Day 19 – Building Influence

Today’s Challenge: Which methods do you want to use to build your platform and increase your influence?
I guess I’m still in the midst of uncovering what all this means to me. When I think of building platforms and increasing influence it ‘feels‘ complicated but in reality, it’s really not.
Natalie shared that one of the methods is:
Be a leading learner, or a person who is continually teaching themselves new skills to stay ahead of the curve; and then showing you how to do this too. You don’t have to be the expert you just have to learn and apply and teach others how they can do the same.
I’ve always been a learner with a growth mindset – it’s probably the one good quality that I’ve been able to recognize in myself even when I used to be plagued with insecurities and self-doubt. I used to take this gift for granted in the past because I always assumed that everyone was the same. But as I look back at my childhood, I wasn’t.
My dad taught me to read at 3 1/2 and would buy books for me regularly until I started reading them too fast.   When I was in junior kindergarten, my teacher would sometimes leave the room for a few minutes, and I’d get bored so I’d read my book out loud while my classmates gathered around me.
She asked my parents if they would mind if I skipped a couple grades, but they were nervous that I wouldn’t be able to adjust to being surrounded by older kids. So instead she gave me special projects to continue to stimulate me.
Throughout grade school, I looooooved reading and could be found at the library every single day. Every morning like clockwork I would show up just before the bell rung to swap a book for a new one. On my report card my teacher wrote:  ‘Sherice is a voracious reader – she eats books for breakfast.’ LOL
Even now, Nathan teases me about how whenever I learn something new, it becomes all I ever talk about. It gets so bad (or good depending on how you look at it) that even my friends start parroting my quotes and phrases.  
Learning isn’t just something I love – it’s an obsession.
But it’s not just about learning, I like to apply things. I can’t just blindly accept things, it has to work. This would often get me in trouble with teachers and leaders. Whether it was at school, church or work – they didn’t like being challenged – but that didn’t stop me. I didn’t care.  
I think truth should come with understanding because I don’t just want head knowledge, I want to see change.  I have to see change, not only for myself but for others. I guess that’s what has brought me here. The freedom that I experience, I want for others too.  
I don’t know why exactly this would feel complicated  to me, especially since I know that influence and change must go hand in hand. For eg., how can you change someone without influencing them – right? The thing is though, I don’t ever want it to change who I am. And sometimes that concerns me.  
I already know what life is like as a people-pleaser preoccupied with what people think. I know how it feels to be pressured by other’s expectations. I had that life.  I was that person. And now, that I’ve freed myself of that, my intention is never to go back.
As long as building platforms and increasing influence doesn’t comprise that – sure, why not?  But then again that’s my choice really.
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