The Fearful Move of Making an Impact
How does that word make you feel? I know that it’s supposed to be inspiring, but to me, it’s intimidating. Maybe that’s why I’ve become resistant to New Year’s Resolutions. Change of any kind feels daunting (especially this year!), but changing the WORLD? Forget about it.
But in the New Year, we traditionally look at our lives and think about change. That tradition reflects some of our deepest longings. I believe that all human have two core desires.
- The longing to be loved– This longing drives us to self-improvement. If we’re honest, most of the time our truest motivation for weight loss or exercise or any change to ourselves is to gain acceptance and love from others.
- The longing to create a life that counts– We all want to feel like the life that we’re living matters. We all just want to do a little good in the world. Sounds more do-able than actually changing the whole world, doesn’t it?
That’s why this year I want to blog through a challenge that I’ve accepted. I want to process all the good, the bad, and the ugly that I know is coming through this challenge with you. I’m inviting you to process and maybe dive in with me!
At the end of last year, my friend Cary Heise, founder and director of Designed for Joy, put out a call to her social media friends, asking us to join her in something she called the Year of Impact. I heard her, and I ignored her. Here’s are the things that I said to myself:
- “I don’t know if I’ll have time for that. There’s a big opportunity hanging out there that I don’t know if I’ll get.” (I DID! More on that soon…)
- “Cary is a visionary and a dreamer. Anything that she asks of this group will be too big for me.” (Sorry, Cary. That’s a compliment. Truly!)
But then I started hearing more information. Cary’s group is covering 4 topics this year, one for each quarter: race equity, poverty, prison reetry, and trafficking. There will be educational components, community interaction, volunteering, and fund-raising involved.
The more I heard, the faster my heart went pitter-pat. The harder the Holy Spirit nudged. With her Year of Impact, Cary is covering all the steps that I’ve been walking through with you right here over the past two years:
Listen –> Feel –> Do –> Speak
This would be a group that would would work out my tender heart and strong voice, so I plunged in and said “yes!” I was inspired to start, and I was excited to make a greater impact…
But then the fears began.
When you think about amping up the impact of your life, even if it’s just doing a little good, you’ve probably had some of these doubts too. What if I:
- Don’t have enough time to follow through?
- Start and don’t like it?
- Feel uncomfortable with some of the things I’m asked to share… or do?
- Get taken advantage of by people I’m trying to help?
- Can’t meet the expectations? (Hello, scary fund-raising goals!)
- Look stupid because everyone knows more than me?
- Don’t agree with others in the group?
- End up misunderstood about a stance I take?
- Get mislabeled politically? Or worse… theologically?
All of these questions are ones that I’ve actually asked going into this process, and they reflect one thing.
I make one big promise to you at the beginning of this journey that I’m documenting. I’m not going to blow smoke at you or try to make myself look like a hero. I’m going to be as honest about my motivations and thoughts as I can possibly be, and I’m doing it with a purpose in mind.
I believe all of us start journeys of impact with fears that no one sees. They certainly don’t make it to our social media highlight reels. But because of these absolutely normal, completely human fears, lots of us have stayed stuck with less impact than we could be making–with less impact than God has called us to. We’ve believed that those fears, the obstacles that have kept us from moving forward, are things that impactful people don’t feel. I want to dispel that lie right here.
We. All. Do.
I intend to be the more-impactful woman that God is calling me to be, but I’ll start with the honesty in this moment. Our first Year of Impact meeting is tonight, and I’m shaking in my cute, Audrey-Hepburn-knockoff shoes.
So will you hang with me? Process with me? Share some fears of your own? Make a few bold steps with me to do a little good?
Our world is waiting for us. It needs we of the tender hearts and strong voices more than ever.
Share: What fears or obstacles are holding you back from doing just a little good in the world you inhabit– your home, your neighborhood, your workplace?
When Cheri Gregory and I wrote Exhale: Lose Who You’re Not. Love Who You Are. Live Your One Life Well. we wanted to coin a phrase that was inspiring but less intimidating than “world-changer” for Holy Spirit infused women who want to do a little good.
If that intrigues you, and you want to become a Seed Sender, pick up a copy today. It’s still FREE for Amazon Prime members to borrow in Kindle!
If you’ve read Exhale, I need to ask you for a favor. Would you head over to Amazon and write a review? Having over 100 reviews makes Amazon algorithms so much friendlier to books. We’re so close, and I’d love to get the life-changing message of Exhale into more hands, wouldn’t you? Thanks, friends!
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So much of what you say seems to find its way onto the pages of my journal. “Seed Sender” and “Just do a little good” speaks to me. As I work on my vision board for 2021, I will add the fears that I wish to overcome….there are so many ?
Sandra, it’s a true joy to be on this path with you in person. Big hugs!
After reading this, I have to say I am in the same boat as you when it comes to your list of fears. Recently God miraculously is making it possible for the church that I attend to branch out closer to where I live. Of course I am super excited and ready to help out wherever is needed, then the fears creep in. I pray that all of us experiencing these fears will hand them over to God and be able to do what he intends for us!
Gloria, it feels so good to know that we’re in this together. I’m cheering for you as you listen to God about how to make impact with your church!
Thank you Amy for sharing your fears. Just reading the title and then the image quote of this post brought me to tears. I’ve started and stopped too many times. God always puts in front of us what we need and this was what I saw first this morning after praying about my fears and next steps last night. So thank you for being faithful and impactful. I look forward to hanging with you through this journey. God bless.
I’m thrilled to be on this journey with you, Bonnie! Please, please keep commenting so that I get to share in how God works through your decision to join Him for more impact.
Girl, you just summed up so much of what I’ve been feeling! I’ve had to fight through all the ‘I don’t belong in this group of women’ thoughts, the questions of ‘what kind of impact could I possibly even make’, and the list goes on. But I do know that I’ve let fear hold me back, or more accurately paralyze me, from things that I do believe God is calling me to do. I just wanted to let you know that your words during our first meeting last night inspired me to have more courage, and I’m excited to walk through this journey with you.
Ok… it’s truly the best to hear from you today, Angela. Here’s what’s funny– as you introduced yourself last night, I was literally thinking, “That girl is fearless!” It’s a reminder to me to stop judging my insides against everyone else’s outsides!
I’m so glad that God has put us in the group together (I was out-of-my-skin excited after meeting everyone last night) and that we’ll get to celebrate together the impact God brings for us.