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12 Habits That Will Shape You To Be Profoundly Influential

12 Habits That Will Shape You To Be Profoundly Influential

Influence – one trait we all wish we had more of. It’s easy for us to see how our lives might change “overnight” if we simply had more influence in our social spheres. The art of influence can seem like it’s incredibly difficult – as though you’re born with it or not. Fortunately, such a mindset is a myth. To become profoundly influential, all it takes is mental persistence with a few shifts in attitude and perspective.

1. The networking mindset

If you want to be influential with anything you take on, getting yourself and your message around receptive people is perhaps the single greatest step to take. As best-selling author Jeff Goins has proclaimed, every genuine story of success is a story of community. If you’re interested in taking your own life far, invest your time, talents and energy in the lives of others. Help uncover what they want to get out of life and equip them to boldly move forward.

2. Challenging the status quo

All influential figures across history – and indeed, some of the present day – have been boat-rockers and picture-shakers. Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Jesus, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Anne Frank all stepped out of their comfort zone and challenged those around them with truth. While this is nowhere near an exhaustive list of influential figures, and each of these people certainly walked the Earth in different ways and places, all of them challenged the status quo and caused people to re-examine their perspectives. It must be noted that these people also rocked the boat to make things better in life – not just for the sake of being a rabble-rouser.

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3. Proactive engagement

To become profoundly influential, you don’t have time to wait around and ask for permission to change the world. You need to become a self-starter. Be someone who makes things happen because it’s who you are and you have a vision you must bring to pass. The secret to becoming proactive almost overnight? You need to get fired up over something. That something should be whatever you can ultimately “get lost in.” This is the main grouping of activities in life that never seems to run dry for you. Find how you can bring value to other people through this passion and let yourself loose.

4. Welcoming disagreement

Being okay with and even embracing the thoughts of other people is a fast and reliable way to become incredibly influential. People love having their ideas acknowledged, appreciated and shared. When in conversations with people, really try to dig at the core of their desires and what has made them into the person they are. Allow them to express their ideas for themselves, and don’t jump in at the soonest opportunity to actually disagree. Welcome that disagreement – explore the side of the conversation you’re less familiar with. It will help people feel validated, seen and heard.

5. Be a huge believer

People can try to knock optimism and healthy self-belief as much as they want, but these two traits fuel the bedrock of one’s actions. If you believe you can achieve a goal, people will see this and it will begin spreading to them. People witnessing a leader believing in something infuses courage and confidence in the people.

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6. Don’t react to anything – respond instead

If you want to influence outcomes of meetings and conversations as often as possible, don’t be a lightning-fast reactor. People want to know that they’ve been heard, and listening is one of the most powerful and underrated tools for becoming highly influential. Genuinely consider their point of view and respond with something authentic and positive.

7. Be a self-guider

One of the hard truths about being a person of influence is you need to know you can’t always be at the beck and call of others. If you have a dream you want to chase, the hardest and least comfortable time is in the beginning – when you and you alone need to push yourself ahead. Of course, there will come a time where you’ll need to request the assistance of others, because nothing great happens alone. However, those with the greatest influence repeatedly embrace the mindset that they’re initiating their own goals and have the resources to make it happen.

8. Help inspire conversation

Creating opportunities for conversation is the quickest way to connect people. Out of humans come the most brilliant and beautiful things in the world, so in order to advance technologically, relationally and in all other ways, we first need to connect humans. Conversation allows ideas to be shared and for people to relate further with one another. Helping potentially new best friends become connected is a reliable and altruistic way to become influential.

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9. Keep the main thing, the main thing

When you reach the end of another day, it’s easy to want to simply drop down and forget about everything for a while. But if you’re honest with yourself, if you didn’t spend the day involved in what you really care about, it will always nag you until it gets acknowledged. Don’t let lesser priorities rule your day. Influential people always begin the day with a clear set of priorities, and this enables them to truly run the day, instead of the other way around.

This applies to conversations too. Influential people refuse to let themselves get knocked off track – at least for long. It’s okay to allow other people to lead in different contexts, but help keep the main thing the main thing. If a result needs to be reached, bring people back to the center when they seem to be veering off.

10. Help people succeed

There’s truly nothing that will help you succeed faster than helping other people succeed. All people have desires that they want to live out, and there’s no shortage of people wanting help with this. Naturally, people want the biggest results for the lowest amount of effort, but when you genuinely help someone reach a goal, they are extremely likely to notice it. Become a huge fan of other people for reasons you’re authentic about – don’t just smother people with compliments. Find traits about them you can legitimately support them through and eagerly let them know about it.

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11. Build pathways for the future

It’s no secret that the state of the world is (and kind of always has been) volatile. The only real guarantee in life is that it will end one day, so when people think about the future, naturally most are apprehensive. People don’t like thinking of the future often because it quickly reminds them how little of it they have planned out. If you can become a reliable source of strength for helping people plan for the future – and getting them results – success will start to stick to you like glue. People feel outrageously reassured when they can see a firm future for themselves. It’s one of the few forces that unabashedly unlocks higher levels of human potential.

12. Approach everything as a learning experience

Those who treat all life events as a learning experience are exponentially more likely to succeed and become highly influential. Adding value to your own life and those around you comes with learning, then application.

Now get out there and become influential!

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Brad Johnson

Top 5 Kindle Author | Author of 10 Books

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you realize you aren’t really happy about this, wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while but I learned the art of saying no. Saying ‘no’ meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. I started to manage my time more around my own needs and interests. When that happened, I became a lot happier. And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying ‘no,’ you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey considered one of the most successful women in the world confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything. It was only when she realized that after years of struggling with saying no, I finally got to this question: “What do I want?”

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

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Warren Buffett views no as essential to his success. He said,

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made ‘no’ a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say ‘no.’

From an early age, we are conditioned to say ‘yes.’ We said yes probably hundreds of time in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work. We said yes get a promotion. We said yes to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because it feels better to help someone. We say yes because it can seem like the right thing to do. We say yes because we think that is key to success. And we say yes because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist like the boss.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves. At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we feel guilty we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message no matter where we turn is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

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How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty

Deciding to add the word ‘no’ to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say ‘no’ but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of ‘no’ that you could finally create more time for things you care about. But let’s be honest, using the word ‘no’ doesn’t come easily for many people.

The 3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time especially you haven’t done it much in the past will feel awkward.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

Remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it, who else knows about all of the demands on your time? No one. Only you are at the center of all of these requests. are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying ‘No’ Means Saying ‘Yes’ to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word ‘no’ into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying ‘no’ is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because FOMO even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

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Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better.

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say ‘No’

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say ‘yes’ because we worry about how others will respond or the consequences of saying no or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose respect from others. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying ‘no’ can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way. You might disappoint someone initially but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to.

4. When the Request Comes In, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time, or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say ‘no.’ There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your ‘No’ with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

A clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

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6. Consider How to Use a Modified ‘No’

If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” giving you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

Final Thoughts

Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

Use the request as a fresh request to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself. If you are the one placing the demand on yourself, try to evaluate the demand as if it were coming from somewhere else.

Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project but not by working all weekend. Or, tell someone in your family you can’t loan them money again because they never paid you back the last time. You’ll find yourself much happier.

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Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

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