As the famous song from the 80’s goes: “…Everybody wants to rule the world…”
There’s plenty of truth to these lyrics.
Although you might not actually want the burden of being responsible for ruling the whole world.
But most of us wouldn’t mind if we were able to have a little more influence over parts of our world.
Would you like to have more ‘pull’ in the workplace? Maybe just be more influential in your personal life?
Many of us have a feeling deep down inside that we’d have so much more to give, but we’re not sure how to go about it.
There’s a way to begin expanding your impact on the world. But many people are unaware of the simple way to do it. And that’s what keeps them stuck, eventually concluding that no one is going to listen to their great idea, to their potential contributions.
Introducing: Your Sphere of Influence
There are things in life which we are able to control, and things which are outside of our grasp. Simply put, the things that we’re not able to control directly are outside of our current sphere of influence.
For example, most of us – as individuals – have very little power over the global economic situation. We may worry about it, but its state is largely out of our control.
Whereas some people are actually able to affect economics on a larger scale. Here I’m thinking about world leaders and heads of large corporations.
For them, the economic situation might be counted as being within their sphere of influence.
The larger our sphere of influence, the more we’re able to impact the outside world.
Here’s an illustration depicting the sphere of influence of an average person.
As you can see, the average person has many matters which he or she can’t currently affect. These things are in their sphere of concern.
So the question remains. How does someone begin expanding their personal sphere of influence?
First, let’s explore where many people stumble so we can avoid the most common mistake.
Keeping Your Sphere of Influence Small
If you’ve been struggling to expand your influence, you are most likely committing one major error. This error has to do with your mindset.
This thought error – as one might call it – leads to staying stuck with whatever sphere of influence you currently have.
Here’s the thought that keeps you stuck:
“If only more people would listen to me, I could make a difference. But they don’t. So I can’t.”
It’s this mindset that keeps most people stuck. In their jobs, in a personal friendship, on a project committee, etc. They stay stuck.
My Personal Stuck-ness
I’ve had my fair share of struggles with this issue.
For example, I’ve been blogging for quite some time now, and like most bloggers, I’d like to have more readers.
I’ve let myself get frustrated when a post of mine has only had a few clicks.
It can be frustrating when you put a lot of work into a single post and you can’t even be sure if the message reaches anyone.
I nearly quit over this – see the ‘”thought error” I mentioned above.
But my frame of mind started shifting when I contacted a more experienced blogger about this issue.
He challenged my thought error and led me to a moment of clarity. And I quickly realized how I was keeping myself stuck. I was doing that!
He advised focusing on the few readers that I did have at the time, and not to concern myself with the potential readers I had no influence over…yet. I had to ask myself how I could serve my current readers better and make their lives more amazing.
He was basically telling me to focus my energy within my existing sphere of influence.
The Only Way to Expand Your Sphere of Influence
By this point you might have already realized what the simple secret is.
Put all of your energy and effort into matters which are within your current sphere of influence. When you do this, your sphere can’t help but start expanding gradually.
It’s pointless to put your focus outside of your current sphere. This will only lead to wasted energy.
In my case: worrying about readers I didn’t have was getting me nowhere. All it did was divert my attention away from things I could actually impact.
We need to carry out important work within the boundaries that we have influence over. This is the key.
Everything starts from your current sphere. Be happy with whatever influence you have at the moment.
For the moment.
How Your Influence Will Grow
There are many possible ways in which your sphere of influence will begin expanding.
Here’s a list of things that might happen:
- When you put your efforts towards things you can make a difference in, word will begin to spread. This leads to referrals, new opportunities, and high trust levels. And don’t forget good Karma.
- As you work with what you can influence in the moment you’ll begin developing yourself a positive reputation. There’s no telling what this may lead to. Including an immense sense of pride and confidence.
- Your opinion will be listened to – even asked for! – as you gain credibility. What this means in practice, is that your word will have a bigger affect on those around you.
Rule the World? Maybe. Maybe Not.
There’s nothing wrong with the desire to increase your influence on the world. To make a difference.
If your heart is in the right place you can do a lot of great things with the leverage of having greater influence.
So remember, just switch your focus to doing important work within your current sphere of influence.
Make the most out of what you have control over right now. No matter how small you think its reaches may be currently.
You’ll soon see results. And let me know how it works out!
Juha Kaartoluoma writes at Prince Awakened on Personal Development for conscious men. If you liked this article, you might also enjoy one of his top posts: We are Becoming Obsolete – 7 Tips to Help You Stay Relevant in the Future.
Image courtesy of Jared Tarbell.