A mompreneur friend of mine was given an assignment this weekend, and I liked it so much I’m stealing it for a Motivation Monday challenge today.
Here’s the task:
1. List your gifts and attributes
2. Ask others how you inspire them.
Seems easy enough, right? Deceptively so.
Here’s why I love this task so much:
– Part 1 forces you to stop and personally assess what you’re loving about yourself. We routinely flood our brains with negative self-talk. This exercise says, “Nope, not today. Here’s why I’m great.”
– Part 2 reminds you that you are truly inspiring, sometimes in ways you might not even realize. Just by being you, by living your life, by pursuing your dreams, by mothering your children, you are creating a better world. Someone has noticed, and they want to be like you. We all need to hear that.
And here’s why this supposedly easy task is so challenging for many:
It forces you to be vulnerable.
In asking how you inspire others you’re, first of all, admitting that you need some emotional support. You’re admitting that you are not, in fact, the totally confident superhero you may like to project.
And then there’s the risk that you put out a call for “How do I inspire you?” … and no one responds.
All of a sudden, you’re back in seventh grade, being picked last for kickball or standing awkwardly against the wall while everyone else dances.
Aubrey Vejvoda, the mompreneuer given this assignment over the weekend, said a few of her friends – people she expected to hear from – didn’t actually respond to her request.
“And I made a lot of narratives around that, at first,” Vejvoda told me Sunday night when I asked her how the assignment went. “’Oh, I must not inspire them at all, and I’m stupid for asking.’”
But she checked herself, noting that those friends undoubtedly had good reasons for not responding, reasons that had nothing whatsoever to do with not finding her inspirational.
Of those who did respond, Vejvoda said she got a lot of “you’re a good mother” comments.
“But what really touched me and gave me goosebumps, was that people said, ‘You know you used to inspire me in that way (being a good mother), but now you’re inspiring me because you are sharing your struggles and then you’re sharing that you are moving forward anyways and going after what you want anyway.”
That, in turn, inspires others to be vulnerable and to pursue their own dreams, Vejvoda said. “And that’s really my goal, is just to inspire others to courageously dream bigger.”
Vulnerability and authenticity: I’m convinced those two things are essential for a life well-lived.
We need to discover who we are, live that, and be willing to show it to the world.
That’s when we’re our most vulnerable. It’s when we’re most open to attack.
But it’s also the only way to truly connect with others, to form deep relationships, to be our best.
Please take the Motivation Monday challenge today.
Trust me when I tell you that today, in this moment, you’re inspiring someone.
Go and find out how.