I’m sure all of us would like to hope we are a force for good in others’ lives.
But how do we know when our words and actions are having a positive impact?
The truth is that inspiration isn’t always so easily seen or quantified.
But there are telltale signs.
Let’s take a look at them…
1) They compliment you on the way you deal with things in life
Kind words and positive feedback are often our strongest indicators.
“You always know the right thing to say”.
“I wish I had your strength”.
“You’re always so patient, I’m envious”.
When someone sees what we’re doing right and points it out to us, they’re not just throwing us a compliment. Beneath the surface, something else is going on. Something deeper.
This shows they admire you and are looking up to you.
They notice your approach and they appreciate it.
That means, chances are, they are more likely to follow your lead in the future.
Because as our next point highlights, setting a good example is powerful.
2) They make a positive change after following your lead
You know what they say:
Lead by example.
That’s why preaching isn’t always the best way to be a positive influence on others.
Instead, we should model a good life that people look up to. Or in the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Rather than nag your loved one about quitting smoking or getting more exercise, perhaps you inspired them to do so.
You put your own health first. You made the effort to introduce nurturing practices into your day.
When we lead by example we show people what is possible in their own lives.
This can be the motivation they need to have faith and make a change.
3) They imitate you
Time for another old saying:
Imitation is the greatest form of flattery.
Meaning that if anyone in your life starts to copy what you do, own, or even the way you think — it’s a compliment.
I remember an old friend at school. I thought she was just the greatest. So almost subconsciously I began to wear the same sorts of clothes and listen to the same music.
Even though these were only outward reflections, the truth is that I wanted to be more like her and capture her spirit.
When we look up to someone we may be inclined to closely follow their behavior and approach.
You can take this as your confirmation that you have left a mark in their life.
4) They turn to you for advice
We only seek counsel from those we respect and admire (or at least, we should do!).
Perhaps you have a friend who you hold dear, but they’re not exactly the type of person you’d go to for advice.
We approach those who we think will make a difference.
If someone turns to you when things are tough, it shows they feel they can rely on you.
That may be for emotional support, for wise words, or for strength in the face of adversity.
If anybody you know comes looking for guidance or mentorship from you, they find you inspiring enough to want to learn and grow from your knowledge, skills, and experience.
5) You can see how your mindset has rubbed off on them
My mom has always struggled with anxiety.
She’s far from alone. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 4% of the world’s population does (that’s over 301 million people!).
For years I have tried to offer support and understanding to help her deal with the stress it can create for her.
Yet the biggest challenge was to shift her mindset, from one of negativity and victimhood to a more empowering and positive outlook.
Luckily it’s something I’ve certainly been able to see her increasingly do in more recent years.
I’m not trying to brag, but I know that in part that’s been down to my unwavering (and I’m sure occasionally irritating) insistence on positivity and optimism.
Simply by being around her, my mindset started to rub off on her.
You may have noticed the same in someone close to you.
For both good and bad, the people we surround ourselves with shape us into the people we become.
6) They always want to talk to you and be around you
Bad influences can for sure sometimes get their hooks into us.
But generally speaking, we tend to eventually distance ourselves from the negative energy drainers and gravitate toward those who fill our cups.
That’s why one of the simplest ways to tell that you’re a positive inspiration in someone’s life is how much they want you around.
Do they reach out often?
Do they frequently make plans?
Do they make an effort to communicate and stay in touch?
It’s undoubtably for a good reason.
The more someone interacts with you, the more they must like and admire you.
7) Your own self-improvement and growth are important to you
Whilst the other signs on our list are about how other people respond to you, this one is a bit different.
So what does your own path of self-development have to do with others?
Well, it’s far more likely that you will be an inspiring person when you take this seriously.
Truly inspiring people concern themselves predominantly with their own journey.
But conversely, that also makes them far better equipped to inspire and support others too.
Inspiring people comes down to shining our own light brightly on the world.
Your light is bound to be a bigger beacon when you take things like learning, self-awareness, emotional intelligence, adaptability, and self-love seriously.
This is not only why you become so inspirational to others, it’s also the method for how you can be inspirational to others.
Share your gifts with the world
If we want to deeply inspire others, one of the best ways to do so is to share our authentic selves.
We all have unique sets of qualities, skills, and talents.
But ego has no place in inspiration. It only stands in the way of reaching each other in sincere and meaningful ways.
Instead, when we aim to be of service to others we can humbly let our best bits inspire those around us.