I wanted to inspire. Even saying that out loud (or rather writing it) is a bold step for me. You see, I’ve shied away for a long time from making statements that possibly end with people questioning ‘who does he think he is?!?!?!’ Then a funny thing happened on my trip in Africa; I started getting messages from a few people telling me how I ‘inspire’ them. It honestly wasn’t the first time I had heard it, but it had definitely been the most repetitive! I felt like this theme reoccurring was no mere coincidence but rather a message that I had opened myself up to receive. Affirmation, if you will.
What sealed the deal for me? I had sat by a table on the rooftop bar of my hotel with my backpack close by my side. The waiter who approached me asked what I was doing? We started a conversation where he explained to me that he had seen me for days walking around with this backpack and was just curious as to what my intent was with it! I explained I’m just a tourist and in this most recent sighting I was coming back from hiking Table Mountain. His ears perked up. He asked me many things about the hike including how hard it was. This, of course, prompted me to ask him if he had ever done it to which he responded ‘no’. I basically told him its a beauty and if he ever gets the chance he must hike it. His response. ‘You inspire me!’ Something so simple and yet so powerful it felt like a wink. Here was this waiter who didn’t know me from Adam but watched my movements and in a three-minute conversation decided that I inspired him. The experience reminded me to walk good everywhere I go. You don’t know who you can have the opportunity to encourage. More people are watching than you’d ever imagine!
I want to tell you another story. I wanted to start a blog. I wanted to write about my thoughts and experiences but I was afraid. I was afraid of what people would think and criticisms they would make. I was afraid that it wouldn’t be a success. Even when I started writing it I didn’t publicly reveal it for the next couple of months because I wasn’t ready. I measured success by some form of popularity whether it be viewership or comments. Basically, I didn’t want to be that person writing if only two people were reading (and the two people being my best friends hahaha)! Funnily this went against what I preached to others for so long. Success can be measured in so many ways but the one that’s most important to me is happiness and I’m happy blogging. If even one person takes five minutes out of their day to read something I’ve written I should be damn grateful for it, as they never had to! The whole time I thought I was believing in myself I was actually walking hand in hand with fear and I was depriving myself of happiness by wondering how other people would respond and how many of them that would even be!
Something changed within me that trip. I was changing, I was transforming and I was giving less shits about what others were thinking of me. I felt freer, lighter and powerful. Suddenly I started to see the message because I wasn’t blocking myself from receiving it. Here is my takeaway from all of this and a few nuggets I’ve been using recently. If you believe in something and it’s attainable you should go for it, what do you have to lose? Life is too fleeting to put too much emphasis on what others are thinking, live for you! Be deliberate and true in your actions and make sure they reflect you and not a shadow of yourself. Push for something you believe in but pushing for it and making smart moves is different from tipping the scale. You will know when you’ve gone too far because it won’t feel true to you. Trust your gut. Make mistakes because by making them at least it means your doing something instead of nothing!
I was having a hard time connecting the two stories when I realized what I was really trying to say. There isn’t anything wrong with wanting to inspire people if the message is a great one. We should actually all want to inspire each other! For too long I subconsciously let fear stop me from being the best version of me. Don’t let fear stop you from living your dreams, fear is in your mind, conquer that shit!