When I get excited about something, it’s all I think about. It’s all I want to talk about.
I want everyone to be on board with me because I just know I’ve discovered this secret that everyone needs to know about. If you’re not doing what I’m doing, you’re totally missing out. Like c’mon!
Want to know the quickest way for someone to do the opposite of what you want? Talk their ear off about why they need to do it. Make it the only topic of conversation.
I have a hunch I was this way when I first got into personal development. And I’m sure I was like this when I started eating healthier and noticed how amazing I felt. Like, I felt so good and people around me were always complaining about how tired and sick they were. I felt like shouting, You guys, you don’t need to be tired and sick! Just eat healthy and you’ll feel so much better!
It began to frustrate me that people were content with being unhappy in their life. That they’d just complain and never do anything to change it. I always wanted to jump in immediately to give my two cents—recommend all the books they needed to read and podcasts they needed to listen to to change their life.
I’m totally not saying this is a bad thing to do. Just be sure you don’t jump down a person’s throat about it. Understand when it’s time to talk and when it’s time to listen. I still share my recommendations because A) I love to help people by sharing resources and insights and B) maybe they genuinely don’t know about these things and would be interested in learning.
But here’s the thing—stop there. Don’t keep driving your point home. Don’t keep putting pressure on it. Don’t keep talking about it over and over and over. Put it out there and let it go. Listen and be a friend. Let them ask you more if they’re interested.
Often, when we’re so eager to share, our hearts are in the right place. We genuinely want to help; we love what we’re talking about; we think everyone should be on board because gosh, why wouldn’t they want to do the best thing ever?
Sometimes we forget that everyone is entitled to their own path in life, their own unique journey. People need to discover what’s right for them. And what’s right for you may not be right for them.
Seriously! Just because a book changed your life doesn’t mean it’ll resonate with someone else. That’s why there are millions of authors out there and tons of podcasts, because one person is not for everyone.
That’s why, though it’s amazing to share what you love, it’s important that you don’t put the pressure on for everyone to do things the way you do things.
I’m sure we’ve all had a friend who’s dated someone we disapproved of. No matter how crappy they were treated, they kept going back. We could voice our concerns backwards and forwards. It never matters, right? As a friend, it’s frustrating, but it’s one of those things a person has to figure out on their own.
That’s how humans work.
When I was in college, my anxiety was at an all time high. I’d call my mom and she always told me to exercise. I brushed her off every single time. I literally didn’t pay any mind to her telling me that because I didn’t want to work out. It wasn’t a priority for me, and I had no desire to start making it one.
Years later, when I finally got myself into a regular workout routine, it was because I got myself there. I had to figure out the why on my own. Her telling me went in one ear and out the other because I wasn’t ready yet.
I finally started exercising when I learned my anxiety and stress were giving me stomach issues. That’s when it clicked for me that wow, I really need to take control of this.
Doing something because someone else tells you you should isn’t powerful because you’re not connected to why you need to do it. It’s harder to make something a habit when you’re not personally invested.
So, this is a PSA. If you’re constantly talking about your workouts, telling everyone they should eat what you’re eating, or trying to push your way of thinking on those around you, you’re going to A) annoy the heck out of everyone and B) have the opposite effect that you’re hoping for.
If you hope to inspire people to live their best life, live your best life. Focus on simply bringing joy to yourself and others. No ulterior motives, no judgment. Share your experiences when it fits, but don’t force it. Give people the freedom to find their own path.
A great example of this is a coach at the gym I used to go to. He kind of had this joyful light about him. He was warm and friendly. Everyone liked taking his classes because his workouts left you feeling good at a soul level; you felt inspired and motivated by his positive attitude. Anyway, it turns out he was a really religious guy and super involved in his church.
His brightness was impactful because he didn’t need to tell anyone with ears, “Hey, are you Christian? You should come to my church.” I understand the idea of sharing the word of God, but if he’d have gone right into that, it just wouldn’t have had the same effect. At least, not for me.
It stuck with me so much more to see someone living in their light, like dang, he’s really got it figured out. I want to do whatever he’s doing!
At the end of the day, we don’t always know what’s best for others. Though I think there’s nothing better than sharing what you’re passionate about, be sure you know your audience. Your message could be perfect, but if you’re not saying it to the right people or someone who wants to hear it, the value is lost.
Actions speak louder than words. Focus on living in your light and your brightness will attract your people.