour out all of that goodness stored within us in order to bless others. When I looked at my life, I couldn’t say that I was truly doing that.
No More Playing It Small
Playing it small has kept me back from so many big opportunities, so many chances to make a difference in someone else’s life, so many chances to collaborate with other people on great projects. I have let ideas shrivel up and die, blow away in the wind to be forgotten all because I didn’t think I really had what it took.
But not any more. How dare I not share with the world all that God has put inside of me? I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am here to help others have a better life. I’ve always had a heart for people. I hurt when other people hurt. I cry when other people cry.
It might sound corny but my dream, the thing I would like to see happen most is for everyone to just be happy. I want everyone to enjoy their lives, the good and the bad, the ups and the downs. I’ve always felt that it was unfair and selfish for me to have such a great life (Lord knows that I am truly blessed) while others are hurting.
And to think that it may just take a word from me, a kind gesture, a sharing of the Good News, a shoulder to lean on, a special life-affirming gift, or even a blog post like this.
I’ve said all of that to say this. I can and I will use my gifts and talents to bless others. I will no longer play it safe. In just the few weeks since the conference I have taken some pretty big steps out of my comfort zone and I plan to do even more of that in the near future. Why should I try to fit in when I was born to stand out? (Thank you, Dr. Seuss).
God, I hear you! It’s time for me to stop playing small and take a leap of faith. Thank you, God, for the great examples in my life of other women who are willing to stand up for what is right and go all the way out there for you! I’m ready to see where You will take me!
What about you? How will you spend your life? Are you playing it small? Is it time for you to take that leap of faith? Comment below!