Everyone has overcome something to be where they are today. I talk to many people who come from challenging backgrounds. Maybe they grew up in tough surroundings and had to overcome a lot to build their career, family or life.
These people are a huge source of inspiration to me personally and to the people around them.
Regardless of whether you relate to a tough upbringing or an uphill professional journey, think about what happens in you when you hear an inspiring story like this: It puts your life into perspective.
You immediately start drawing connections between how that individual coped and how you typically react to difficulties. You imagine applying tenacity or grit to something you’re going through.
It’s inspiring to watch people be resilient in the face of hardship.
Inspire others to improve yourself
As a leader, you can use your own passions and stories of growth to encourage the people around you.
Whether you’ve been a leader for two years or 20, you have growth to show for it.
Where you’ve come from, and what it took, is a key way to inspire the people around you.
Make this personal: What are your strengths? What have you accomplished? Think back to a time when you didn’t know what you know now. What could a leader or mentor have done to inspire you?
This is a thoughtful way to expand your impact. It requires humility to admit that you didn’t arrive on the scene fully formed: It’s been a journey, and you’re still on it. Wise leaders will not just inform or instruct the people on their teams. They’ll share their core passions and how those have catalyzed a lifetime of learning and development.
When you begin to take responsibility for inspiring others, it has a welcome byproduct of helping you grow as well.
One of the most effective ways to deepen your own knowledge is to communicate an idea to someone else.
As you share, you’ll notice things from your own journey that you otherwise wouldn’t have noticed. You’ll see areas where you need to work harder or rough edges you need to smooth out. It may give you a huge sense of satisfaction and also a renewed ambition to keep on keeping on.
Inspiring others will push you to play at a new level. In turn, people will be motivated to play at a new level themselves.
What’s the result? Everyone is inspired and uplifted, able to see more and embrace their passions in constructive ways.
This article originally appeared in the March/April 2023 issue of SUCCESS magazine.