Defining Impact

I read a quote from Adam Grant the other day re-posted by Kristen Bell on Instagram:

“A common mistake of youth:

Defining impact as the size of audience we reach, instead of the difference we make to each person we reach.

Meaning comes more from mattering to a few than from being known by many.”

This to me has been my biggest struggle in maintaining a social media/online presence. I spent the first little while making huge goals about how many followers I wanted to have, hoping to get enough to maybe even make a living doing this, being an influencer, being asked to write books about what I’d already blogged about, making connections with authors and so forth. (And I’ll be honest, I’d still love that!) But I’ve struggled so much with bouts of depression and anxiety that my consistency leaves a lot to be desired. So rather than continue to write/blog/Instagram for the love of it I convinced myself that I’d never accomplish my goals or make a difference so why bother. And that train of thought kept me going for quite some time. Even though I’ve missed the writing outlet and the little connections I had made through Instagram and Facebook I talked myself out of participating because I wasn’t doing it in a big enough way.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m a huge fan of setting and working towards goals. Those goals I mentioned are still in the back of my mind and something I’d still like to work toward. But in light of recognizing my own limitations and circumstances (vs holding myself up to someone else’s expectations) I’m slowly learning how to set goals that are flexible and more personal. And recognizing when my mind and body are cooperating and when they need a break. My timelines have shifted. I’m much more forgiving. The goal is more often “try” than “triumph”, participation rather than perfection. There is joy to be found in the experience, not just in success and that’s a lesson I’m constantly re-learning. And if the only person I make a difference for is myself, well then, so be it. I’m slowly learning that I’m worth it!