I just read a post on ScoutieGirl taking a look at both the importance of both playing small (realizing what an impact the small things can have) and playing big.
The post got me thinking about all the way we block our own ripples.
As I say frequently, you have the potential to make a mind-bogglingly huge positive impact in the world. That impact comes via the ripples created by the choices you make and actions you take throughout your life. Your ripples change your world.
But those ripples can only change your world if you make them. And we all have “ripple blockers” coming out our ears. Here is a short list, off the top of my head, of things that can block our ripples.
- Not realizing that the small things matter.
- Not believing that we really are the kind of person who can step up and play big.
- Fear of failure.
- Surrounding ourselves with negative, pessimistic people.
- Letting our world view be colored by toxic media (e.g., the violence, fear, and hopelessness in the news).
- Letting our inner critic have the upper hand.
- Living our lives according to other people’s expectations.
- Limiting and destructive habits.
- Eating poorly (so you don’t have the energy to create those ripples).
This is just a quick free-flow of ideas. It’s by no means a comprehensive list. The common theme is that, in one way or another, all of these prevent you from making the choices and taking the actions that can make your world a better place.
They keep the ripples you could have made from spreading out and working their magic.
What are your ripple blockers?
It’s time to practice the fine art of addition by subtraction. Eliminating – or at least reducing – your ripple blockers will create more space for your ripples to happen.
More positive ripples = More positive change.
Try this: Sit down and make a laundry list of the ripple blockers in your life. Look at the internal blockers (like fear of failure) and the external blockers (like people around you who spew their pessimism on you).
For each of the ripple blockers you identify, ask yourself, “How could I eliminate or reduce this?” If you find the people around you are blocking your ripples with their pessimistic world view, for example, you might:
- Share with them what impact their pessimism has on you.
- Ask them not to make pessimistic comments about your ideas, actions, and dreams.
- Limit the amount of time you spend with them.
- Cut them out of your life entirely.
Explore as many ways to reduce the impact of each blocker as you can. Then do it! It doesn’t have to be perfect, and it doesn’t have to be complete.
Even if you only reduce the effect of a ripple blocker by 20%, you’ve just created 20% more potential to make a positive impact! Imagine the cumulative outcome of the resulting ripples over the course of your life.
Want to ratchet up your ability to have an impact? Make a habit of ripple blocker busting.
[image by Gianni Dominici]
Want to join the Ripple Revolution?