How to Become a Point of Inspiration to Those Around You

“As we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."


(lazyllama /

When thinking of inspirational people, it may call to mind names like Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King, or Rosa Parks. What made these people so influential? They all started out as ordinary people who ended up accomplishing extraordinary things. Each of them decided that the world needed their help, and despite tremendous opposition and impossible odds, had the courage to try to change the world.

So how can we follow in their footsteps, inspire those around us, and build a better world? Many may have already heard the words of Mahatma Gandhi: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” Creating a better world and serving as a source of inspiration, indeed, starts with ourselves. It means recognizing our own worth, recognizing the value in all others, and having the courage to serve our purpose. In doing so, we give permission for others to do the same.

Develop Self-Compassion

It may seem counterintuitive: inspiring others starts with looking at ourselves. In reality, we can’t help others unless we take care of ourselves first. That shouldn’t involve inflating our own egos to put others down, but rather developing self-compassion.

The challenge comes in facing the truth in ourselves. How can we really become better people and actualize the most authentic and inspirational versions of ourselves? Instead of constantly judging or evaluating ourselves, we recognize our divine worth and accept our own strengths and weaknesses. It doesn’t mean that you are better than anyone else. Rather, it means seeing the inherent value in yourself and in all others.

Recognize the Value in All others

Developing self-compassion will help heal emotional wounds, but it also involves taking accountability for our words and actions. We fall into negative habits like gossip, self-doubt, and self-destruction, sometimes without even realizing it. By bringing other people down, we hurt ourselves more than anything. These negative actions really only reveal our own insecurities anyway. Which is why, in order to practice self-compassion, we must also extend that compassion to others.

Anyone who has practiced yoga or visited India will recognize the word, “Namaste”. In Hinduism, it means "I bow to the divine in you". Recognizing the value in other people and treating them in kind, empowers those around us. It lifts them up and helps them recognize their own self-worth. In this way, you inspire and remind others of their own self-worth.

Have the Courage to Follow Your Path

“As we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence actually liberates others.”
- Activist and author, Marianne Williamson

In recognizing our own value, we discover our mission, our path, and our way of serving. It can take a lot of strength and courage to break away from the expectations of others and change our habits to pursue our purpose.

Following your own path can mean different things for different people. Perhaps, you find yourself on a path of self-harm, and through the development of self-compassion, find a way to treat your mind and body with more care. Someone else may, through cultivating self-worth, have the courage to leave a job that makes them miserable, and, instead, pursue their passion in music, teaching, or whatever it may be.

Having the courage to realize your self-worth and serve your purpose gives others the strength to do the same. Making a positive impact on just one person can make a world of a difference for that individual. After all, we can all think of someone in our lives who made a powerful, positive impact on our lives.

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